Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hey Gift Horse!...oh, nevermind.

It really was bound to happen at some point I guess. Our intention was never to make the Land of Snow and Cheese our permanent home but what I'm facing now is one of those hit-you-in-the-gut, riding-the-steep-drop-roller-coaster pits in my stomach.

For me it began back in October when a job came up back in Austin. Immediately it was a sinking feeling. For the last year and a half Gru (my husband) and his business partner, Adam, have been working diligently on a project. They started off meeting at the university's business center because they were in the know about the location of free coffee. Believe it or not, and probably much to the amazement of many of their former classmates, these two actually started making headway on a business idea that actually seemed like it was going to work. Gone were the days of Gru's ridiculous schemes and ideas of things that no one would use let alone buy. Gru and Adam had figured out a way to tap into the sports drink business in a way no one really had in the past. Even their biggest critic (me) realized they potentially had a gold mine.

They had people in the business and sports world who were listening to them and, shockingly enough, returning their phone calls. Progress was being made and then...the job in Austin appeared.

The best word I can begin to describe my emotions about all of this particular opportunity is 'numb'. I wanted to be excited about the potential of moving back home, I wanted to look at houses and study gyms for my girls. I wanted to stand on my roof and yell so loud my friends in Texas could hear me. But deep down I knew there was an Anchor that would hold us here. The business.

Gru actually did apply for the job which we discussed and that continued to get my hopes up but we didn't really talk much about it. One day I came home to a call on our answering machine that I had to listen to about four times and I still couldn't figure out what this woman was trying to say, although it seemed pretty clear that she wasn't asking for money or for me to change my cable service. Eventually my bestie, Frankie, who was in the kitchen with me listened to it, "Teachers Retirement Fund" she said as if the woman had spelled it out for her. Apparently I might be going deaf, or just stupid. When I heard her say that I almost responded, "How do you know what that is?" being that it was a Texas agency and then I realized she was simply repeating what she had just heard.

I immediately wrote down the information and clammed up. I knew exactly what that phone call was once it was translated for me. Duh.

Without my knowing Gru had had a phone interview that had gone well and this phone call was the invitation for him to come down to Texas for an interview at the agency. He was only one of three people in the entire country to be in the final running for this position. Part of me wanted to scream, "Don't do it" because I knew he wouldn't take a job there at this juncture with his personal business and I didn't want him to screw up future potential positions down there.  The other part of me was bursting with happiness at the possibility that we were one step closer to coming home. It was, by far, the most torn I have ever felt.

After the interview in Texas we waited. And waited. In what I can only describe as a sense of relief for myself we began to realize that no news meant there was not going to be an offer. After a courteous amount of waiting time had passed, Gru contacted the agency and learned that, as it frequently does in the world of government employment, the position had gone to someone with connections to Governor Can't Remember the Third Agency He Would Do Away With.

People asked me a lot after that what our status was in terms of moving. Honestly what had happened was the best case scenario and allowed me to answer their inquiries without dissolving into a messy puddle of tears and snot. Because he hadn't been offered the job we weren't put in the position of having to choose.

Waiting for seven years to go back home is a very long time. Had we gotten to the point where he applied, interviewed and was offered the position and then had to turn it down? It would have been devastating. The idea of looking my dream in the mouth and almost being able to reach out and grab its tongue but then saying, "Yeah, actually we're out, we can't move because of this business thing that might work out" would have killed me. Never in my life have I been so relieved for him to NOT receive an offer.

And things went well from November (when I got to go to my first U of Wisconsin football game and actually watch the start of the game on the sidelines on the field...all because of new business connections for The Anchor) through the new year (when a job in Sante Fe came up, no thank you) and then up until last week.

Out of the blue- another email, another position in Austin. This time it was from the woman who was leaving the position, whom Gru knew personally, who thought that Gru would be a perfect replacement for her job. Another sucker punch...right to my gut. I could almost feel the rising of the bile in my esophagus. That sick, nauseous feeling right before you release all the nastiness churning in your stomach.

"Here we go again," I thought. But this time, even more devastatingly- I know. I avoided talking to Gru about it for a few days, denial- more than a river in Africa, or so they say. I asked last night but I knew- I just had to hear it so I could quash any potential glimmer of hope I had. Now they are three months closer to launching their products, two months shy of the reveal at a major coaching convention- there's no way he could leave Adam and the Anchor now.

I think he'll respond and let them know his experience and how qualified he is for the position and follow it up with salary requirements which he's sure they won't be able to meet. It's cordial, professional, leaves the door open for future jobs but, for the most part, lets this one slip away.

Just floating away like the puffy snowflakes that I see out my window...

Suburbian Siren, who might, just MIGHT, someday make it back home...but not today...

1 comment:

  1. I know how you feel. Believe me, thirteen years in a city called Not-My-Home has really worn on me. But I can take it one step further. I've spent 3 1/2 years back in my hometown, working and looking at houses, while the Mrs simply dug her heels in and refused to move. And now, after driving 200 miles to see her every Friday night and 200 miles back to work every Sunday night for 3 1/2 years, in the interests of saving my marriage, I seem to have an opportunity back in Not-My-Home which I may be forced to take. My home was in my grasp. But to acquire it, apparently, might end my marriage. And so now I am looking at the probability of having to back to that place which I hate and live out the rest of my life there.

    I have friends here. I have family. I have people who absolutely get me and accept me. I fit here. But my wife is there. Is it worth sacrificing a marriage just to get back home? So many people have told me they believe it is. I just can't see doing that. Sorry, this is my dilemma, slightly different from yours.

    I know how you feel. Or as Clinton said, I feel your pain.


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