Monday, September 21, 2009

Swimming in the Flood

Funemployment is the recent media-coined term for the attitude some of us jobless are supposedly taking about having no grindstone to put our noses to. Instead of becoming depressed and suicidal, apparently the ten percent of Americans who are currently jobless are finding fun and creative ways to spend our days. Seems we're volunteering, delving into hobbies and community support and taking care of the business of life during the day so we can leave our nights free for fun. After all, when you're unemployed, no night is a school night; the funemployed have no curfews.

I'm guilty as charged of funemployment. I spend time every single day looking for work, sending off resumes and references, crafting clever cover letters and following up on leads. That still leaves a whole lot of time for other activities, as you may have noticed if you've seen me browsing at La Tienda or Tan-A or Tokyo Mart any random afternoon. I have also volunteered more in 2009 than in my entire life so I continue to contribute to society.

Last week, I attended one of the noon lectures at the Virginia Historical Society. The topic was the 1918 Meuse-Argonne battle, one of the deadliest of World War I (65,000 men lost in six weeks). And although the bulk of the audience was a sea of white and bald heads, the speaker was lively, the topic quite compelling and I learned plenty (we funemployed may not work, but our brains still function).

I took in an 11:00 showing of the 1939 film, "The Women," a classic movie any film geek should have seen long before my age. This film is apparently so well-known that many in the audience were reciting lines along with the characters on screen; it did have a lot of great bitchy and campy dialogue. "Get me a bromide...and put some gin in it," for one.

Funemployment allows for a long lunch with a hipster friend at Balliceaux and having plenty of time to inspect the back room, the bathrooms, the decor and dissect the crowd. It also allows time to lunch leisurely in the cave-like Chiocca's with an anti-hipster friend nursing a hangover and eating anchovies on his mondo sandwich.

Funemployment: it's not for everyone, but it sure makes the best of a less-than-ideal situation. And moping around whining about it just isn't my style.

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