Chapter 122: How Jobs are like Girlfriends

I started dating my first girlfriend (Giant Eagle) the summer after my sophomore year of high school. I had recently learned to drive, and the mobility made the logistics of dating (working) finally easy. It was just something people my age did, and it felt like it came naturally with the car. Looking back on it, my first girlfriend (job) wasn’t something I ever really took seriously and I didn’t get much out of it. It was more just an automatic thing to do to pass the time.

I met the girl who would become my second girlfriend (Wal-Mart) while I was still dating the first girl, and I saw the opportunity to sort of switch them over coming a month before it actually happened. The new girl was exciting; she had just moved to town and was in the process of making a lot of new friends (store had just opened). Breaking up with Giant Eagle was essentially a formality. I wasn’t sad to leave, and she wasn’t sad to see me go.

Compared to Giant Eagle, Wal-Mart was amazing. She was fun, loved to see me, had tons of stories and we went on lots of dates (I worked a *lot*). In the back of my mind I knew she wasn’t really the person I had always dreamed about. She liked country music, and didn’t really ever care to move away from Pittsburgh. I saw her a couple times after I left for college (worked random holidays), but eventually she told me to just stop calling. Though I was fine with the casual relationship, apparently that wasn’t what she was looking for (“I’m sorry Sam, you can’t work here anymore.”).

My years of monogamy in high school gave way to an incredible cacophony of polygamous escapades in college (lots of concurrent campus jobs). I had several on again, off again relationships that lasted for years, mostly in parallel. Luckily, none of them really cared about the others so long as I gave them enough individual attention (though no more than 20 hours a week during the semesters).

Throughout my life up to this point I had been looking for a very specific type of girl (computer programming job), but by the time I graduated the only person who fit the mold I had built up in my head was a slightly awkward local girl (Hyland Software). Though it was what I had told myself I wanted, I wasn’t really happy. The relationship was too superficial, there wasn’t enough intellectual depth to keep me interested. That’s when my current girlfriend entered the picture (US Patent Office).

She came out of nowhere, and went against everything I had told myself I wanted (wasn’t a software job). Before I knew what had happened I had followed her down to DC and started a new life. She was smart, great in bed (money was good) and oddly philosophical in a way that none of my previous girlfriends had been. I was hooked.

We’ve been together for approaching two and a half years, and though we’ve had our share of sleepless nights (all nighters), I’d say I’m fairly content. She’s incredibly low maintenance, gets along great with my friends and lets me lead a very independent life. However, that’s where the only … problem … creeps in. I’m so independent that she doesn’t care if she doesn’t see me for weeks at a time (flexible schedule + work at home FTW). I never have to call, I rarely go out of my way to see her, and as long as I’m not sleeping around she doesn’t really care what trouble I get into. I’m beginning to think the entire relationship is just sex (my salary) with the occasional serious conversation.

I’ve been told throughout my life that you should never let yourself be defined by the woman you’re with (your career), and though I think that’s sage advice, I also think it’s missing the bigger picture. Why settle for essentially a part time girlfriend when you can have one that actually commands your attention? Why settle for someone who simply doesn’t detract from your life when you could be finding someone who adds incredibly to it?

Life’s too short for boring girlfriends.

4 Replies to “Chapter 122: How Jobs are like Girlfriends”

  1. I haven’t, I was waiting for you to send me one of your bevy of Asian beauties via FedEx, only to have her flight crash on a pacific Island with Tom Hanks, who would then deliver her to me years later when I’m living on a farm in Texas.

    Stop slacking, I’ve almost got the farm picked out.

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