One week ago today I reached two important milestones.
The first one had to do with what I like to refer to as my chariot of fire:
Many years ago I was chatting with my much younger, much hipper cousin and I was happy to discover that we had something in common in that we both drove Hondas.
“So what do you drive?” he asked in his smooth, understated sort of way.
When I replied that I drove an Odyssey, he claimed that he’d never heard of it. I was flabbergasted, but very earnestly explained to him that it was a minivan. As soon as he heard the word minivan, I could see relief dawning all over his face. I think he may have even actually said something like, “Phew. That explains it! I’m so glad I didn’t know what that was!” Oh yeah? Oh yeah?
And then on the same day…THIS:
About five years ago I wrote one of those 25 Random Things About Me lists. Here’s what I wrote for Numbers 10 through 13:
10. I used to think I’d be a writer, and wrote all the time before I went to grad school and it squelched all the creative juices right out of me.
11. Don’t get me wrong, getting a Ph.D. in Russian literature from Columbia is probably the accomplishment of which I am most proud.
12. In fact, after 11 grueling, soul-crushing years and a stomach-churning dissertation defense that left me shaking, it really bothers me that I don’t get an alumni magazine addressed to Dr. Adrienne X, like Dr. Colin X does. Shoot, I’d be thrilled to get a fund-raising appeal every now and then. I might even give them a buck or two. The fact that I don’t get junk mail from Columbia deeply disturbs me, and makes me wonder whether I dreamt it all.
13. When I confessed this to Colin he got a gleam in his eye and I had to tell him that if he made a call to the alumni office, the ensuing junk mail from Columbia would be meaningless to me. Meaningless!
Well, friends, I’m going to have to revise my list! It wasn’t a dream after all. It took them nine whole years, but Columbia finally tracked me down. Now I know I got a Ph.D for real, because I have the junk mail to prove it! After Colin swore that he hadn’t contacted the alumni office on my behalf, I broke out into a happy dance.*
*By the way…#21 on my Random Things list: I am a spectacularly bad dancer. (Some things never change).