Hello Card  -  Volume 31  -  Suzanne Card Number 0  -  Fri, Jan 14, 1994 1:45 AM

I spent the entire holiday season with the flu, even opened presents with much effort. Drifted off to sleep on New Year's Eve, woke up in a fog to some unidentifiable noise presumably at midnight and that was that. Spent New Year's Day on the sofa, my sole goal to get up and make myself a cup of coffee - which never did happen.

A newspaper was on the coffee table. I could reach it without straining too much from my prone position. I read it front to back - a lot of stuff about the mail bombs killing the family in New York, more suspects in the kidnapping of the jeweler's wife in Antioch, a man chained to a table in his dress shop in a posh San Francisco neighborhood as burglars unloaded his inventory, one of them advising the other to focus on the separates as they'd be easier to sell. It seemed a poor way to herald in the New Year. Even the comics didn't seem very funny. I vowed not to read the paper in such depth for a long time to come. My New Year's resolution: get a flu shot next year.

Just before Christmas I received a layoff notice, along with 109 of my co-workers, which is most of them. I've been there five and a half years. I'm not in love with the place but it's a job and I'd rather not look for another. I hate interviews and am not good at them. I hate smiling when I don't mean it, hate trying to sell myself. I'm bad at it. Either I'm self-effacing or try too hard and end up sounding boastful. I've finally gotten my resume together but I hate the way it sounds and keep picking away at it. Needless to say, I haven't sent it to anyone yet.

When I told the most recent ex-boyfriend, John M, about the job situation, he said maybe I ought to think about moving back in and getting pregnant. I remember thinking that he must be ill, maybe he was coming down with the flu again and had a high fever and strange spirits were speaking through him. Where else could this apparent change of heart have come from? I think my mouth must have been hanging open but for once nothing came out of it. Then he said "Well, we'd get married first, of course." How romantic.

"Maybe we ought to try to get along first," I said, at the same time attempting to consider the offer seriously. If I went along with it, then I wouldn't have to find another job. But then I thought there are certainly worse burdens to bear than finding another job. Like creating a miserable family, getting divorced and becoming a single parent looking for a job. And the poor child!

When I relayed this interchange to John C, he suggested that perhaps John M was merely interested in the experience of witnessing me pregnant and might not realize he was actually going to get a baby out of it.

In any case, I guess he misses having me around but won't say so. I spent my flu-fogged holidays at his house and he kept insisting we were having a good time. I started thinking maybe he really was in love with me if he could really believe he was having a good time with an inanimate lump of flesh such as I was at the time. I agreed to go to Switzerland with him where he has a medical conference to go to at the end of January.

But then I started having second thoughts, third thoughts, fourth thoughts and beyond. I ought to be looking for a job, ought to be thinking about whether I really want to get more involved again with a man whose interest seems most piqued when I'm not showing so much interest in him.

I do still like spending time with him but he's been a maniac on vacations so far. Words can't quite describe it. That he's in an on-the-go mode is quite an understatement. He's outside pacing before I can get the toothbrush out of my mouth in the morning. I remember once commenting how it seemed that usually people went on vacations to relax rather than to get more stressed out, but it was to no avail.

Anyway, I guess I'm going. Confused or not. We're leaving next week, and I'm going to have a good time regardless of anyone else's behavior. A full report next issue.