24 March, 2005

On pins and needles

I've been waiting all day for news from a potential employer. They were supposed to make a decision today, and the chair told me that I would definitely hear from her. What complicates the situation is that I fell in love with this university when they interviewed me Monday past.

It's no exaggeration to say that "I fell in love." I realized earlier this afternoon that the emotions I was experiencing were identical to the emotions I used to feel when I was courting women: my stomach twisting inside me, and shame following closely on my heels, eager to seize any opportunity to latch its fangs onto my neck and suck what little confidence I possess out of my veins.

Waiting for a woman to return a phone call, or to reply to an email, magnified this feeling several times. Day after day of waiting meant a growing anticipation and certainty that no news was bad news. I find it ironic that women are depicted on television and in the movies as wondering, Why doesn't he call? He said he would; why doesn't he call? All my life, it's been quite the opposite: women have had no qualms about leaving me hanging for days and days... Worse, if I gave up and called them, the answer was invariably something like, Oh! as if she had forgotten, followed by, I'm too busy this weekend; call me again next week.

Sigh. Let's not discuss what she'd say next week. I've never understood why women consider this a way of letting a man down gently.

Back to the employment question: until now (Thursday 4.53pm) I have heard nothing from the chair. It's possible that she tried to call me at my home in Raleigh. I am not there, however; I am visiting my parents, so of course I won't hear anything if she calls there. I was hoping to receive an email, but nothing has come. I feel like I'm going out of my mind.

It's like the period immediately before my fiancée and I admitted we were in love: I revised every email 2 or 3 times before sending it. As soon as I pressed "Send", I would start imagining the worst possible reaction; I would worrying over every written word, every expressed affection. One moment, I despaired that I had revealed too much; the next moment, I feared that I might lose through excess subtlety the opportunity to learn that she also felt an attraction. If no email came, I would be climbing the walls with despair. On the other hand, my fiancée was a little unique: she never made me wait more than a day or two.

Don't ask about our phone calls. She has no idea how terrified I was that she would misunderstand something I said, and she would never talk to me again.

Well, it's 5.30. I guess I can email the chair now without seeming too "creepy". ;-)


jack perry said...

Of course, now that I've emailed her, I'm going to start worrying that emailing her to ask will hurt my chances in case no decision HAS been made.

I am not exaggerating: this is just like courtship!!!

jack perry said...

It's bad news :-( C'est la vie. I do, at least, have a tentative offer from another university (if the paperwork ever comes through!).