Cotton Candy in Corporate America


Do you remember that time – you were probably in your late teens or early 20’s – when you broke up with that guy (or girl) and you felt terrible because you knew that he would be utterly devastated by the news? Remember how you pictured him crying into his pillow for nights on end and how you were overwhelmed with guilt and just hoped that someday, somehow…he’d be okay again?

And then, a few days later, you saw him. Maybe it was at a party or a restaurant or (and I’m just spitballing here…) maybe it was at the Chemung County Fair. Anyway, you saw him, and he looked at you and smiled. And you smiled back with just the right mixture of compassion and kindness…so sweet.  And then you noticed the very cute girl who was holding onto his arm and smiling up at him. And you thought,  “oh good…he’s moved on“”that’s sweet, she really seems to like him!” “What the HELL – I thought he liked me!!” He didn’t even have the decency to look devastated!!

That is the EXACT relationship I have with Corporate America right now.

It appears that, while I stayed home, Corporate America has moved forward. Not cool, Corporate America. You should’ve called. I thought we were tight. Do you remember the party in that conference room just before I left? I was kind of hoping you would’ve left all the decorations up – a tribute to the many keystrokes and late nights that we shared.

A job search has commenced, and I have a brand-spanking-new LinkedIn account. It’s complete with an off-center picture of me from my daughter’s 6th grade graduation…because there is no picture of me from the past 14 years that doesn’t also have someone’s head up against mine. (I’m certain that picture will be very impressive to potential employers…attention to detail and all of that…) LinkedIn was not a thing when I left to stay home 14 years ago, but in the meantime? appears that just about everyone I know in the entire world is in on this thing. I had no idea. So I’m here, and I’m reading through job descriptions that are peppered with acronyms that I’ve never seen in my life. Decoding them is actually very similar to decoding teen texts…except instead of Urban Dictionary, I’m using Google.

On top of that, I was talking to a friend the other day and do you know what I learned? There is a show about a woman EXACTLY MY AGE who is trying to do EXACTLY what I’m trying to do. A sitcom called “Younger”. That’s cool, I guess…at least I know I’m not alone.  In the show, she’s unable to find a job until a helpful friend tells her how young she looks. She updates her resume, passes for 26 and lands the job she wants. Boom! The thing is, I’m just trying to pass for 42. I am 42, so you wouldn’t think it would be that hard…but there are days when it can present a bit of a challenge.

Listen, Corporate America, I think I may have hurt your feelings when I left. That’s why you moved on so quickly, right? To fill the gaping hole?  I get it.  And that girl on your arm? She’s very cute…and I bet she already knows the acronyms…I don’t want to mess that up.  Just maybe…could we share some cotton candy sometime? You can pick the color…



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