Posted by: Kate | February 8, 2008

Qualified Individuals Need Not Apply

Willem passed his comps. Both of them. He’s done with comps, never to take anymore again. He is the only person who is remotely surprised by this news.

He got an email this morning telling him that the results were in, but because grad school is really nothing but a series of hoops to jump through, of varying sizes and heights and some on fire, he had to physically go in to school to be told face-to-face. I’m on call for the day, but things were quiet, so we drove down and parked illegally so that he could find out right away. I stayed with the car, and got to watch him walk back to the minivan like a person trying desperately not to give off any signals with body language. And there was much rejoicing (and there will be more, soon, because now we don’t have to plan a potential pregnancy around a retake of the exams in August, wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

So we went for a celebratory Walmart trip, replete with another round of bargain-DVD-bin rummaging and aimless wandering because clearly there’s no need to prominently display rock salt at this time of year. We also bought pregnancy tests just to have on-hand, just in case (see above, wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Afterward, we decided to grab a late lunch at Burger King, despite the danger of scary packaging. I rarely go to BK, or any fast food, because it doesn’t go so well with weight loss, plus they support a number of charities and social service organizations that I don’t agree with. But once in a while, convenience outweighs morals.

We placed our orders, and as a matter of habit, we added extras: no mustard and extra pickles for Willem, no onions and extra pickles for me. We started to drive away, and I checked the sandwiches: both wrong. If they had, for instance, left onions on my sandwich but gotten everything else right, we’d have ignored it. I get wheezy and ill if I eat raw onion, but they’re easily pick-off-able. But mustard, to which Willem has not a physical allergy but an emotional aversion, doesn’t just pick off so easily.

So we turned around and went back through the drive-thru, explained the problem, and got two more sandwiches. I asked Willem to stay at the window while I checked; that time, they got my sandwich right but still screwed his up. Attempt #3 was successful, and we were able to escape. It’s good to have reinforcement of my dislike for an establishment.

After we left, I noticed that the Dollar Store is now accepting food stamps. Somehow that makes me sad; I have serious doubts that they sell anything remotely organic, not to mention healthy, at a Dollar Store. Later, we were behind someone with a bumper sticker that read, “If Your Going to Ride My Ass, At Least Pull my Hair.” Clearly an offensive sticker, because, seriously? Y-O-U-R? Ugh.

But we can be surrounded by as much incompetence and subpar behavior as New Hampshire cares to dish out. My husband is wicked smahhht and we’re one step closer to moving back to Massachusetts, where I can find an entirely new set of things to criticize.



  1. Congratulations to Willem! Does he have to do an oral defense of a dissertation now?

    Thanks for the link to pic drawing! Beware of those cups; they bring nightmares (or is that the sodium and food additives?)

  2. That’s fantastic news!!!! Congratulations Willem!!!!

  3. Yay Willem! clap clap

  4. Yippee, Willem! Yippee for you & your blossoming family, too. All good things – well, except for that scary cup. All the more reason to avoid places like that.

  5. WTG Willem!!! Now I have to go look at the scary cup.

  6. Woo hoo Willem!! Congratulations!! We’ll help you celebrate in four weeks! (Kate, I want you to get pregnant, but not between now & then, okay?!)

  7. …because you want to be involved in the process? Sometimes you make me wonder, there, Annie. There’s a wild woman inside all that cool, calm, collected sweetness.

  8. YEAH!! Willem..may the BD proceed and a new little Baby be here to love!!!

  9. Yay!! May the baby making begin!!

  10. Congrats Mr. Willem…. and stuff and things “your” awesome : )

  11. CONGRATULATIONS WILLEM!!!!!! WOOOHOOO Let the baby dancing commence!

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