It was an eventful week here at the Houston headquarters of Carrots and Co. It began with an epic moment for Danny, who sank his first hole in one at Wildcat. It ended with my campus visit, which I am deciding to dub successful. How successful it was according to the hiring committee will be revealed in time.
I will note, before their Final Decision is made, that the committee was kind and welcoming. Also, they like puns, which I respect. I will be thankful to them even if they don’t let me bring home the metaphorical puppy. Early in the visit, they told me that, when someone asked me that eternal campus visit inquiry — “So, do you have any questions?” — I should feel free to say no. This made me feel immediately at ease. I had many questions. I had spent many hours preparing questions. But I find it pretty much impossible to come up with enough questions to fill 48 hours. Eventually I’m going to give up and begin inquiring about celebrity relationships. “What do you think of this Taylor Swift, Jake Gyllenhaal debacle?”
From there, I’ll soon begin a line of questioning relating to reality television. And no one should mention Snooki during a campus visit. (Although, as mentioned in my last post, I have worked in a reference to Toddlers and Tiaras.)
However, when a job candidate is relieved of the burden of coming up with questions when she doesn’t have any, she faces a new burden: small talk. I’m pretty good with light chatter, especially in non-Texas situations. When I’m considered a visitor from the Lone Star State, I can break out a wealth of Houston anecdotes, including my Texodus from Hurricane Ike and my first encounter with the enormous mirrored armadillo on Kirby. Who doesn’t want to talk about an enormous mirrored armadillo?
But this weekend, small talk made me realize that boy, do I need a hobby. When someone asks “what do you do for fun?” I feel it is inappropriate or at the very least unflattering to answer honestly. I break out a bag of Doritos and screen my own Felicity marathon, even though I’ve seen each season about twenty times. I go to Target, buy some popcorn, and spend a lot of time in the office supplies aisle. I play Wii Tetris with Danny until I surrender, defeated by his superior spatial instincts.
Okay, so I have a few hobbies. I like to run. (Jog is probably a more accurate term.) And I like to write, but that isn’t so different from research in the context of a casual conversation. I know how to cross stitch and enjoy doing so when my eyes aren’t all bleary and weird from reading.
But I’m thinking I need to try something new. You know, in my copious free time. My new hobby must fit two key criteria: It can’t be expensive, and it has to be something that I can spend twenty minutes at a time upon without a lot of travel, set-up, or clean up. Danny has already made two completely ridiculous suggestions: golf and taxidermy. Neither fit my stated criteria. (That second one was a joke, but it did make me think of Victorian ladies re-articulating bird skeletons in their parlors.)
I’m thinking knitting. Soothing and practical. And I’m sure I can find somewhere to learn. But I ask you, carrots readers. What are your hobbies?