In 2014-2015, I had 37 job interviews, for 7 different roles.
This actually isn’t a joke, I counted them all up.
37-times for generally 90 minutes to 2 hours, I sat across from someone, or on the other end of the phone with someone, and gave it my all.
Some of the highlights include:
Shouting into the phone (multiple times) just lick your humus….just go ahead and lick your humus, LICK YOUR HUMMUS! I SAIIIDDDD….. beeeeeeeeep (line dead). It’s a long story, but I was in the final interview stages for a community role at lululemon, was talking it on the road while driving up to Tahoe for the week to work wanderlust on the lululemon team, 2 friends in the car, we were supposed to have been there by then, but a wrong turn, sent us allllll around the lake, and reception was shotty. Jen was trying so hard to hear me, but our convo kept breaking up. My attempt at making a joke on how Jen (the interviewer) should protect her vegetable/hummus lunch she had walked away from to take our interview, was to give her the tried and true strategy of 4th graders, and 33-year olds alike. If you don’t want someone to eat your food: lick it. Duh.
When the line went dead. I looked up in horror. My friends (also working for lululemon) knew it was bad. They heard it all go down.
‘you guys, I just told Jen Hinkle to lick her hummus….repeatedly.’
They nodded, solemnly. No one offered ‘yeah, you actually were shouting it, we counted 7-times.’ And no one offered ‘um, it’s not so bad’ it was BAD. There is literally nothing you can say to your friend who may have just blown an interview, that felt like everything was at stake. Ps. We missed our turn, because we were listening to hip hop so loudly, trying to decide which song would be our theme song for the week, that we totally failed at turning when we needed to.
It took about 20 minutes before we could laugh about it.
But when we could, it became the roaring joke of the week, and even got it’s own hashtag. #lickyourhummus
I’m so glad that happened, this will be funny for the rest of my life.
Kudos to Spratt, Brooke, and the strongest supporter: Leaver, for keeping this one alive.
Through my 37-interviews of the past 2-years, there have been so many moments like that. I stopped telling people to lick their food, thank goodness, but you know, shit gets weird when you put yourself out there. It just does.
Dating. Life. Interviews. Putting yourself out there, is putting yourself out there. It’s awful, and wonderful, and mostly awful. It’s always worth it.
So how did it all turn out? I walked away from the outcome of that role without knowing….I landed a job over with Danielle LaPorte, and couldn’t say no. She’s my writing/speaking/life/all-the-feelings/woman high-five.
I took that interview, sweating perfusley on my couch, drinking red wine, on a Wednesday night in October.
After about 3 minutes of small talk. D says to me ‘so tell me about your relationship with your mother’ cause Danielle LaPorte doesn’t fuck around, and will ask you within 3-minutes about your deepest/darkest. My kinda lady. She’s also absolutely warm and hilarious, and by the end of our 2-hours, I had myself a job, a raise, and huge affirmation of putting myself out there. (and another glass of wine, actually, pretty sure I went to whiskey, that was a nerve-wracking 2 hours ya’ll).
If you’ve been reading along the past year, you’ll know that my time with DLP was a short one, hurricane fryer, went storming right into 2015, out of that job, and right back with lululemon.
I celebrated New Years with my dear friends in my new house, champagne out of coffee mugs, kazoos, and lots of shouting and hugging. Full-body hugging, cause aint nobody got time for that weird side hug, when I’m on the other end of it. Also, a lot of hip hop, and hip hop reenactments, apparently this is a theme for me. It was a perfect night.
More lululemon interviews.
Interviews with Manduka.
Interviews with Kit and Ace.
Jumping on a branding call with Fit’n, now wildfire (good change guys) for a kinda sorta interview.
ALL by the way, because Jacki Carr, my life agent, is determined for me to go to my spiritual and career Moon. Need an interview? Call Jacki. 867-5309
None of the above panned out, I opted out, they opted out, a combo of both, no one fell in love.
And now. I’m in medical device. I came in HOT out of left field for this one. Had no real sales numbers to show from the past 5-years. Tried like hell to get into this industry in my mid-20’s. Closed door after closed door. Thought I was way too far out of the game to get back in.
8-interviews later, I got the gig.
8-absolute, putting myself out there, not just best foot, but both feet forward, because I no longer, in anything, ANYTHING, want to give one version of myself. I do yoga. I feel everything. I care about people. AND I’m an asset, even in a high stakes, highly competitive sales environment. All of it. Forward.
Friday night, I had my first ‘third shift’ hospital gig. Just me, and my Huber needles, at 11pm, showing how to access ports (for chemo), to three med-surg floors. Wearing scrubs, walking into the hospital for the first time. You just gotta go in, like a boss. You gotta keep your head up and just keep moving till you find the floor you need. It’s a lot like walking around in NYC, you cant dilly-dally, if the cross walk sign is on, go. If you have 3-second to cross. Hustle.
Anyway, this job has a lot of layers, and I’m enjoying the process of figuring it out.
Ps. I have no friends here in my new company, except for one, and my boss…but that’s kinda more like, when you eat lunch in your classroom with your teacher, because no one else will eat with you.
Turns out, that guy, the one I went toe to toe with. I have a reputation now. ‘oh, I heard about her’ you know, from the whole show-down of ‘nurses are not idiots’ 3-weeks back. Turns out homeboy is calling up his people and saying ‘guess what happened’ sounds like guilt to me, but WHATEVER.
Annnnnnwaaaay, I kinda feel like that person on the bachelor who’s all ‘I didn’t come here to make friends, I came here to fall in love.’ And it’s true. Besides, I’m in outside sales now, like me or don’t like me, you don’t effect my bottom line. When I found out there are murmurings of me…at first, I was like what the fuck, oh no, and how do I make this better, and now I’m like, oh fuck it. And. Go fuck yourself. Saying fuck repeatedly, is far more enjoyable than shouting ‘LICK YOUR HUMMUS’ again again, which is only enjoyable after a few hours of buffer time.
Okay, so the recap. I’ve been putting myself out there. And out there. And out there.
And now, I’ve been doing it on the dating front.
Well, not ‘doing it’ as you know from reading my last blog, and my candidacy as an extra in the chorus of sister act.
But doing it, as in. I’m saying what I mean, and meaning what I say.
Oh, and then there’s this business of being a little bit gay.
Maybe you remember this blog?
That was one year ago, and woah, was that refreshing. I was met with nothing but love, and more love, and so much love.
Also, NO ONE WAS SURPRISED.
Which, made me smile, but also made me realize ‘man, I wasn’t fooling anyone with those high top vans, huh?’
I had a major major vulnerability hangover after that blog. I was afraid all my girl friends. Girl. Friends. Not girlfriends. Would think I secretly wanted to touch their boobs. Or that ex-boyfriends, would say ohhhhhhhhh, I get it now, YOU’RE GAY!
Neither are entirely true.
Wait, one is very very not true, I have absolutely no desire to touch any of my friends boobs, swear.
But the gay part…I mean…it’s fluid for me. Which makes me sound so trendy and so hipster, but I don’t know how else to explain it. And I’m uncomfortable with it, still. It feels like I should do a better job. Pick one Fryer. Chocolate or Vanilla. Choose.
Because there’s a part of me that’s still uncomfortable, and feels like I have to defend or explain. I’ll give a few sentences to this. Being attracted to both men and women is not something that will really make sense to you, if this is not something that makes sense to you. It can be frustrating, and weird, and catch you off guard. If I get defensive: I am. I wish I could just choose too. Believe me, itd be WAY EASIER.
It’s the person for me.
It always always has been. Now that I can tell the truth about it. This isnt new for me. My first boy crush was in 4th grade, my first girl crush, was in 7th.
But when you reveal something big, when you show up and tell the truth, when you say out loud, when you are afraid, when you may lose…but you cannot hold the truth in anymore…you cannot anticipate how people will react. For me, it was the best possible outcome. Love.
Now, here in America, we’ve had a pretty gay week. I was way out of the loop, I didn’t even know a giant supreme court decision was hinging. I left my house early on Friday morning, social media was gay gay gay.
I will say, it felt so moving, so moving to see what was happening as a country, and also, to see all my friends, just all-rainbow-everything.
I am no longer afraid, even a little bit, that I would lose any support or love if I were to choose my person, and she was…she.
Just this morning, I got turned down…by the same person, in the same week.
Cancelled plans. 15 minutes before said plans. Same thing happened last week.
It sucked. It sucks. Rejection sucks.
I don’t know very much about her at all, but I will say this, she’s beautiful.
And it’s all ‘come on fryer, move on, she cancelled on you twice’
And yes internet best friends. I hear you. And yes real-life best friends. I hear you.
But let me share a bit more about why.
We ‘met’ on the ol’ swiping right/left experience that is, good ol’ Tinder.
You guys remember this blog:
Just a year ago, I was afraid to say out loud to anyone but my closest friends, that I ever felt a connection to women. That the first time I kissed her, when I was 23, I cried. Like sobbed. I was so ashamed, but also so relieved. I was both. Also, side note, it is VERY awkward to start sobbing when someone’s trying to make out with you. But she understood what this was for me. Anyone who has ever been attracted to the same sex, and their experience with it, would. It was something I whispered, cried about in private, hid, and felt incredibly alone and ashamed about.
It was wrong.
But that’s the thing about the truth….when it rises up like you in that, it might hurt like hell, but it sure isn’t wrong.
It’s just scary.
And then I said it out loud. And I hit publish, on something I can never ever take back.
The liberating part: I don’t want to.
The scary part: now what?
In 18-months of 37-interviews….I haven’t dated much. I put most of my energy in getting that side of things, all-set. Since Paul left my kitchen, the night we broke up more than 18-months ago, I have barely barely opened myself up to the idea of falling in love.
The now what part, is not a matter of gay, straight, or bi. It’s not.
The good news: I have started going on dates.
Not gonna lie…a lot of duds.
But when I sit across from someone and I realize it’s not going anywhere, I still give it my all, cause damn it, putting yourself out there is hard work. And its vulnerable, and you should get a goddamn medal for it. I am kind, and a great conversationalist, and you will feel important with me….because, you absolutely are. I will also tell you the truth.
This guy walked me to my car Weds after a beer, and said ‘I’d love to see you again’ and I smiled at him, and just told him the truth. ‘I don’t feel a connection outside of friendship with you, but I hope you keep putting yourself out there, and you find what feels good to you’ His facial expressions went from oh dear god, to thank you.
Only the truth can inspire 5 emotions in 2 breaths.
And that’s that. He will never ever be confused about our time together.
And my hope is. He will not be scared to grab another beer with someone new.
PEOPLE. TELL PEOPLE THE TRUTH.
On Thursday, after no set-plan after the cancelled plans almost a week before. I did a scary thing, and I reached out to her again.
Why was it worth it?
One, how in the world was I ever going to know.
And two, how in the world was I ever going to know.
I had thought about her through the week. The genuine excitement of wanting to just meet someone, to be a few feet from them, instead of ideas and guesses from them.
The Friday before when she cancelled plans because of work. I played it cool, but was genuinely bummed.
I hadn’t felt compelled to ask anyone out in a long long loooong time, and asking a girl out, woof guys, it’s a lot. I haven’t dated a woman in years, and the last time I did, it was so secretive, and so filled with my shame. Not hers, mine, she wasn’t hiding like I was. She felt loveable, as-is…it would take me years to get there.
I had a date on Saturday, with this adorable guy I met on the airplane on the way home from New Hampshire. THE AIRPLANE! We met on the Friday I flew home, and had coffee in the park that Sunday. I had always wondered and wished for an airplane kind of love….the two strangers meet….kind of love story. Certainly far more than I ever hoped for a:
‘kids, gather round! you know, I met your mom from swwwwwiping right, I just swept right, and she swept right, and then my phone dinged, and I said, hey girl!, and well, that was that’
But I was thinking about her, and I wished, so badly, that I wasn’t. Cause she was no where close, and wishing to meet someone that doesn’t want to meet you…oh, man, that’s a tough feeling. And I realized how unfair that was to this guy, who could not wait to take me to dinner, who had been telling me all week long ‘I can not wait to take you to dinner, you are the most beautiful girl I have ever met.’ He already wanted me to meet his mom, to take me all these places, he wanted to dance with me in the kitchen…you guys know how I feel about that. Dancing in the kitchen, and Sundays, that’s my definition of love, and it’s how I’ll know.
I don’t know why I’m thinking about her, but I am aware that going somewhere with someone else…while thinking about someone else entirely, it has no integrity.
I called my buddy Jen on Saturday, (who’s also an amazing life coach, I have the very best and talented friends) before my date with Michael.
Fryer! Hey! What’s up…come on down to San Diego, let surf, and drink beer…and….
Perell! (I interrupt her, there’s something I gotta say).
Well (I pause a few beats), I think I’m definitely gay. I mean, that must be what’s happening here. I’m officially over the fence.
Oh yeah? She says. What happened?
I tell her the story. About this beautiful girl with beautiful eyes, and our light, but sweet conversation, about the cancelled plans, about Michael from the airplane, and our date in the park, and our date in a few hours. And how, it wouldn’t be right to go on this date with Michael, if I’m thinking about someone else.
Then she stops me.
FRYER. She yells it. (she knows me well, and knows I will ramble and go on, without a loud noise).
Yes. I say, and smile into the phone.
Fryer, she’s laughing, listen, gay not gay, who the fuck cares. You’re getting stuck on the idea of her. You haven’t met her yet, of course you’re thinking about her, she cancelled on you. There’s nothing you can do. And. Again. She’s just an idea…and the ideas in our head are always perfect. No one, in an idea, is flawed. They are the answer to our every prayers. Stop making this mean more than that. go on your date tonight, and have fun.
JP: for the win. I tell her, I say, Jen Perell, you are so smart, and I love you.
My friends are used to just calling it straight with me, it’s the only thing that stops me from spinning wildly out of control, sometimes blissfully, sometimes….well, sometimes, it’s straight up ugly (you read the blog two weeks ago?)
She was right, we get these ideas in our head, in this specific case for me…about someone. But I mean, I did it in all those job interviews, in every interaction, in every conversation I’m going to have….the idea of it…is what I see more than what is real.
The idea of someone.
Add an L to that.
L for lesbian.
Just kidding, L for ideaL.
Man, she was right.
I go on the date, and I have a wonderful time. He walks me through town, and when we move through the crowd, he places his hand, on the small of my back, and steers me through. Confident. When we are back, side by side, he holds my hand, and we walk side by side. I remember in this moment, how much I miss holding hands, it’s one of my very favorite things to do, ever, in the history of all things to do.
He makes me feel, what I have been feeling so deeply, so clearly lately. As I settle into this home, that I love, as I begin to add pieces of furniture in, as I play music loudly in the kitchen, sing ho-hey, again and again, off-key, as I go stand in the backyard when it’s 60 degrees and 6am, and look around at what I am creating, when I walk up the steps, and set down my bag and moose comes running over, when I cook, and then subsequently order out (working on my kitchen skills)….when I am. And what I have been thinking about so often lately, is how in the morning, I want to reach for someone, and I want them to reach for me. I want to start my day making out, and making coffee, and making something that matters, grow. I don’t want to keep going through life alone. I really really don’t.
And he’s making me feel this in this moment, and I am still thinking of the idea of her, and wondering what it would be like, just to know….just to know, what would it be like to hold her hand.
To the hold the hand of any idea…you guys follow? It’s a beautiful thing…but it’s just an idea.
Over dinner, we talk, and laugh, and get to know each other better. He tells me that next weekend, he’s taking me to Seattle, I’ve been very clear, that one-day, I’ll call the Pacific North West, PNW home, I told him this on the airplane when I felt he was about to ask me out.
I laugh out-loud.
Whoops. (generally speaking, if someone’s just been vulnerable, try very hard not to laugh, its rude).
I say, WHAT! I just met you, we are not going to Seattle. I take a giant sip of wine.
And he laughs, and says, oh yes we are.
At any rate….we’re not. I thanked him so so much for the gesture, but I’m not there yet. Truth be told, I cannot, not go somewhere right now where the only way home, is an airplane.
And, this week, I told him the truth about that. And he not only said he understood, I truly believe he does.
You’re complicated, he said, and smiled. And I like you. He pulled me in for a soft kiss. And it was indeed, very soft, he understood.
On the walk back to the car, there was a sweet old man, playing a sweet, slow, song on a trumpet. It was the energy of a Saturday night. It was still very warm out, with people in love walking around. He pulls me closer and he says low and soft into my ear, ‘have you ever danced in the street.’ And I think back, and I say yes…and I think back to NY and dancing in the street on snowy nights, and being spun around and around in a snow globe….and hot summer nights in NY by the lake, and cold beer, and dancing sticky, and in love, and with Paul…though I cant remember a night we ever danced in the street…I remember how we would often, crack up at each other in parking lots on the way home, and he’d hand me my motorcycle helmet, and I would literally think ‘I am on the back of a motorcycle, with my super hot boyfriend, I live in California, and I am in love, and holy shit’
The answer was yes.
And his question was sweet.
But I didn’t want to dance in the street with him.
I didn’t want to feel pulled into the man who wanted to take me on an airplane, and meet his mom, and dance in my kitchen, and twirl me around.
I said yes, and pulled him towards the car.
Maybe someday soon….but all my walls, in a moment, back up.
That night, there’d be no dancing in the street.
I still cant tell you exactly why.
He dropped me back off, and I didn’t invite him in.
I cant tell you exactly why. Other than I am weird about who comes into my home.
And yet her…the idea of her, and the very little I knew…I was comfortable with completely and sincerely. Our cancelled plans involved a beer on my back porch.
Why it feels different, I don’t actually think is a matter of gay or straight….but more, of a feeling.
He kissed me, and I kissed him back.
He pulled me in closer, and I let him.
He put his hand gently, on my chin, and the back of my head.
He paused, and smiled at me. And said just one thing.
Again, I laughed, and not ‘we’re not going to Seattle’ laugh…but a ‘I agree’ laugh. It was a wonderful way to end an evening.
I walked out the door and to my front door, I could feel him grinning at me the whole time.
He sent me a text ‘ I’m thinking about you’ I don’t respond, it’s 1am, I go on airplane mode.
I sleep in.
The next day we have plans, and I cancel them.
I go to work. My last day, working both jobs. I try not to think about anything, other than showing up for my last day.
She drifts in and out of my mind.
So does he.
And all the other ideas I have about how life would be perfect if just….
On Wednesday, I have the date that ended up being a dud (not Michael, and not her).
Something about it, inspires me to reach out to her again. Like bad dates, have you thinking about possible good ones.
And so I do.
I cant stop smiling when she writes back, and says she would love to meet, that she’s glad I reached out.
I feel courageous and brave, and want to high five myself for putting myself out there.
Our plans were for this morning, a yoga class, then a beer…it’s my first Sunday off in I don’t know how long…my first weekend of having one job, I’m feeling good. I’m brave and courageous.
And though she’s confirmed, and it’s happening.
Yesterday I knew, it wasn’t going to.
The final detail: where to meet, went unanswered.
And as hours rolled…I knew.
I sent a final text at night, and woke up to no response.
About 15 minutes before…she cancels again. It’s not that it surprises me. But I feel like an idiot. I feel like how you feel when you put yourself out there.
In 37 interviews.
On coming in second place.
On a Wednesday night for beers for the first time.
On a plan that involves airplanes.
On absolutely anything and everything that involves someone not feeling the same way.
I said too much. I was too much. I asked too much. I freaked her out. I should have just stayed quiet.
I took some yoga. The class we were going to go to. I saw some sweet and wonderful friends. Called a few friends on the way.
Got some hugs.
Came back home.
Went out for flowers, and the new york times, and a cup of coffee. Created my Sunday, anyhow.
I’ve been sitting here in my living room for the past few hours.
Just sitting. Writing. Drinking coffee. I feel just fine. I feel peaceful. Moose came and found a spot right next to me, he hasn’t moved, he’s just snoring away.
I’ve been thinking about how I am holding an idea of a person, to mean something, when it’s actually just meaningless. And how I never ever want to do that to someone. People can feel that, I’m sure she felt that from me.
Here’s the thing, we don’t have a clue what someone else is walking around with. Why they would say yes, when they really mean no. What people know about love, and worth, and expression. How and when they choose to express themselves.
We have no clue.
There is a distinction between force and flow, and sometimes it’s pretty tricky to navigate that. I’m not a fan of ‘just letting things happen’ or this nonsense ‘it is what it is’ cause then you’re just a product of your circumstances. I believe you have to say what you mean, I believe you have to try, I believe you have to get back up, again and again and again. I believe, wholeheartedly, in telling the truth.
And what I need to then know, is everyone else is doing the same damn thing.
And my feelings are not unique or special. Sure, they matter. But am I the first person in the history of the planet to be cancelled on? nope.
Am I the first person to be a little bit gay, and have that be a challenge? Nope.
Am I the first person to want love, and to not have a clue where to start? Nope.
Am I the first person to believe in an idea, and be a bit sad when you’re not given the chance/person/job/experience/to know? Nope.
Am I the first person to have 37 interviews in 18-months? Um, maybe. That was a little excessive, but it was worth getting back in the first again and again.
Its humbling. It’s great. It’s awful. It’s beautiful. It’s all of it.
But it sure is the truth.