State of the Paulion Address 2014



Greetings, my fellow humericans. It’s that magical time of year again where I take my cue from the President of the United States and stage my own little speech in which I address the past year, and look forward to the next one. In order to look ahead, I feel it’s important to see where you’ve come from. As 2013 was a significant year for us, I’ll be breaking this post into two parts. This one details some of the insanity we’ve experienced throughout the year, and the next one will look at our hopes for 2014.

The first half of 2013 went by simply and without protest. I was working a job I had grown to loathe… So much so that I had been called into a meeting with my manager and her boss regarding the fact that my derision had become palpable and was leaving a bad taste in their mouths. Despite my best attempts at having a good attitude, I felt so misled and taken advantage of that I couldn’t shake my ennui. I felt like I was living on borrowed time, and the only option was to find a new job before they sent me packing.

Of course, this was easier said than done. I had been looking for a new job since 2011, and had never gotten so much as a call-back. With the pendulum of unemployment swinging above me I suddenly found myself considering options I had never pondered before. In that way, I found an ad for a local packaging facility. They paid about three dollars more an hour than my current job, and it was good honest work; not lying to angry customers. The first week of June I left my old place of employment with a smile on my face that made my cheeks hurt, and showed up ready to tackle my new job the following Monday.

The week prior to switching jobs, Leah and I had played hosts to a photographer from Time Magazine. Back in October of 2012, Leah and I were interviewed by Lauren Sandler of Time Magazine regarding our decision to be child-free. Months later, toward the end of May, Time dispatched a photographer to our home to take our picture. The problem was, our house had termites.

Leah and I had moved into this home at the beginning of December 2012. At the beginning of May, we discovered the house had termites, and the landlord preferred to do… nothing about it. The termite dander had begun creeping into our rooms and they had become a physical presence in our lives. We had to get out. And so we were. We were going to move into our new apartment the first weekend in June.

So amidst piles of boxes, drawers with their contents strewn across the floor, and utter chaos, Leah constructed a single corner in our living room that appeared immaculate. We spent eight hours that day traipsing across Knoxville with a photographer in tow, then said goodbye. 

Let’s recap, shall we? We find termites, start moving. The weekend before we move, a photographer pops in. The week of us moving, I start a new job. That weekend, Leah, myself, and one of Leah’s friends take on the Herculean task of moving all of our possessions across town. It seemed we had ran through all of the good will of our friends and acquaintances. When moving day came, it was just the three of us. But we did it. Some of neighbors stepped up and helped us out when our physical exhaustion became so apparent they worried for our safety. We got moved in, and we were home.

Two weeks later, I was driving to my new job when my van got slammed into by a speeding pick-up truck. Terrified that I would lose my new job, after the police report was filed and we were free to go, Leah drove me the remaining mile to my place of employment where I explained my situation to my boss with blood dripping down my arm. (A calculated move. I wanted to make damn sure I came out of the situation with the “Brave Little Soldier” award. I did.)

We spent the following two days desperately trying to convince someone to let us buy a car. We were not prepared for such an event, and most of the dealers laughed us off the lot. In a fit of frustration, Leah posted something on Facebook. Three minutes later, she was on the phone with a friend who saw her post. The friend worked at a Mercedes dealership, and thought she might have a solution for us. Just an hour or two later, we drove that solution home. We were the proud leasers of a brand new Smart Car.

The article we were interviewed for came out in late July. It became the cover story, and started a wide and varied discussion on the merits of being child-free. So much so, in fact, that we were invited to fly for an expenses paid trip to New York City and appear on the Katie Couric show. So we did. We got to experience New York for about six hours afterwards, and in that tiny, tiny window we met Tom Shadyac, one of my childhood idols. It was a good trip.

After that, things began to go back to normal. Well, except for our five year anni-vacay in which we hopped aboard a cruise ship and explored the western carribiean. But after that things have been totally normal. 2013 has been an incredible year. In my next post, I’ll be talking about 2014 and some changes that are on their way.


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