A toast to real life

My daughter graduates from college in three months. She will graduate with a degree in humanities, complemented by a minor in French. I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same thing myself. “Gee, just what the planet needs. Another bartender.”

I mean, what else is a green, fresh-faced 22-year-old gonna do with her humanities degree in this job market? OK, OK, besides phone sex. I sit back and think about our colleges and our current economic situation and how every spring we unleash thousands of young adults, all optimistic and aglow with their nifty new diplomas, into a dismal work scene that, if it were a law firm, would be named Zero, Zilch and Zippo. It’s bad enough that all the humanities, political science and religious studies grads are battling it out for the few bartender jobs that are out there. Now, the mechanical engineering and business administration kids are jumping into that alcohol-drenched mosh pit, as well.

So it was most pleasant news when Catie informed me that she had already lined up her first job. Bless her heart. And yes, of course it’s a bartending job. Even before I could begin shopping on Craigslist for a nice, roomy trailer where she could live at my place in relative peace, she told me that she’s all set to start slingin’ the coco locos after she gets out in December. “No kidding,” I said, making sure my delight was readily apparent. Visions of her paying for her own car insurance began to bounce off my cranial walls, threatening a self-generated concussion. “And where would this employment be taking place?” “Guatemala.”

Guatemala? Well. Um. Er. “Guatemala?” I repeated, making sure the words “New Zealand” hadn’t been hung up in a wad of geezerly ear wax. She explained that when on her humanitarian field trip to that Central America country last November, she met the owner of this fabulous bar in the swingin’ little town of Antigua. One thing led to another, yada yada yada, and the owner said he’d hire her if she ever wanted a job. This encounter led to email messages, maintained contact, and, lo and behold, a reiteration of the job offer.

Of course, this guy isn’t fooling dad. He’s obviously a loathsome pervert who has some extremely unsavory propositions in mind involving my little angel. But, what the heck, loathsome perverts and their hustlings are all part of a young woman’s education, are they not? And in the meantime, as she learns to deal with her first skirt-chasing boss (pepper spray might be a great graduation gift choice), she will do two valuable things: (1) Learn how to make a decent drink, and (2) learn some Spanish.

And in my meantime, I’ll keep looking for trailers, just in case this doesn’t turn out to be a long-lived career move.