Thursday, July 12, 2012

Retro Summer - the Old Posts: Favorite Shannon Story - It's Not as Though I Really Need You

I am a firm believer that less is most often better than more.  I remember a college technical writing class where the professor constantly drove us to distill our writing to as few words possible while yielding the most information.  I get that with Shannon around the spoken word.  So often she really doesn't want to listen to anything I have to say so I have to get my message across in about 5 seconds or it's never going to get received.  Blogging is kind of the antithesis where you are looking to work out your thoughts on paper so to speak.  Anyway, I kind of hate to be a perpetuator of written diarrhea so I always attempt to have an economy of language in my posts.  I always remember Jeff Goldblume's statement in the Big Chill where as a writer in People Magazine he tries to confine the length of his articles to within the average human visit to the toilet.

Often as I look back to my old posts I think they are way too long, I could have gotten the message across in half the time.  I think my final "Shannon's Story" was my best because it was so brief and yet I think it communicated the satisfaction she must have felt as she approached this career pinnacle.

I wrote the first Shannon story on a lark.  It was a way to get the story out there so that the person I was referring to in my other posts was not a two-dimensional caricature.

I was floored by the response.  I didn't know what to think as I got more comments than my posts about my AM Adventures.  Of course the comments fed my ego and drove me to continue writing.  It was in a way cathartic as I went back over the events of the last few years.  At times it made me angry but helped me understand.  But in the end I found myself cheering for Shannon even though I was writing the story and knew the end.  I began to feel proud and satisfied and empowered for her as the story culminated with this final entry.  I have to admit I got a little misty eyed as I finished.

Retro Summer (Favorite Shannon's Story) - It's Not as Though I Really Need You
Originally posted Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shannon’s Story – Part XIV

Part XIV of a series written from my wife’s perception of our life together.  Part I of Shannon's story is here.

Shannon speaking......
All of my life I have depended on men.  Up until graduating from college my dad took care of most of my needs changing oil in the car, paying for insurance, even bailing me out of a bad lease in an apartment once.  I got married at 24 so in some sense I moved away from my dad and over to Ryan's care. 

Over the past few years my career had really taken off.  But to a large extent my world revolved around two axis, that of Ryan's and that of Brent's.  As you found out in my last entry I was moving outside of Brent's world emotionally and perhaps physically if Ryan and I purchased the business we were looking for.

But as I drove down the highway to see family I was still very much under the sphere of influence of the men who had dominated my life for many years.

But in my life I have gotten accustomed to events changing rapidly.

The call from Mr. V, the company CEO, didn't alarm me at first - perhaps he needed help putting together a client dinner for some conference coming up.  His tone was, as always, pleasant and professional as he went through the normal pleasantries of how I was doing and what I was doing over the holidays.

And then life turned again in a moment.  The funny thing is it took me about 30 minutes and about 45 miles of driving to comprehend what was said.

The dialogue went something like this:

Mr. V:  "Shannon, Laura (current VP of Marketing) has just informed us that she is taking an opportunity outside of the company.  Now, we will start a national search for the position as soon as possible.  However, we have many vital projects currently out in the field that must move forward.  I know you are familiar with many of those projects as you have been working with Laura on many initiatives.  In order to keep our positive momentum I would like to see you step into Laura's role on an interim basis.  You are always very thorough on anything you do and I know you can navigate the politics of the position - I have complete faith in your ability to succeed."

I think my cryptic response was "sure Mr. V, I am glad to help in any way possible, you can count on me." 

But over the next hour and 75+ miles (yes I drive fast) I realized that Mr. V was asking me to be the VP of Marketing for a billion $ company.  Me, the girl with a BS in Art History from a small liberal arts college.  The girl that would have been happy being a mom and volunteering at school.  The girl that had married Ryan because he was going to be the VP.

Yes, I was excited about the challenge.  But, I felt a sense of liberty that I didn't realize existed.  The girls were asleep in the back of the car and REM was playing on the radio.

"It's not as though I really need you
If you were here I'd only bleed you
But everybody else in town only wants to bring you down and
That's not how it ought to be
Well I know it might sound strange, but I believe
You'll be coming back before too long

Don't go back to Rockville, don't go back to Rockville, don't go back to Rockville
And waste another year"

This was my time now, no time to waste.

Please check out this YouTube clip, they look so young.  And I love the accentuated southern accent!


Anonymous said...

REM was my favorite band growing up. Well before the whole grunge thing.

Krazy said...

I just started reading your blog, and though I like what you write, I have a hard time reading black on green. Am I the only one with old eyes? ;-)