I have no shame admitting that I went to see For a Good Time, Call... on opening weekend. Little did I know I'd have something in common with Ari Graynor's character, Katie Steele.
Katie works days as a manicurist and moonlights as a phone sex operator, but it's not enough to pay the rent for her lavish Gramercy Park digs. Across the city, Lauren finds herself unexpectedly jobless and homeless. A mutual gay best friend matches the two of them up and after a few rocky weeks of balancing each other out, they make lemonade out of lemons. With the business and management skills that Lauren brings to the table, and Katie's expertise on the phone, the girls turn Katie's phone sex side gig into a full-fledged operation that supports both of them, and then some.
While most of us in our mid-twenties pay our rent by a different, more straight-edged means, we can relate to these two focused, and fearless, best friends. Hidden in the raunchy setting of their phone sex line, Katie and Lauren are facing the same fears that a lot of us face in this post-college, welcome to the real world phase: What if it doesn't work out?
On a coffee/dog walking date with a high school friend this weekend, we agreed pretty quickly from our own experiences and those of our myriad of friends across the country: The mid-twenties are a weird time. They're a time of re-evaluation, and if we're lucky, re-evaluation by choice. We graduated from college and we went out and got jobs. We picked a path and we tried something. For some of us, what we started out doing a few years ago still feels right. We're on track to becoming a doctor, or we're climbing the ranks at our social media non-profit job and loving it. But, some of us are realizing that traveling four days a week as a consultant isn't as glamorous as it sounded, or that teaching third grade is most awesome during summer when the kids are out of school. Even those of us that love what we're doing are wondering if we might be able to find something we like even more. Whether we've found the right thing or not, we're all re-evaluating. Fortunately, most of us haven't found ourselves in the same predicament as Katie and Lauren where we're being forced to re-evaluate and make something work, but if we were, hopefully we'd handle it the same way.
I'm fortunate enough to be happy at work. But, there's still a little piece of me that nudges me "Is this it? How can I use what I know and what I'm good at to finagle it into something that feels even more perfect? Or is there something else entirely that is the perfect thing?" I can't help but wonder what my version of Lauren and Katie's phone sex line might be. I guess half the fun (and all the scare) is that I don't know. But I hope when the time comes, it comes because I've chosen it, and that I'll have the courage to take what I know and twist and tangle it into something better.
So, while we're out there worrying about what might happen if/ when things don't work out as we planned, or ruminating and wondering if we've picked the right path, the good news is, we're all on our way there, wherever "there" is. Each of the experiences that we have, whether they're what we expected or a curve ball thrown from left field, are helping us figure out what works and what doesn't so that we'll recognize the perfect thing when it comes along. And the even better news? From what I hear, that perfect thing will change, forever. So, may all of us, mid-twenties or not, have the courage to answer the phone when our personal version of a phone sex line calls.
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