Only a few of you can read this, so don’t think I am being indiscreet when I tell you this news: the store where I have worked for the past 15 or 16 years is going out of business.

It will be a few days before I can tell anyone this, so I have some time in which to work on my resume, wallow in the sadness of it all, and develop my jobhunting plan.

Things have been uncertain for a while now, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. However, it was still a shock. I got the news yesterday afternoon, and spent much of the evening in pointless nostalgia and crying.

I checked out “what to do when you’re laid off” online and found that the top suggestions include bars and hanging around in your pajamas all day eating ice cream. I spent some time with The Empress reminiscing and commiserating, and then I went and dismantled the outlying villages of my online empire, told my family members, and cried.

Having cried so much, I skipped class last night. Partygirl brought me my lesson afterwards. I had already gone to bed. I was in fact reading a romance novel she had passed on to me. She cheered me up quite a bit, and was nice about my continued crying.

“We’ve cried together before,” she pointed out.

I think the “what to do” sites are correct in prescribing a good little spell of wallowing in misery first thing. You have to get that out of the way so you won’t be bursting into tears in your job interviews. I have my usual Wednesday afternoon marathon today, and it actually begins earlier than usual, with a 4:00 meeting, so there is a terminus ad quem for the wallowing.

Today, once I am through wallowing, I will work on my resume, decide what to do with the remaining parts of my online property, and perhaps upload those books I’ve been working on for the store to Lulu.com.

I haven’t been unemployed in many many years. I don’t expect to be unemployed for long, but I am fearful about having to take a job I will hate. I liked my job a lot. We were joking, at the little wake we held at the store, about having to go be greeters at Wal-Mart. That Man is an accountant, but he is 60 years old, not a great age at which to be jobhunting. The Empress thinks she’ll do some temp work while she figures out what she wants to do. I have a Masters degree and lots of skills and experience, but she and I both are hampered by the fact that we have essentially spent our last 16 years in retail, but have no desire to continue in retail.

It is true that much of what I was doing was curriculum design, teacher training, marketing, and recently SEO and website development, but my resume will say I have spent 16 years managing a bookstore.

My husband thinks that if I could sell books, I could sell cars. My daughter says I should put down that I was the Education Coordinator for the bookstore.

Well, I have lots more wallowing to do. I am still on the store’s payroll, but there are few things for me to do now that will be of any use. The Empress recommended using the time for jobhunting. I may join her at the temp agency. First, however, I have to get the wallowing done. I hope to finish early enough to be able to seem normal at my meetings and rehearsals today; if possible, I’d like to be able to respond to “Hi! How are you?” with some degree of normalcy.

Wailing “I’m unemployed!” and bursting into tears would not be conducive to good bell practice.