My chair emailed me today to ask if we could arrange a time to talk this weekend.
I didn't know what to make of it. You guys, my brain has been a bad place lately. I had pretty much persuaded myself that they didn't want me. Maybe their first-choice candidate would turn them down, and I would have a shot. But maybe they knew the SECRET TRUTH about my inadequacies. Maybe I had bombed so badly in my meeting with the dean that he emailed the chair immediately afterward to say "Anyone but the redhead." Maybe I made a fatal error in not selling myself harder during the exit meeting with the chair. Maybe it was all HOPELESS HOPELESS HOPELESS and why did I think I had been called to do this work again?
I had brief glimpses of sanity, in which I remembered that I did a lot of things right during the interview, but mostly good sense eluded me.
My mother asked me a couple of days ago what I would do if I didn't get the job. I said, "Ululate plaintively until I feel better." She laughed merrily, as if she were talking to someone who was making a joke, but I wasn't joking.
Part of me thought my chair was calling to give me a heads-up that I hadn't been chosen, so I could get all of my wailing and gnashing of teeth out of the way before Monday. (Total underestimate of the required wailing/gnashing time, BTW.) Part of me was suddenly wildly hopeful. Part of me was just relieved that the waiting would be over.
She said she'd call at 5:30. I went outside and paced so we wouldn't have to talk over the dinnertime chaos.
My phone rang a few minutes after 5:30. "I'm delighted," she began, "to offer you a tenure-track job."