Today was my tenure vote.

My mom was babysitting for the meeting. K. had said he’d call me in the morning to talk about coming over after to see the kids, maybe around three.

My committee met and was its usual hilarious, disorganized self. They voted to recommend tenure; now the vote goes to the board of directors and president. I’m a little apprehensive because of the current union tensions and the state budget cuts, but not thinking about it too much.

Mostly I got in the car at 3:15 with no missed calls on my phone and realized that the person I really wanted to call was the one person I couldn’t call. The person who always cheered me on at times like this and to whom the news really meant something. And, to my surprise, I started to cry.

I cried all the way home. Not just tears leaking, but full-on eyes screwed up, mouth stretched to a grimace, skidding down I-5.

In the fridge is my holiday present from K.: a bottle of champagne he got at his work, which he presented to me wrapped in a brown paper bag from our recycling bin. He said it was for when I got tenure.

I don’t feel like drinking champagne.