Living… in a New Jersey suburb in her parents’ house. As always, Joy plans to move out soon, but she’s been saying that for a while. Then again, as she puts it, “There are a lot of advantages to not moving. Life is different in America. There are opportunities here to do something, do good… really improve the world.” Helping the world, apparently, is much easier (and cheaper) while still living with your parents.
Profession… teacher at the local immigration-education center. Joy recently started working there during a time of turmoil for the center – almost everyone was on strike, which placed her in the awkward situation of being a strike-breaker. Joy idealistically chose the job because she thought it would do some good for society. Unfortunately, she is called a “scab” every day by protestors, and her students are generally not very responsive either.
Interests… getting her music career off the ground. Joy plans on finally moving out of her parents’ house once she becomes an accomplished musician. She sees her new job as giving her a new perspective for her music. Like Joy’s sister Trish says, “Just because you've hit 30, doesn't mean you can't be fresh anymore.”
Relationship Status… single, and unlucky. Men have historically disappointed Joy, but she doesn’t mind it much. She’s recently gotten involved with one of her students, a cab driver named Vlad. He doesn't speak English very well but they understand each other just fine. She’s hoping he's not married, but kind of convinced he is.
Challenge… finding happiness. Even though her dysfunctional family generally does not support her, Joy is determined to prove them wrong. Then again, while her older sisters Trish and Helen seem to have everything going for them, it turns out they have pretty serious problems of their own. This world can be a difficult place for everyone.
Personality… often miserable, but trying to hang on to hope. Her family thinks she pretends to be happy, but believe there's no way she could actually be happy since she doesn’t "have it all." They think she’s too sensitive and cannot handle rejection. In reality, Joy is the sanest and most easygoing in the family.
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