Friday, December 04, 2009

Oh, That's What's Doing It

It's like there's a road I know I should be on, but I can't fucking find it for the life of me.

I've been having a lot of trouble with HUBS not helping with little things around the house. Sometime between my birthday and Thanksgiving (which was a week to the day after my birthday) I had a sudden attack of annoyance anger over HUBS not loading or unloading the dishwasher.

There wasn't a ton of yelling, but I was about to go to bed when the irritation took over again. HUBS was already in bed, laying peacefully in the dark, when I strode in and started berating him. He seemed to be a bit confused and didn't say much in response other than "I'll try to do better." I know that isn't true, but that's not really the point here.

During my cooling off period on the couch moments later I had a major realization: HUBS was never much for little household chores, not even once we bought the house. And yet, since I've been unemployed, the fact that he won't do this type of stuff without prompting really fucking bothers me. We've argued about this A LOT in the past year and a half, I'd say.

Finally, I realize why. I FEEL LIKE A HOUSEWIFE. Now, I've got nothing against housewives, but it was never my goal to be one. I wanted to be an astronomer when I was nine years old. I watched my mom sleep and eat her way through her housewifery because she spent most of my childhood depressed (I didn't find this out until sometime in college, by the way). This is not the way my life at 35 was supposed to be, God dammit.

Dishes and laundry and dusting were never supposed to make up the bulk of my day. I was supposed to do things. Go places. Make friends and have business to attend to. Not spend all day going from internet surfing to folding underwear to job searching to napping to planning dinner to waiting impatiently for my husband to come home because he's all I have.

How do I get out of this, and stop yelling at HUBS, without getting a job (since that seems unlikely anytime soon at this point)? Ideas? Suggestions from the internet? Hope? Any fucking hope at all...?


Neal said...

Ideas and suggestions from the internet? Yeah, they are available. Here's mine.

Your post is so lovely and revealing, and, really, the answer to the question you post at the end becomes pretty obvious in view of your very good description of the situation you find yourself in.

That precious image you've carried of yourself all these many years, the gay, fun-loving life, the social whirl, being admired for your accomplishments, being the center of attention, having it all revolve around you . . . And now confronted by the reality of being 35 and it ain't nothin' like that.

Bit of a discontinuity, huh?

At one point when I was very much younger, I found what I thought was something worth considering, and taped a note to the door jamb so I would see it every day. It read: "Disenchantment lies within."

"It's like there's a road I know I should be on, but I can't fucking find it for the life of me."

Nope, sorry, not true. That's the fourteen-year-old speaking, the child who's convinced the world revolves around her dreams. Thinking that way is setting yourself up for making things a whole lot worse than they are; you're making yourself vulnerable to the people who prey on this kind of weakness.

No, you have play the cards you've been dealt. It's the only hand you have to play. You're certainly not "the ultimate Jill of All Trades," so maybe you should stop saying that to yourself. Truth is, you're just like hundreds of thousands of other young women who are in similar circumstances and who feel very much the same way you do.

The answer? Remember when you were wide-eyed and fresh and 21? You should have married a doctor, or maybe Sergi Brin or some other dork destined to be a billionaire. A little late for that, now, huh?

The only other possibility is this: time to grow up. Your post pretty much acknowledges where you are, and now you need to accept it. You can only build something solid if you start with a foundation based on reality, not fantasies cherished for all these many years.

Is the best offer $5.75 an hour? Then that's what you're worth. (If you shop around seems to me you should be able to get $8 or if you're lucky $10.) But what something is worth is always equal exactly to what someone is willing to pay. That's where the rubber meets the road. And, actually, an hour of you, with your sour attitude, your me-first notions, your strong sense of entitlement for the sake of entitlement, $5.75 an hours might be too high. Check your hole card: How many people want to have someone like you around for eight hours a day, moping, complaining, conniving, fixated on their desperate situation and the unfairness of it all?

Time to learn how to be a grown-up. Time to put a smile on your face (regardless of how you feel), take the next $6 an hour job you can get, show up 15 minutes early every day, work 15 minutes late every day, be the most positive, optimistic, helpful person there, always smiling, treat the business as if it's your business . . . in other words, become a valuable employee, someone who just might, in time, get promoted -- turn out to have increasing value.

I've had probably 35 different jobs over the years, and it took me a long time to figure this out: When you've got a job, it's a lot easier to get another, better, job.

Stop examining your navel; lift your head up and look around.

SoMuchSugar said...

Darlin', I'm so sorry you are in this place right now... I know it seems like it will NEVER end. Maybe in between job-searching you can do some volunteer work or something... Get your mind off things for a few hours a couple days a week?? xoxoxoxo


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