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Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Disappointment Machine

I have come to realize that you need to tell children what you can and cannot accomplish... not that this makes any difference to S.O.v.s.1 & 2... Here's the problem. They want all of you, meaning all plus more. They want milk and you to change the channel and to look all at once. Of course we try but it doesn't seem to quite work. Something gets missed, milk gets spilled and then someone is disappointed. Even the husband can get his share of it when something is forgotten at the grocery store or the proper socks are not clean. They try not to act disappointed but...

I often wondered what the meaning of the housewife song in the musical "Working" was. OK, let me fess, I didn't really wonder at the age of 16, I was pretty obnoxious thinking "Number one, I will never be a housewife and number two if I am I certainly won't be that kind of housewife!" - Never say never. Actually not a full time housewife, I'm a part-time employee, part-time housewife. For those of you who have never had the chance to see the musical which you should if you can, no doubt it is relevant today and quite beautiful, the housewife sings, "All I am is just a housewife" in melancholy tones. I realize what that means more now. You never intend to be something that can so easily be taken advantage of, dismissed, disappoint... You imagine that your house will be clean and tidy and your children just so too. That everyone will be happy and there will be time for a quiet cup of tea as the little ones are playing in the backyard nicely or napping.... You never imagine that the constant drudgery of things getting dirty, cleaning bathrooms, toys laying around and no one but yourself seemingly bothered by it enough to pick them up... You never imagine that you will feel as if you are working... for them and that your interests seem somehow subverted.

It's the same with any occupation of course. We are very few of us fully appreciated for what we can do but soundly reprimanded for what we might mistake. I suspect that with our society's rabid obsession with celebrity and grand accomplishments cleaning both bathrooms in the same day or totally reorganizing the company's rolodex to be more efficient seem somehow petty compared to birthing Brad Pitt's child, winning enough money in the lottery to be able to hire a nanny or your startup company ending up on the Fortune 500 list in its first year of existence.

Even my love, my acting, has at time felt.... well, there was one recent performance where the thought popped into my mind, "I am nothing but a trained monkey". So I think nothing is totally satisfactory - only in the final cut - we take out all the disappointment and boredom and neglect in the editing and life on the other side looks grand...

Speaking of hiring a nanny. There is no bed of roses either. If you are relegated to hiring a nanny it means you are working too much probably and dont' get to see your kids enough... but if you want them to have a good education, be in the good school neighborhood you'd better keep working... And if we as women have to admit we need help we have on some level disappointed our sex. You can see it in the eyes of your elders and your peers. It even disappoints to not have 'married well' enough to be able to be a stay at home mom, I have noticed at S.O.v.1's school. They are slight, the sidelong pitying looks and subtle but they are there. "Oh, your husband doesn't earn enough for you to stay at home? That must be so humiliating" they seem to say though they would never say it out loud certainly.

Any way you slice it something falls by the wayside and someone is disappointed. And forget being sick. Unless you remind your kids 12 times before breakfast that you don't feel well they will expect the perky and if you don't have it to give up there it is, the disappointment. Today, I feel like crap, so instead of dusting and vacuuming the sand out of the window wells I will play as vigourously as I can with my kids... at least that way I only disappoint myself.

Tell someone today you appreciate the little things they do... we all forget.

1 comment:

demondoll said...

Eff those hags. We all do the best we can, and that is all there is.
Seriously, those chicks need slapped.