I looked at my bank balance this morning and realized that filling my account is my personal responsibility. It may sound odd, coming from a fifty year old woman, that personal financial responsibility is a realization, a whole new concept, but facts are facts.
I face this day feeling gratitude to Buzz Kill. For all his mishigas, he's been a decent provider which is all he ever wanted to be. Now that I have felt the pressure myself, I can see how someone with anxiety disorder would be perpetually overwhelmed - especially since he's self-employed.
When a couple decides that one person will stay home with the children, that person becomes financially dependent on the breadwinner. My first career choice was Wife & Mother, so it was no surprise to Buzz Kill that I would be staying home with Velvet. When I went back to work, I worked part-time at a non-profit organization that gave me an excellent discount for on-site day care. I stayed there until I went to grad school. Once I got in grad school, I got a different part-time job. So I've always been contributing towards the family income as well as providing primary care for Velvet - which as anyone who knows anything about Velvet will acknowledge - is an exhausting, full time job.
Once Velvet started High School and I finished the MSEd, I went to work full time -with disastrous results, but I maintain that if they hadn't been so tacky, I wouldn't have said such awful things about them on the blog. I am 100% unrepentant, but this financial pressure has got me thinking about the worries of men under the patriarchy.
Some guy once told Oprah that if women were looked upon as sex symbols by men, then men were considered Success Symbols by women. He used the example of a blind date set up by friends to illustrate. Men may ask how big a woman's tits are, but women nearly always want to know what a man does for a living so we know how much money he makes.
This pressure to make money is a drag.
Today, I've had to compete against a former colleague to secure a job. I still don't know if I've got said job, so I had to go out on another interview for a job that I'm really not into, but since I can't count on the first job, I have to keep a number of irons in the proverbial fire. It was an unpleasant, rainy day. Normally, I'd have done the first job thing, gone home and taken a nap. You don't enjoy naps nearly so well when the wolf is hovering around the door.
For years now, I've slept blissfully even when money was tight secure in the knowledge that Buzz Kill, or my dad, or The Man from San Antone if absolutely necessary, would always make sure my bills were paid. In point of fact, they still will. It's just that this morning, my chest tightening with worry and insecurity about the future - I had a taste of what a lot of men must go through every morning.
It's also true that like most Americans, I'm finally running out of confidence. Usually I'm very confident about the future. Hell, I clap because I believe in fairies all the time.
Not so much today.
It reminds me of something intelliwench said over at Post-Raphaelite Sisterhood about Ronald Reagan and the 80's: "It was morning in America, and we hadn't had our coffee yet."
It's not morning in America anymore - and that morning was marketing bullshit anyway. But we privileged whites had confidence in our incomes, that's for sure.
Right now, America feels like the Arsenic Hour: That afternoon time when as a mom you're fucking exhausted from whatever you've had to manage that day and still have to cook dinner, supervise homework and bedtime, be supportive to the man when he drags himself home from his own miserable day, and think ahead so that tomorrow morning runs smoothly. Now that I think about it, I normally managed Arsenic Hour fairly well - particularly since there was enough money to order in Chinese food or Pizza and a Salad.
There may not be enough money to spend on luxuries for a while, but the good news is that I'm well credentialed in a field where there is always work - it's just a little harder to find these days and more people are competing for the jobs.
As we face this awful, endless afternoon in America -one giant economic clusterfuck with millions of people without health care -- it's imperative that We The People band together to fight against Corporate/Congressional Greed. For the first time in decades, there is a chance to change the existing system, but it won't happen unless people make their voices heard over the lobbyists' dollars. It seems impossible when we're all so worried and tired - but we have to do our own little parts. Give $10, or sign a petition. Write or call our congresspeople. Cirlce the capital on a loud motocycle demanding that Health Care should be like a Beer Run like Gordon says over at Alternate Brain, "Single Payer is Like a Beer Run."
Once this fight is won, maybe we really will have morning in America. Before that happens, however, we peasants may finally have to revolt.
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