2003-10-29 - 11:26 a.m.
My god, what a horrible day.
I actually left the house early, but then got waylaid on the way to my desk by various and sundry people (and I forgot my keys.)
And the cat has a bite, so I have to take her to the vet. And I have to finish Maddy's blasted costume. And --
Oh, there's all kinds of crap, like tickets to try to change to frequent flyer tickets, and dentist appointments to arrange and alumni nights and what test does Maddy have to take to get into Middle School B.
Plus, I don't like my skirt at all, and no one has left me know if they're coming for Halloween or not, and so I don't know how much chili I have to make. And I've decided to stay home on Friday to get the house ready, but I have to have the costume ready before then, and I have to get black posterboard for Nora's costume and how the hell am I supposed to do that, and work, and get the cat to the vet?
And then Kevin whines about are his pants washed yet?
(I will not even ask the question, why can't he wash his own goddamn pants, although I'll admit it's a legitimate one. Not sure why he can't take the cat to the vet, either.)
I'm thinking of all this in the context of that article in the NY Times magazine last Sunday about all those women who went to Princeton and are now staying home with their kids.
Some people I know were all in a huff about it. Actually, I think it raised some valid points -- how the hell could you be a high-powered lawyer and raise a family? I have enough trouble trying to be a librarian. Maybe there are options -- maybe life is not all about work. Maybe work has a larger context, which is life.
I tried to discuss it with Kevin. A woman who shares his new office with him is an architect, and went to Princeton, and apparently all her friends are talking about it. I'm not sure what they think, but Kevin doesn't have much to say, except to note that this woman has her kids come to the office every day after school.
Actually, both this woman and her husband share the office with him --
Which instantly annoys me, as if to say that A. has a career and I do not.
I think perhaps I am overly defensive -- it is possible it was not meant in this way.
Perhaps I am just the pants-washer cum cat-tender, with a few spare moments to be dedicated at that office I go to, where in exchange I am given a pittance of a wage plus health benefits. God knows what I do there -- something of little importance.
But in fact, the Annie solution -- bring your kids to work -- has its own effects. The woman who is the president of Princeton said that her own daughter is not as interested in even having a career, perhaps as a result of living with an ambitious mother. When she was younger, Nora was very envious of Isabel across the street, whose mother did not work outside the house. It may not be the best thing in the world for kids to have to spend every afternoon at their parents' office.
Or it could be a good thing, too.
It's an issue -- girls are and should be educated, but people in general, I think, should be free to tailor their careers to their lives. It's difficult that middle age is dedicated to both child-raising and important work in your career. They conflict, and there's no easy solution.
I'm thinking about my friend Lynn, actually. She's a doctor and a single parent, although her kid's father lives in town and takes him one night a week, and her sister lives down the street, and they often share childcare arrangements. I think Kay picks up Lynn's and her own kids at least once a week and feeds them dinner, and that's a very comfortable arrangement. But anyway -- she takes one day a week off, because if she didn't, she would go insane.
I think that's a reasonable accomodation. She has a career, and a family, and I think she's busy, but it works. But it's probably affected the kinds of jobs she takes.
Okay -- Enough-- I have to go.
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