As married women who gave up their careers to raise children and keep home and hearth together it can be a bit of a conundrum to face a form or direct question about employment details.
I have a number of ready replies, all appropriate for company and circumstance. One I use when entering or leaving the country. I will keep this a closely guarded secret. For the moment.
Another, Housewife, I distribute with largesse and await with comparable resignation the quiver of disappointment on the receiver’s phizog. It’s ama de casa in Spanish. Doesn’t that sound softer, fuller and kinder?
I also answer to teacher and software sales because that’s what I am and have done, have been and may do again. It’s not easy getting back into the workforce after a fifteen year bolus of Pampers; school runs; themed birthdays; school projects (ahh, the projects I have completed as a daughter slept soundly in her bed); the unwelcome question x 4, “What’s for dinner?” and the even more unwelcome “eew” when I reply; the learning not to reply to queries about dinner; the boyfriend disasters (this is way from over) and the arguments about who will sit in the front seat. Not easy at all.
My friend T …….is beginning to revel in an ’empty nest’ scenario and her thoughts can turn to not only what to do with the rest of her life but also herself a little more. Now we all know she is basking in the glow of a new face ( see my blog – Three Defences Against Tertiary Ageing) but other bits need help too.
She has rung, text, and face-booked me regularly asking for my back man’s number. He is a marvel and I trust him to sort almost anything but I have had to explain to T ……. that she must GO rather than just get his phone number off me from time to time. I have a vested interest, you see. She screams when her back twinges. It’s disconcerting, concerning, embarrassing and can be fixed.
Finally yesterday she went and, as with all his new patients, he records a full history on the first appointment.
“Occupation?” he asks.
“None,” she replies possibly considering all the roads she might have taken.
And as she lies on the bed between shoulder crunching and tail bone tapping (osteopathy) he muses.
“Are you from a local order? I didn’t know there was one around here.”
No word of a lie.
He fixed her back and with warnings not to laugh too much when retelling the story he instructed her to get dressed be on her way.