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8.20.2006

Wammer: Wife and Mother


Social butterfly that I am (not), I went to two parties last night.
As grappling with small talk goes...the dreaded question surfaced:
"So what do you do?" and although I always vow to be more prepared with a more creative answer, I am always caught flatfooted.
Perhaps it is because this is the first time in twenty years that I am jobless.

The word jobless, not to be confused with chore-less, is a very dirty word.

Toss it out there in a roomful of double-income-families and immediately a blanket of discredit wraps around the hapless non-wage earner.

Expose it at a table of career driven individuals and a condolatory sentiment descends upon the unoccupied, no malice intended.

The gainfully-employed-but-don't-need-to-be-ones-who-tried-staying- home-with-their-children-but-escaped-to-work, are, interestingly enough, the most silent.
For sure they commiserate, but the fear of exposure precludes them from speaking up... they know that the unemployed wife and mother is far from jobless.

W.A.M. Wife and Mother.
As a wammer, my job allows me to work from home.
There are some days that are better than others.
But whose work does not have its ups and downs?

Without being graphic or weepy, wamming has many ups.
I have no complaints... but nobody wants to read about that.

The downside is that I have to stand up to accusations of having a lot of time on my hands.

Come to think of it, I do have a lot of time to:
-pick up dog crap
-scrub the toilets
-change bedsheets
-pick the 80 lbs. of dirty clothes off the floor
-empty the dishwasher
-make doctors appointments
-register vehicles
-have cars inspected
-turn in license renewals
-make ice
-move the dirty dishes eight inches from the sink to the dishwasher
-clean up dog pee when said dog is psychotic
-prepare meals (macaroni and cheese counts)
-sort through junk mail
-floss
-vacuum 14 lbs of dog hair
-switch seasonal clothes for four people
-pick up my clump of hair from the shower drain
-wipe underneath the toilet seats (how exactly does all that get there?)
-do bills
-get that gas leak checked out
-be home for the children
-take the children to their parties
-have everyone's teeth checked
-cut 30 fingernails and 40 toenails (don't ask)
-put away the clean clothes
-wipe the dog drool
-get that pap smear
-attend to that plumbing problem
-weed
-read to the children
-buy school supplies
-give haircuts
-make the beds everyday
-chaperone field trips
-groom myself
-call the electrician
-alter every bathing suit i own so as to give me a more generous top
and hide my hideous belly button
-blog (so this is what you've been doing with yourself)
-be able to learn the words to that romanian pop song
"Dragostea Din Tea"
and finally, clear out that junk drawer (all 20 of them)
I tell myself, after I've sorted out every piece of junk in this house, I will be free to reinvent myself.

For now I will continue with my pursuit of wamming.
Being a wife to my beloved is truly a vocation...and if you don't agree, then you must not know Him.
and of being a mother - well someone has to do it... and why not me.

3 comments:

  1. Couple things...
    Jobless is not a dirty word, unless you don't have a job. Why is it that we (you and me, women, people) define ourselves in terms of what we do, instead of who we are? What kind of backward society do we live in that values our ability to "do" more than our very existence? Why should we have to prepare a creative answer or feel put on the spot if we don't have a job? I experienced the same situation years ago, also at a party, meandering from one highly paid professional to another trying to maintain idle chit chat.
    Same dreaded question, but way more fear, embarassment, shame even, attached to the reply..."I'm unemployed!!!!" Blurted so inappropriately that several necks were hyperextended and many a disk was herniated trying to see who was the crazy bitch with no job.
    I had been recently laid off from a job and doing the classified ads thing, and (gasp!) this was before I even had children. Imagine the sheer anxiety leading up to that moment when Dr. Pompous-ass popped the question.
    Next thing is...
    So this is what you've been doing with yourself?
    Lastly...
    I, too, am a wammer, and have a lot of time on my hands to do many of the things on your list, but I am choosing not to. I recommend you do the same. In fact, I am issuing the call: TO ALL FELLOW WAMMERS--STOP CLEANING THAT JUNK DRAWER, STOP PICKING UP DOG CRAP, and for God's sake, GET THAT PAP SMEAR!

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  2. Ok wammer, take it easy, I know it's not easy, I've been there...a former wammer.. well not really former..I'm working from home now so its like I'm officially a wammer again plus I work at home...that's what I call a double whammy!!! hehehehe
    -Augie Mata Yulo

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  3. I'm going to use your term Wammer more often. It should be included in the dictionary. :) So it's not your typical gainful employment. But to be a wammer is also hard work and it has a lot more compensations.

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thanks for commenting!