Friday, May 6, 2011

May 6th ~ Friday State of Our Union

Today U.S. Council of Economics Advisers released "The Employment Situation in April" * on their blog. Today I'm writing about "Our Employment Situation Since November"  --  No job means there's not much to write about other than today marks six months since husband's last day of work and that we are now four months delinquent on our home loan and three months late on auto loan installments. *sickening*

So instead let me talk about advice I would offer my daughters if they were considering marriage in this day and age. End of school year puts me in a pensive mood and this morning as I drove my daughter to one of the high school's three scheduled Advanced Placement tests she's taking, my mind drifted toward how would be the best way to suggest they "Make sure to marry a doctor or a lawyer."   And, I have to admit, this new frame of mind BLEW ME AWAY.  I guess my brain was still pretty fuzzy at 7am when I had to drive her to the Mormon church located in the next town over during morning work commute hour today.  As we chatted about what would be the best time I should leave home to pick her up when testing was over, I was looking into vehicles watching drivers' faces.  I wondered how things are with them.   One woman was obviously late; she anxiously swerved past me and sped away while giving me a look of contempt for slowing to turn a corner.  Most people looked distracted, caught up in their own little world.  My thoughts were, "They are so fortunate to have jobs; be able to pay bills; maybe even shop, dine out, see a movie or play or concert..."  It's been so long since I had to drive anywhere to work; last time I had a job, the drive time was short and I had no traffic to deal with, therefore no stress.  It was nice to never worry about childcare for my young children, because I had the luxury of many nearby family and friends who would gladly baby-sit them.  I guess my focus was mostly on dealing with being in pain; I was so sick back then.  These days, everybody's affected by high cost of gas, food, clothes... no wonder people get so testy on the road.  It's the start of the day and your money's already spent!  Shoot, fuel prices alone would put me in a mood as soon as I got in the car for my work commute.

So... back to my surprising change of mind with respect to any advice I would give my daughters regarding marriage.  Of course, I wouldn't tell them whom (or whom not) to marry, that would be wrong.  Personally, from early on I knew I wouldn't marry someone of shared heritage.  Growing up having no father, or example of traditional marriage, left me with the impression that Latin American men wouldn't "cut the mustard" in that department.  And I definitely knew there was no way I could cater to a man, in the ways a traditional Hispanic wife is expected.  Nope... not me, that's not at all how I rolled even way back when I was a young girl.  I guess I always knew I'd marry a white guy.  At this point in my life I know how wrong it would be for me to tell either of my daughters whom to marry... they are too good judges of character now and I don't expect that to change when they start dating; I trust each girl will chose the right person who will be perfectly suited to them - someone decent, kind, fun-loving and hardworking.

On the other hand, when I consider the profession of my future sons-in-law, I have to admit I'll probably say, "I hope he's a doctor or a lawyer."  This is a major shocker coming from me.  After having worked in the medical field and experienced dealing with lawyers I decided I could never marry an M.D. or Attorney at Law, Esq. - those types were just too high maintenance for this gal.  Huge relief that "You must marry yourself a doctor or lawyer" was never thrown at me by mom.  Besides, I always expected to do well enough alone, career wise, that it wouldn't matter what my spouse did.  So what makes it okay to tell my girls what jobs their husbands must have?  NOTHING. IT'S NOT OKAY.  But, in today's economy it's hard to make out which careers, other than in the medical or legal fields, can secure a better-than-good living - a comfortable living, like where you are able to have a house, car, vacations, send your kids to college...  All the things I cannot provide my children at this point.  I could be telling them to focus their studies in those same areas, right?  I might if I could afford them a college education.  But that's unlikely; If I could afford for higher education or vocational training for any family member, it would be for my husband to re-train in another field and for me to train to be a Montessori school teacher, as well as enroll in writing and art classes.


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