Monday, July 2, 2012

What Do You Do?

Occupation:  Hmm . . . Housewife?  Definitely not.  Homemaker. That’s better—makes it sound like I build houses. Domestic Engineer?  Well . . . Domestic Goddess?  I really like that one. 
Usually when people ask what I do, I tell them I’m a kept woman. But I never put that on a legal form. Although, it might be fun some time . . .
What do you tell people when they ask what you do?   
Just before I “retired” from raising kids and homeschooling, many of my friends asked me what I was ‘going to do now?’  I think they were afraid I might succumb to soap operas and bonbons.  It’s been years since I gave up soap operas for real life, but I’ll never give up bonbons.  I needed a new answer.  So I started telling people that I was looking into petty larceny—the hours were good and it paid pretty well.
For some reason, the conversation always changes directions after an answer like that.
I know—it’s just dialogue.  There’s no need to be sensitive—after all, it’s only an ice breaker. Or a line on an application.  Or a loaded question.
What am I going to do???  Sounds to me a lot like, how am I going to validate my existence now?  Followed by the insinuation that I am obligated either to earn some cash or break down and ask a doctor for happy pills.
Finally, the day came and I retired.  It wasn’t your normal retirement party.  We waved fondly at the newlyweds as they boarded a small boat, floated away from their wedding reception, and poof!  Just like that, I was retired.
re·tire·ment/: noun  Removal or withdrawal from service, office, or business;  withdrawal into privacy or seclusion. Synonyms: Sequestration, retreat, leaving.
Hmmm…. doesn’t paint a very happy picture there, does it?
I think I need a new definition for retirement.  Something involving a change of direction.  Maybe I could borrow the one my Garmin uses all the time: 
“Re-cal­-culating.”  Of course, you’ve gotta say it with attitude the way she does. 
Maybe that’s the answer to the question, “What do you do, Eula?”  Finally! No more panic attacks as I wrack my brain for the reason I don’t bring home a paycheck.  No more shame when I can’t compile a list of charities I volunteer for.  No more white flags to wave when the dust bunnies are winning.
I’ll just smile demurely and answer, “I’m re-cal-culating.”  And walk away.  With attitude. 
Like the domestic goddess I am.


Photo courtesy of avrenim_acceber's photostream @ flickr.com

5 comments:

  1. You are a blogger! You make people laugh, reducing their stress and oxygenating their blood. It's an important gig. Be proud.

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    1. Thanks, Liz! And hopefully this one brings a few chuckles, too. I love this gig - it's a blast!

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    2. P.S. And just for fun, and irony, I saw this article posted on a friend's facebook page today. It's wonderful - all about living as a human being and not as a human doing. ;)
      http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/

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  2. Thanks, Eula! I love it!!! I loved our lunch together on Thursday! :)

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