Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'm a Professional!

When you meet new people one of the first questions asked is ‘What do you do?’ This is because it provides a wealth of assumed information. People can assume all sorts of things about you; your educational level; salary; ambition; success; responsibility and ultimately your status and place in their pecking order.… When I told people I was a history teacher they could at least deduce I had some sort of nebulous knowledge of history and I was mad and sad. When I then told them I was a Vice Principle of an Academy, they knew I had twice the salary, twice the stress and was, unquestionably, mad- oh – and not quite good enough to be in charge. Tell people ‘I am a spy for MI5 and now I am going to have to kill you’ and they really don’t know how to take it!
In England if you tell people you meet at a party that you don’t work there are a number of assumptions made which all end with a glazed look from the listener and an excuse about needing to get a refill, anything to escape, as they assume you will have nothing of interest to talk about. The worst thing to mix is a stay-at-home-mom with a working-one. Each tries to justify their choices with reasons that offend the other.
Here in North Carolina, if you stay at home they give you a job title. Home Maker! It carries with it certain assumptions – that your husband earns enough so that you don’t have to work and the girl done good! It makes you very socially acceptable in Wisteria Lane. The job has all sorts of language associated with it to give it importance. The women here don’t ‘tidy their closets’, they have ‘projects’ (which I guess they ‘project manage’). When I ask what project they have on at the moment it is always a very grand project… to reorganise their closets. Stores sell magazines on this to help and advise with the homemaker projects.
Hubby plays a game each evening called ‘Guess what Wifey did today’. I need some more practice at this new Homemaker career because he can never tell. It certainly isn’t housework or closet reorganisation that occupies my time. When I came here friends and colleagues in England made certain assumptions about what I would do with my time. Amongst my leaving gifts I had two cupcake books and a very fantastic Union Jack cake tin. I have tried to make perfect cupcakes, I really have, but I guess you have to really want to (besides- I don’t actually like them – so I am not sure of the root food cause of my muffin top). Hubby even bought me the ultimate status symbol of a homemaker on Wisteria Lane– a KitchenAid food mixer. It is very shiny and looks nice! Looks unused!
I find it impossible to join in some professional conversations with my new homemaker colleagues. I can only listen in surprised awe and have nothing to contribute when they discuss such topics as how to get a goat cheese terrine completely smooth. I feel I should pay more attention and take notes for future reference. I may get to that level of professionalism, but I seriously doubt it!
My sister could be to blame for my lack of progress and expertise in my new career. Already queen of the cup-cakes with her very own cup cake stand and knowing I don’t do baking, for a ‘leaving present’ she got me a beautiful journal. Thankfully this wasn’t for me to jot down ‘how to be a better homemaker’ tips. She suggested I made notes of interesting things that happened to me in my ventures in a strange land…the start of my blog - which now occupies far too much of my time! If my blog offends or my housework disappoints, I have the perfect excuse… It is my sister’s fault!

5 comments:

  1. you have to blame some one and i am sure she will forgive you., blame me if you like. When i was a cook i v ery often scrubbed the floor with my ladies( i actually liked scrubbing floors) When asked what my job was i occasionally replyed "a scrubber". Imagine the looks when as you know i ran a kitchen doing 350 meals per day.Who cares if your cupcakes do not rise , you make wonderful bread and you have a hme filled with love .....thats a homemaker

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  2. Can I blame you for my slovenly attitude to houeswork?! x

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  3. No ,I always did my housework.. You can blame been untidy on me

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  4. Perhaps you need to see, if you can "Project Manage" your neighbours projects! You can manage people and get them to do things for you.
    Then your hubby can "Guess what Wifey got the neighbours to do today’ :-)

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  5. Good idea! I like the idea of managing rather than doing! I used to get paid for it! ...but somehow I always ended up doing the 'doing'!

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