My career


You might think that nineteen years of formal education would have qualified me for the labor market, but, alas, you would be overlooking the three years I flunked high school, my alienation from society, my ignorance of what I wanted to do, my conclusion that most employers are assholes, my parents’ belief that failure represented my best effort, and my belief that every job I ever had was beneath me. Fortunately, I married Peggy, a woman who is steady, stable, dependable, behaves professionally, and acts sensibly; in short a person whom employers trust and fellow workers respect. Since I’ve known her, she has worked in lowly positions at a pizza parlor and a fried chicken franchise. She also worked as a bridal consultant at a jewelry store and taught high school math and science, but spent most of her working years as a registered nurse, a job from which she plans to retire altogether on July 4 after having worked part time for many years.

I, meanwhile—since we married in 1971—have been an undertaker, an ambulance driver, an inhalation therapy technician, a phlebotomist, a department store clerk, an elementary school teacher, a handyman, a remodeler, and a mechanic’s helper in a Jaguar repair shop. Some of these jobs only lasted a few months. The teaching job lasted four years (I resigned following a yearlong dispute over a beard I had grown the previous summer and refused to shave), and others continued off-and-on for more than a decade because I either didn’t want to work fulltime or I went from employer to employer. The most I ever made in a year was $8,166 (which was very little even then), and that was when I taught school in Mississippi. It was the last job I held which was both fulltime and intended to be permanent. It ended in 1977.

My primary job since then has been that of houseperson for Peggy and me, a term that—for lack of a better one—I will use for purposes of this post, although it falls short of describing my duties because I also (with the help of my father) built one of our four houses, did considerable work on two others, and maintained them all including the land they occupied, which, in one case, was eight acres. I’ve also been responsible for maintenance on whatever two vehicles we owned (doing most of the work myself), handling our investments and other business affairs, doing our shopping (except for Peggy’s clothes), paying our bills, and so forth. Peggy has worked hard as a nurse, but once she left for the day, she was completely free, even on her days off.

There being no word that describes the scope of my work, I used to tell those who asked What do you do? that I did everything on the homefront except balance the check-book and fill-out the income tax form. This was literally true until Peggy started cutting back her hours and consequently took on a little more of the domestic chores. Most notably, she usually cooks supper now, cooking never being something that I enjoyed with the exception of soups, breads, and crackers. Even so, she still doesn’t know how to do laundry, find her way to the supermarket, run a credit card through a scanner, or do a great many simple things on a computer, and she resists my efforts to teach her.

Peggy has always liked having a houseperson, but the response from others has been uneven. My mother called her my meal-ticket, and others have also implied—if not stated—that I was little better than a gigolo. From the other side, many women have asked Peggy (usually while looking longingly at me) if they could borrow me for awhile, and they meant it as a compliment, it being abundantly clear to anyone with an open mind that we have adequate wealth without either of us having to work all that hard, and that I regularly do—or at least did—work that might very well have cost more than her yearly earnings if she were to hire it done. Unfortunately, society as a whole holds the occupation of househusband in lower esteem than any other job, which is to say it is viewed with contempt. According to every survey I’ve ever seen, my job—and my atheism—have each caused me to be more scorned than if I were a homosexual, a drug addict, a pedophile, a Communist, a Moslem, an illegal immigrant, a person of color, homeless, or morbidly obese. As a result, I tend to imagine that people either hate me or will come to hate me once I tell them about myself. If anything, this causes me to tell them sooner rather than later. I’ve been advised that if I were less open less quickly, people would see what a splendid person I am and be better able to bear what they perceive as my faults when they later learned of them, but since it hurts more to be rejected by someone I’ve come to like than by someone I don’t know, I seldom follow this advice.

Various natural traits make me a good houseperson. For example, I work well with my hands, learn well from books, and have a long history of working as a tradesman, so there are few jobs I won’t tackle. I’m so clean and organized that some consider me neurotic (given that my accusers are invariably slobs, I would argue that the neurosis is on the other foot). I also have an above average ability to anticipate other people’s needs, and I’ve spent years perfecting this ability for Peggy. I wash her glasses, kill her spiders, bring her slippers, turn down her covers, organize her closets and drawers, open her mail and lay it out neatly, hand her a towel when she dries her hands, give her the best of whatever food we’re sharing, move cut flowers to whatever room she’s in, and so on. Few people have jobs that they perform with such love as I perform mine. My work has had the effect of making Peggy my raison d'ĂȘtre to an extent that she cannot reciprocate. Her contribution to my welfare is surely more important than my contribution to hers (the primacy of food trumping even that of clean laundry and unclogged drains), but it isn’t direct and personal. She’s my wife, my best friend, my career, and, to a degree, my employer. Except for my writing, reading, and a few academic interests, nearly everything that I am and do is oriented toward her. The downside of this is that I would find life without her to lack purpose, and she would find it hard to function without me. I’m forever trying to teach her one thing or another so as to lighten her burden in case I should die first, but she is remarkably resistant, partly because she’s a procrastinator and a bit lazy regarding things she doesn’t want to do, and partly because she doesn’t want to acknowledge my mortality.

31 comments:

Stephen Hayes said...

This was an informative post and it's good knowing more about you. After working outside of the home for most of my life I've been a stay at home husband for ten years while pursuing a writing career, with little success.

Elephant's Child said...

I am glad to see you back. I was about to prod you with an email to ensure that you were ok(ish).
You and Peggy do what works for you. Which is right and proper.
Househusband/housewife share a low status. Sadly I think that househusband is viewed as slightly lower on the totem pole because of an assumption that a man could (and should) do better. Which on days when I have no more pressing annoyances does my head in.

Snowbrush said...

"After working outside of the home for most of my life I've been a stay at home husband for ten years while pursuing a writing career"

I wish I had the wherewithall to pursue a writing career. I worked at one for two years back in the eighties, and all I have to show for it is a knee injury from hours of sitting with my left leg tucked under my right one. On a good day, I made minimum wage and it wasn't even for material that I wanted to write.

"I was about to prod you with an email to ensure that you were ok(ish)."

I tend to have bad days except when I have worse bad days. In fact, some of my days come close to being hysterically bad. My goal at the moment is to cut back on the number of drugs I take. Consequently, I'm in more pain, but, having become convinced that drugs are taking years off my life, I don't what else to do because I feel like I'm cheating both Peggy and myself by taking so many drugs. For her part, Peggy wishes that--whatever I do about pain pills, sleeping pills, etc.--I would take an anti-depressant. I've had them, and so I know how much good they can do when they work well, but they're in the opposite direction of where I want to go drug-wise because I really am becoming increasingly afraid, not just for my physical health but also for my mental and emotional health.

"Househusband/housewife share a low status. Sadly I think that househusband is viewed as slightly lower"

No, it's WAY lower, although I can't find the last study I saw to prove it. As you say, "housewife" is a traditional role, "househusband" an aberration.

rhymeswithplague said...

This is an great post! It is informative, entertaining, self-revealing, endearing,...shall I go on?

For the record, I do not view househusband as a lowest-of-the-low occupation. You have contributed to the household greatly, as has Peggy. Neither of you has anything to prove or anything to explain. You did what works for you.

In this look back at your life and occupations, you left out secretary of the American Atheist Society, editor of its magazine, and personal friend of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who asked you to call her "Grandma." That has to count for comething.



Paula said...

I have often pondered the reason that people become so upset with a husband who stays home taking care of kids and house and the wife works. I have had an acquaintance who worked and her lazy ass husband stayed home. I say that because he didn't do anything while home but lay on the couch and watch TV. She went home and did all that you are now doing for your Peggy for him and didn't think there was a thing wrong with it. I think you sound like a dream come true. But you must insist that Peggy learn the things that you are trying to teach her. My husband wanted me to learn also. I refused. Learning them now that he is unable to teach me SUCKS! I wish I had listened to him. And really, Snow, it doesn't matter one dang bit what others think about you. It's what you think of yourself that helps. Give the anti-depressant another try. It might even help with the pain.

All Consuming said...

I found so much of this post moving. You have had a vast amount of differing experiences compared with a nine to fiver who has worked the same job for forty years. Not that it's been easy mind, clearly. I love how you attend to Peggy, and how your worlds have matched, they fit together so well. I know many of my parents generation, including ma and pa, who's roles are so defined that should, when, mortality takes it's toll, one of them will be useless so far as cleaning and the house goes, the other will be much the same so far as paying any bills or accounts go. Even hubby and I have pretty clearly defined parts we play, though as I lived alone for many years I would be the more capable out of the two of us.

"No, it's WAY lower, although I can't find the last study I saw to prove it. As you say, "housewife" is a traditional role, "househusband" an aberration." - I have my two penneth to slot in here; whilst you are correct re the difference in scale between housewife and househusband, there is another slant here. The 'housewife' who has no children, which I have been for some time now, is considered to be a poor show too. I have encountered this, and right up until I started the jewellery making my least favourite question at any social gathering, or upon meeting someone for the first time was the dreaded..."and what do you DO?" Horrible. Because you're right, it's impossible to list it all, (and you have done far more than I ), so I empathise there.
Sometimes I'd say "I'm professionally sick, the pays shite, but the it's worth it for the drugs" - I would always be drunk when that pearl appeared. What a long rambling comment tsk. Anyhoo, the upshot is, I love you both you know, you wonderful, my kind of unique people that you are. (Like the beard part too) x

kylie said...

when i got to the cut flower part i nearly fell off my chair! i read it out to my son who scowled and said he wouldnt do that if he was paid!!!

snow, there is so much i could say here. i have known a couple of househusbands, neither of whom get any respect from me. one was my uncle who couldnt hold a job and used his household duties as extra opportunity to abuse his children, the other made out he was a professional gambler while his wife raised the children and developed a business. Now that the hard yards are done and she has a successful operation he has muscled in as "business manager"

you dont fit into that category and i firmly believe that homes function better with a dedicated manager. i'm awed by the amount you do. i am pretty much a full time housekeeper these days and i can barely keep the place tidy, i get far too distracted by the internet or just hanging with the kids. i crave company and being at home means i dont get the interaction of a work place.

ellen abbott said...

My husband and I have a similar arrangement. We are both self employed in the same endeavor which is making etched glass. While he does participate in the fabrication, I generate the income...customer contact, selling the work, doing the art work,doing my part of the fabrication, attending the installation. He has other duties like car stuff and keeping the books, paying the bills and mowing the 1/2 acre but he also does the cooking and the laundry. He gave up any personal aspirations in order to support me in mine. It's unfortunate that men who choose a more supportive role financially are scorned. Every woman knows how much work that is and how important it is for life to go smoothly. What difference does it make, really, who does it as long as both parties are happy with the arrangement. I never was one much to go with what people were supposed or expected to do.

Linda said...

I am amazed and in awe of you and your abilities and willingness to be Peggy's partner. There is nothing wrong in my estimation with your working at home and her working outside the home. It seems you really went beyond what would be expected of a man who chose the stay-at-home-husband route. You are both very lucky.

Your skills at keeping things repaired, building a house, and generally doing and knowing so many things puts you in a special category--Renaissance Man.

What woman would not enjoy being married to a Renaissance Man who used his skills for her comfort and enjoyment?

Make a list of the things you are trying to teach Peggy. Make lists that explain what she needs to know--where the hammer is located, where tax records are. Maybe you can lead her gently to learn. If not, get a little tougher and tell her pointedly why she needs to know. Too many wives are left adrift when the husband is not there. She does not need to try to figure what she needs to know under tough circumstances, much less learning those things.

My opinion of you has always been high. It is higher now.

Snowbrush said...

"This is an great post! It is informative, entertaining, self-revealing, endearing..."

Why thank you, Rhymes.

"...you left out secretary of the American Atheist Society, editor of its magazine, and personal friend of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who asked you to call her "Grandma.'"

Your memory exceeds my achievements. I was non-resident editor of the magazine (a position that came with no pay and no duties), and I wrote several things for the magazine. I also met Madalyn who, because she liked my writing, asked me to call her Grandma. I wasn't a personal friend, however.

"really, Snow, it doesn't matter one dang bit what others think about you."

It matters to me in that it colors how I relate to people. It has also caused me to hate religion more than is probably good for me, although I truly think that religion--especially organized religion--deserves my hatred.

"Give the anti-depressant another try. It might even help with the pain."

I know from personal experience how well they work, not just with depression but also with anxiety, which increases pain. They also flatten a person emotionally, not only deadening the lows but also the highs. Mainly though, I've become so afraid of drugs that I'm going to see a doctor tomorrow and try to figure out how reasonable my fears are of the ones I've been taking for about six years, and try to get together a plan to handle the pain better, hopefully with fewer drugs, but if not, then maybe with a pain patch as opposed to popping pills. I was on Fentanyl patches until about a month ago, and they helped a good bit, but the withdrawal sure was hell when I elected to stop them. The only good thing I can say about them, health-wise is that they're probably less dangerous than oxycodone. There's another pain patch (Butrans) that I would really like to try because it's supposedly safer than Fentanyl. It costs $140 a month.

"he didn't do anything while home but lay on the couch and watch TV."

My younger sister had a "househusband" who smoked pot, drank beer, and played video games all day. When it came time for her to come home, he would make supper by putting canned crescent rolls in the oven and TV dinners in the microwave. Other times, he would go all out and open a box of macaroni. This is the image that society as a whole has of househusbands.

Snowbrush said...


"Sometimes I'd say "I'm professionally sick, the pays shite, but the it's worth it for the drugs"

I used to toy with telling people I was a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon. I think the question (What do you do?) might be more about putting people in their "proper rank" than about getting to know them. At least, that seems to be the result.

"when i got to the cut flower part i nearly fell off my chair! i read it out to my son who scowled and said he wouldnt do that if he was paid!!!"

I almost took that part out because we don't have cut flowers year round (we've had them for nearly a month now because my favorite flower is the daffodil, and I planted fifty of them last fall). I suppose your son considers such actions excessive and therefore degrading, but my only thought in doing them is that I want Peggy to feel happy and loved. I didn't mean to imply that I follow her through the house, flowers in hand, so that she will have flowers in every room every time, nor did I mean that she expects such niceties. Doing that kind of thing simply represents who I am and the kinds of gifts I enjoy giving. Your son might be surprised to learn that I rarely get Peggy a Xmas present, a birthday present, or even a Valentines' card. I often give such things to other people in my life because I want to remind those people that I'm thinking of them and that I care enough to remember the important dates in their lives, whereas Peggy is well aware of how I feel about her because opportunities to remind her are almost constant. Mostly, though, I don't give them to her because doing so got old for me after a few decades. I had much rather give her other gifts, typically gifts that cost little or no money, because that's where my delight is. Like my friend Walt once said, "You give me gifts everyday," and it was true, but I rather doubt that most people realize the significance of the kinds of gifts I have to offer. I think that, in my relationship with Peggy, the boundary between where the job (of being a houseperson) stops and where gift-giving starts is uncertain. I could always do less, and I could always do more, so I simply do what I know is necessary and, beyond that, whatever I take joy in doing.

kylie said...

i knew all of that, snow! and i applaud you for it. i just thought i would tell you about my son cos it was a bit funny. he has seen me extend myself for people and be treated as "less" for it. it makes me think that the subservience of an action is less in the action than in the response to it?

Strayer said...

I think it sounds like a great partnership, both of you doing what works for each of you, and together. Too bad people aren't more reasonable or open in this regard. Even in groups, like cat rescues/shelters, people often take on roles they're not good at and won't let go or see it. We're all different and do some things better than others.

The American standard of working oneself to death, as the primary value, is strange to me. What about working so you have enough instead. Partnerships, of two people, or more, make life so much easier, with one taking care of house and home, while the other brings in money. Who does what is irrelevant. You two are role models, the new great standard of doing what works! Just kidding. Glad you two have such a relationship.

Charles Gramlich said...

I know how hard the physical labor of keeping up land and a house is. I tend to hire most of it done these days simply because it is so hard and I'm getting old.

Helen said...

You are truly a Snow Of All Trades! Many would envy the lovely relationship you and Peggy have, the way you take care of each other, the unconventional (not in my eyes) sharing of household/work duties. Way ahead of the curve I think.

Flowers (sigh) ... I miss that.

I'm leaving Oregon for most of April.. the lingering perk of having worked in the travel industry for years. A trans-Atlantic voyage on Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam from Port Everglades FL to Barcelona! She is re-positioning for the summer cruise season. Great ports of call ... fourteen days + extending in Barcelona - friends live there. FREE flight home. Most of the trip free. I am excited and a bit apprehensive, a long time to be away from home.

Take care, Snow. Hi to Peggy.

PhilipH said...

Jack of all trades, master of none. Left school at age 14. RAF at age 18. Back to civvy Street in 1956. Went to work as a trainee settler in Sth London credit office, then onto betting shop management in early 1960s. Left to join Customs&Excise in 1972, mainly London and Southend on Sea. Took early retirement. Moved to the Scottish Borders in 1995 and have loved it!
That's a partial list of MY jobs in life thus far.
I now live in the east midlands of England and I look after my wife as she is disabled.
Chief cook and bottle washer is the formal title of my occupation nowadays despite heart malfunction of more than seven years. We stagger along life's highway wondering which one of us will be left behind when the final curtain falls.
Life is a struggle from the very start until the end.
That's life, init!

Snowbrush said...

"What difference does it make, really, who does it as long as both parties are happy with the arrangement."

It doesn't but, as you're well aware, humans aren't terribly rational much of the time. I saw a documentary last night entitled "Prom Night in Mississippi," in which various people explained their racism by saying, "I was just raised that way," as if having been so raised, there was nothing that could be done but to live accordingly. So it is with gender roles.

"What woman would not enjoy being married to a Renaissance Man who used his skills for her comfort and enjoyment?"

One who was more fond of money and status than Peggy, I suppose. Of course, a marriage between such a woman and myself wouldn't have lasted.

"She does not need to try to figure what she needs to know under tough circumstances, much less learning those things."

It's a thought that's often with me, not just in my thinking but in my imagination of how hard some things would be for her. Much of what I would like to teach her involves using the computer, something at which she is surprisingly ignorant although she's on one everyday at home and uses another throughout her time at work. Even simple things like copying and pasting can be a challenge for her if she's not in a program that she uses regularly. My problem with what you said about pushing her to learn is that I've discovered that I can show her how to do something again and again, and she still can't do on her own if it's something she's resistant to learning. Finding her way around town, for example. The funny thing is that she usually wants to drive, yet she doesn't know how to get to some places that we go to often. I know she's challenged that way, but I don't see her trying to make an effort either. If she can get to work, she could surely learn to get to other places if she wanted to.

"My opinion of you has always been high. It is higher now."

"i just thought i would tell you about my son cos it was a bit funny. he has seen me extend myself for people and be treated as "less" for it. it makes me think that the subservience of an action is less in the action than in the response to it?"

You were the major inspiration for my last post because I know how big your heart is, and while I'm sure it would be that way without religion, I see you using your religion in a compassionate way rather than in the isolating and condemning manner that I've come to expect. As for your question, subservience for me has to do with how I feel about an action rather than how others respond. Their response can leave me feeling degraded but not subservient. Frankly, I feel degraded--dirtied as it were--everyday by many of my interactions with society. For example, I consider telephone calls from robots to be degrading because I take it to indicate that a business is both greedy for money and uncaring about the dignity of their customers or patients. It's as if they're saying that they don't care how I feel or how they treat me because there are plenty more where I came from, so if I don't like it, I can lump it.

Snowbrush said...

"My opinion of you has always been high. It is higher now."

I meant to say thank you.

"The American standard of working oneself to death, as the primary value, is strange to me. What about working so you have enough instead.

EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNzXze5Yza8 This is the common conservative view of what Americans should be like: be narcissistic, aggressive, and arrogant; look down on other countries; love having money to finance a proudly materialistic lifestyle rather than to love having time for art, travel, nature, knowledge, and those you love; imagine that you are entirely "self-made," and so no one but yourself deserves credit for your economic success; etc.

"I know how hard the physical labor of keeping up land and a house is. I tend to hire most of it done these days simply because it is so hard and I'm getting old."

Charles, you also need exercise, and I hope you are getting it in other ways.

I'm leaving Oregon for most of April.. the lingering perk of having worked in the travel industry for years.

I am SO happy for you. If you need someone to house-sit, I have a neighbor who's planning to move to Bend, so it might work out for her to housewatch while she house shops. She's done as much for me, and I think she would be trustworthy.

"We stagger along life's highway wondering which one of us will be left behind when the final curtain falls."

I read a book recently that contrasted the religious views of Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis. The author wrote of Freud that he thought of death everyday as if doing so was abnormal. If this is true, then I'm very much abnormal because death--mine, Peggy's, and even the deaths of my friends, including my blogging friends--is never far from my thoughts. As for Peggy and me, I can't even imagine a happy ending, but rather a case of ever increasing health problems for each of us followed by the eventual death of one or the other, and the heartbreaking grief of the survivor. Of course, some scenarios are worse than others. Alzheimer's, for example, is certainly near the top of bad outcomes. I had much rather go as it sounds like you might, of a quick heart attack. Still, I was so sorry to learn of your problem. Because your blog is closed, I don't know how I would even know if you were to become ill or die. I hope you will have someone write to me.

Robin said...

*Elephant's Child* beat me to it...I was JUST getting ready to e-mail you... love this post...as I have said many times, you two are a wonderful couple...you represent what a loving pair should be! My Ex...(now my BF) always made a ton more money and we lived life - royally! But, after we split...his career faded....and of course, mine did too....now...we try and help each other when we can...(plus, we are 3,000 miles apart....but we do share *custody* of our *child*, Bofie, the 14 year old Chocolate Lab...) Who cares who brings in the money...love and more love is really what it all is about!

Love,

♥ Robin ♥

p.s. you look great in the photo! Kisses to Brewsky! ♥♥

Linda said...

You cannot force her to learn. You can have written instructions for her to follow, much like a wife can leave recipes with all the various hints to make a non-cook able to cook. If you couch the teaching her in terms of your love and devotion, she cannot resist.

Helen said...

My son is not accompanying me ... he will be here. If we were both leaving, I would have your friend house sit in a minute. A neighbor does a lot of house sitting, if you would like me to connect you/her/your friend, just say the word. I also have a neighbor who rents out a master suite through airbnb.com .. both friends live in our townhome complex. (eleven townhomes in a row/great west side neighborhood, convenient to everything!) I depart Bend Saturday morning.

Mim said...

I have a HH and I adore it, altho he is not as completely solicitous as you are.

I have a male friend who is a HH and he stayed home with the kids while they were growing up. Now that the kids are grown, people keep asking him "what are you going to do now?"

I have a SIL who is a house-wife and mother. Her last kid is going off to school next year. NO ONE asks her what she is going to do next.

I get so aggravated at these two responses that I can barely keep a civil tongue. WHY do they devalue the work the man does - it's just awful!

Peggy is lucky but you are too.

Mim said...

I have a HH and I adore it, altho he is not as completely solicitous as you are.

I have a male friend who is a HH and he stayed home with the kids while they were growing up. Now that the kids are grown, people keep asking him "what are you going to do now?"

I have a SIL who is a house-wife and mother. Her last kid is going off to school next year. NO ONE asks her what she is going to do next.

I get so aggravated at these two responses that I can barely keep a civil tongue. WHY do they devalue the work the man does - it's just awful!

Peggy is lucky but you are too.

lotta joy said...

I dread using up too much space in your comment section, but here goes:

With my first husband, I did the grocery shopping during my lunch hour, hauled it home and inside the house. Arranged everything with labels facing forward. Ironed, Did laundry. Cooked his meals (they had to be on time), balanced the checkbook, paid the bills, did the taxes and kept a spotless house. I also did woodworking and loved being "independent", if you can call SERVITUDE to him as being independent. But I was CAPABLE. Maybe that's a better word.

With my forever husband, I got righteously indignant when he would wait on ME, bring me things, ask if I wanted something. Then he started cleaning the house, paying the bills, handling circumstances for me, did the laundry and drove me wherever I wanted to go.

I finally (after 12 years) adjusted to it.

It's hard to believe all the things we can learn NOT to do. Now, I'm no longer INDEPENDENT, a trait I used to be proud of. (Okay. CAPABLE) I'm now as dependent as Peggy on being tended to and taken care of.

We are an amazingly adaptive species or we wouldn't still be around. If/when/the time comes, Peggy and I will be fish out of water, but I'm hoping we'll eventually adapt to tending to the many things our beloved ones did for us.

At least I've learned not to be so uptight that my labels all face forward.

Sometimes, dear one, good enough is just that. GOOD ENOUGH.

Joe Pereira said...

Great post Snow, your job is more important than most. The person you love is your number one priority...and that's how it should be :)

Snowbrush said...

"you look great in the photo!"

Thanks, Robin. I'm glad to see that you're well enough to visit blogs again. I've been worried about you.

"Who cares who brings in the money...love and more love is really what it all is about!"

As is the fact that Peggy wanted a career outside the home, whereas I love being my own boss and structuring my own day. I also know how hard couples who work outside have to work when they get home (the woman anyway) because it's either that or let a lot of things go, and letting things go never was my style.

"You can have written instructions for her to follow"

That would work for some things. Thanks, Linda.

"if you would like me to connect you/her/your friend, just say the word."

Thanks, Helen. She has a son in Bend, but there seems to be a lot of tension connected with staying in his house, which is why I thought of you.

"people keep asking him "what are you going to do now?"

"...people keep asking him "what are you going to do now?"... NO ONE asks her what she is going to do next."

How interesting. I guess people just assume that the male needs action, and that the female is content with passivity. They must not have heard of all the laid-males and the go-getter females in the world.

"If/when/the time comes, Peggy and I will be fish out of water, but I'm hoping we'll eventually adapt to tending to the many things our beloved ones did for us."

You mean we're just creating a lot work for you to keep up with at the very time of life you're the least able to keep up with it?! I guess I need to kick-back and watch TV more, eh?

"Great post Snow, your job is more important than most."

Thank you, Joe. Peggy being what she is, I'm sure that's true.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

The opening paragraph fits me to a tee! Scary!

Rob-bear said...

It strikes me, Snow, that in addition to the "other" jobs you have had, you seem to be doing wonderfully as a "domestic engineer" and "kept man." (Those are two wonderful occupations in their own right!)

Blessings and Bear hugs!

Julie said...

I love this post. I also have not really earned that much money but I am also rightly proud of the many different ways I have contributed. Thank you for the way you have fully described your life--it's an education for those who may have jumped to some unfair conclusions.

Lorraina said...

Great post Snow, i enjoyed getting to know you better although i always knew you were one cool dude. Thanks for visiting and the comment on my pitiful blog....since i've become addicted to facebook i run out of time every day now.

C Woods said...

Snowbrush, My first husband worked at home and we often found our expected gender roles reversed. I was around people all day so I wanted a quiet evening at home, he was alone so wanted to go out. I was making most of the money and was constantly on his case about overusing the credit cards.

I had my own househusband for a while ---my second husband. I was thrilled that he was doing almost all of the house work, yard work, fixing the cars, repairing things, taking care of the pets, everything you mentioned. I did most of the grocery shopping and the laundry, and I paid my own credit card bills, but otherwise, he took care of everything. I always hated to do housework and he is a loner who always hated working for or with others, so when he was laid off (due to the downsizing of his dept and others in the same position with more seniority) he eventually gave up searching for work.

I never had a problem with it, but he did. Like you, he was convinced everyone thought he was a kept man. No one ever thought badly about women who stayed at home while their husbands worked.

Only one person ever said anything to me about it. I just told her how much I hated housework and that I loved that he did it and she never said anything again.

Now that I'm retired, he spends all day online trading stocks ---and it's like a full-time job so I have to take on a bit more of the work, but much of it just doesn't get done. I'm OK with that, too. My late mother would be horrified to walk into a house that isn't spotless and this one is far from that.
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You didn't mention in this last post if your new Dr. is any better or if you have been able to manage your pain any better.

I actually wrote a new post today. I've got too many irons in the fire.