Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the easy road and the high road end up in distinctly different places

There are people who prefer the easy road.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like to make things any harder on myself than they need to be (although it happens quite frequently as I tend to be drawn to people who take more than they give), but I'm usually willing to expend a little extra effort to stay on the high road.

Some folks aren't. They're looking for that smooth, easy ride that allows them to avoid all the potholes.

I've come to realize my husband is one of those people. He was explaining to me last night that he has decided in the world of haves and have nots, he is destined to become a have not. He was not speaking of monetary gain, but of the contributions he will make in this world. He figures he is a have not, who will not make much of a contribution and he is okay with that. I'm not.

During the course of the conversation it was also mentioned that he's just waiting on me to write that book and make a million dollars. I'm having a hard time being okay with this as well.

Earlier in the day, before that conversation arose, we were talking on the phone and he urged me to turn the radio station so I could hear a guest on a talk radio show. He said I'd probably want to call in.

I eagerly changed the station, expecting some sort of debate over the NAU or some other life-changing, earth-shattering matter. Instead I found myself listening to a guy claiming that men are better than women.

What the hell? Why do I care? And even more importantly, why does my husband not know me any better than to think I'd care? I suppose it has something to do with the fact that when we were working for the same company and I was his boss he once made the statement that he never wanted to work for a woman, that women made poor managers. I was offended.

But I don't go around burning my bra (I need that thing since gravity has taken over) and have often said I see nothing wrong with "traditional" roles of men and women IF the men would live up to their roles. I would be perfectly content as a homemaker, volunteering with various organizations, but I never had a chance to fill that role because I was too busy working to provide for my family.

I suppose I would be considered a career woman. I've served as editor of a newspaper and am now a political consultant, running a Congressional campaign. I even suppose it would be fair to say that I hold my own among professional men. While it is now fairly common for women to reach the top in the newspaper industry, the political machine, in this state at least, is still operated in large part by men.

However, my career is not an extension or result of some need to prove that I am as good as any man. I feel no need to prove myself, or break down any barriers. No, the success I've experienced in my career despite my lack of formal education, has arisen from the very basic need to provide for my family and my insistence to do whatever I do well, to make a positive contribution to my little corner of the world, to take the high road.

My husband can simply not grasp that and continues to slide along the easy road, clutching to his Master's degree as though it will save him, waiting for me to make a million dollars. And yes, I am offended.

1 comment:

  1. I have endless arguments with my husband about his propencity for burying his head in the sand for the sake of an easy life. While I do see that there is one part of this that makes us work (if he was as hot tempered and passionate as I am we would never stop fighting), it sometimes makes me feel like I am always the decision-maker and care-taker while he sits back and reaps the rewards.

    Sometimes I think instead of 'having it all' as our feminist fore-mothers fought for, women today just end up playing the traditional women's role and the traditional man's role on top of it.