...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

'i wish the real world would just stop hassling me'

"Mom, do you have to go to work in this?" my oldest quizzed, one eye trained on the window to watch the truly torrential downpour we were receiving Friday afternoon, the other on me in what I'm taking as a genuine display of concern for my well being.

At least at that point in the conversation.

"Yep," I replied, my own eyes trained on the storm outside and a skyward plea for the electricity to remain on to enable the sump pump to keep churning away to keep our basement from flooding.

"Well, will you get to come home early? Do you think they'll close the store down? What if there is a tornado?" he continued, by now touching my heart with his thoughtfulness.

"Probably not, kiddo. If there does happen to be a tornado, they have a plan for us. I'll be OK, and I'll see you in the morning. Just like every other night when I work," I assured him.

"See, this is exactly why I think I NEVER want a real job!" he said, with exactly that much emphasis and with a hint of creepy disdain in his voice as he choked out that "real job" part.

Honestly, for about 60 seconds, my future flashed before me and all I could see was this boy - this boy whose only "real job" to date has been to put his dirty clothes in his clothes hamper and pick up his toys (a job, I might add, he'd have been fired from LONG ago based on his poor performance reviews but whom we apparently keep around because we have a quota to maintain) becoming a teenager and then a man. Still living in my house. Still shooting baskets in my driveway. Still turning up his nose at whatever I tell him we're having for dinner. Bringing home some girl he says is his wife now and a plan to share that bunk bed in his bedroom. Still thinking money is this little plastic card his Dad and I whip out like gunslingers at the grocery store and then fret about every 30 days when the bill is due to arrive.

I actually saw him as not fulfilling the true reason we had children in the first place, which is to take care of us in our old age. I think I actually hunched over and shuddered a bit at that mental image. It's bad enough I'll no doubt need to work until I'm 85 as it is, and now, because of some insane thunderstorm, my work-a-day out was being eliminated by this slacker boy I'd given life to.

"Well, OK, I mean, I'd probably get a job just so I could buy toys and candy," he concluded, maybe after sensing the little tear that escaped me as I snapped out of my though, but more likely after having done a mental checklist of all the Star Wars action figures he has yet to possess.

"Sounds like a plan, bud," I replied. Later, when the rain had slowed and I went to tell him goodbye, I told him I had to jump on my purple unicorn to gallop through the cotton candy clouds, all the while eating Snicker bars and peanut M&M's while not gaining an ounce and making out with Bono and Mike Rowe between delicious bites.

"Because those clothes you never put in your clothes hamper?" I said to him. "Yeah, they don't just appear when the elves don't feel like getting real jobs."

Note: I'm quite sure this was a stellar lesson in economics. In addition, I didn't actually mention that part about making out with Bono and Mike Rowe to my 9 1/2 year old son, but you can damn well bet I thought about it a lot while I was standing around bored at a cash register that night while covering a break for some teenage kid who probably thought they never needed a real job before, either.



Blogger Confused Husband said...

So you had kids to take care of you in your old age? I had kids so that I won't have to do dishes, set the table, mow the lawn or clean the barhrooms. For some dam reason though things just aren't working out that way yet.

The only reason I have a real job now is so that I can have fun on Blogger and get paid to do it. Nothing better than being paid to write and read other peoples thoughts. :D

Monday, June 25, 2007 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

You people are seriously bumming me out. I expect my kids to start doing the dishes just as soon as they're tall enough to reach the sink, and we'll throw in laundry, vacuuming, dog care, etc., just to make sure those kids stay out of trouble. Are you actually suggesting my grand plan won't work out exactly as I imagine it?!

Monday, June 25, 2007 7:22:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Geez, I had kids because, well, you know. . .

You wanna ride your unicorn? Well, gee, DKG, I dunno. . .

And, "I'd probably get a job just so I could buy toys and candy," . . . See, he's already got the germ of his adult existence creeping all unbidden into the nether reaches of his consciousness. Except that 'food, clothing and shelter' come into play a lot more often than 'toys and candy'.


Monday, June 25, 2007 9:56:00 AM  
Blogger Recovering Soul said...

I'm lovin me some Matchbox 20, though Rob Thomas is one of the most effeminate men I have ever seen.

I have to admit that I am wondering how many people here will say they had kids, not to do something, rather, because of one too many shots of tequila! :)

But can't we all remember the innocence of our youth, when summer was a time for playing and having fun. At such a young age, we start working on our off time because we have to pay insurance and other such nonsense.

Monday, June 25, 2007 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

You mean I was supposed to get a real job by now?

I, personally, am rather disappointed in the lack of marketable skills that my kids are able to list on their resumes. How are they ever going to support me if all they've got is "colors well between lines" and "sucks thumb"?

Monday, June 25, 2007 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess I don't quite fit into this discussion .... the daughters HAVE been doing dishes, laundry, sweeping, mopping, and the lawn since they could reach the appropriate 'playing' surfaces. Mostly without a fight. Now if I could just get Oddkin to clean her room .....

Monday, June 25, 2007 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Therese in Heaven said...

All your son needs is proper motivation. When he's older and there's something really cool he wants that you can't or won't provide for him, he'll reconsider the job thing.

I didn't want a real job either until I thought traveling might be fun. All the sudden I was delivering newspapers, chopping off chickens' heads, and working as an intern for the USAF.

Motivation, motivation.

Monday, June 25, 2007 3:24:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Knock knock knock. I don't ever want a real job either.
Just give him a subtle nudge in the direction of a 'sugar momma'....kidding of course.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007 1:14:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Confused - I once had a job with my own office where I was paid somewhat nicely to play solitare for a few hours a day. I had a Mac and a PC and I'd slide my office chair between them and challenge myself. I do, truly, have the marketable skills!

Kelly - I keep tweaking that grand plan. These kids around here think it's pretty dang exciting when they do dishes or dupmp clothes in the dryer, but they have really poor follow through! I'll keep working on it and let you know if I crack some code here!

Desmond - I, of course, had kids because I'm all about the love and the desire to let my husband's name live on for yet another generation. But wow, that they're willing to run into a room and adjust the volume on the TV set that is placed mere feet away from me is a nice bonus!

I tried to push that whole "toys as a metaphor for cars" thing, but he just sees them as Matchbox cars right now!

RS - Really? Rob Thomas as opne of the most effeminate men you've ever seen? I think I'd have to bypass him and put my money on Johnny Reznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, but that is probably to make up for the unfortunate looks of the band's bass player.

However, honestly, I have a soft spot in my spirit for guys who rock the eyeliner. Seriously.

FTN - I imagine super secret spy/ninja comes with some pretty nice job perks, really. What with the secret island lair and all.

My kids have pretty much the same job skills as yours, I think. Except I'll add "can do a pretty good fake out spin shot" and "knows his telephone number and address - but no one else's" to the list. Fingers crossed, I say!

XI - We're working on some of those job skills things around here. The room cleaning issue, though, I don't think that's ever going to be mastered. I once had a sports editor I feared would be dead a week behind his desk before I realized it, his work environment was so disgusting and messy. The fact that he stunk, too, would have kept me off the death trail for about four days.

Therese - We keep wondering if we should offer the kids some type of allowance for doing tasks around here, but honestly, since we pull in so little money at our grown up jobs, we have no means to entice them beyond telling them they have the pleasure of simply living in our house and contributing. One day, I'm sure, when he gets that first paycheck and then gripes about how small it is, he'll be a pretty good consumer!

Nanette - Um, keep this quiet, but me, too! I never again wish to have a job where I have to create the budget, sit in "team building" time killers, create quarterly reports or justify my existence in a corporate setting.

And yet...and yet with the youngest set to start school full time soon, the people who think I don't actually work now keep breathing down me about "when are you going to get a *real* job."


Tuesday, June 26, 2007 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most agreed, real jobs are definitely a pain. Sounds like you need to crack the whip a little, but with a Mommy touch.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007 2:14:00 AM  

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