Illustration from iStockphoto
The women struggled for a few centuries to become the men’s equal and now they don’t know how to get rid off this terrible privilege.
We work like crazy and we thank the boss for giving us the extraordinary opportunity to work on week-ends so we can succeed and keep the deadline. The bosses get away from Friday noon and you won’t see them again since Monday afternoon when they get over their five-star hang over. Meanwhile you have the honor to stand in for them because that’s why you earned the spot and get yourself a nice ulcer eating take away junk food at work, to become a trustworthy woman. The company repaid you with two extra diopter but myopia is the sign of your triumph. At night you dream in color about Acrobat Reader, Outlook and Power Point, your nightmare is completed by crazy dancing clusters of yellow folders labeled “Urgent”, “Campaign”, “Charts”, “Reports”. But in your dream the Delete button doesn’t work, you can’t get away from the evil docs and wake up screaming. And not because the cluster folders drive you mad but because is already 7.30 am, you had another bad night and your hair looks like a lime brush.
Excuse me, I’ll put you on hold for a sec, there is a guy on the other line asking to marry me…
The work is good only when it brings you an honest dime into your pocket and especially when it gives you the time to spend it. According to the Swedish system you are supposed to go crazy working for five days a week and then to go wild for two days in the pub. And that is the least reasonable ratio. The career concept is only a sick fantasy of stupid Hollywood movies that imply that a woman can do anything she wants – she can became over night the CEO of a corporation, she can give birth to three live cubs which she feeds with dried milk, the husband is madly in love with her although they see each other about six hours per week (or maybe that’s the reason), and him, despite the fact that he is the Chief Brain Surgeon at Memorial Hospital, he is not stressed at all, the guy cooks for the kids, does the dishes and in the evening he picks up his gorgeous wife from the office. Sorry, at night. We don’t know when he does brain surgery because he also have to prepare the kids for school, but her, the wife, has to turn in four daily reports, she has to scream at three brokers in the same time and must bring in eight investment clients.
The women who saw Diane Keaton in Baby Boom let them selves hooked on by the inept thought of a perpetual mobile. They have the feeling that everything is possible. That the husband, the kid, the German Sheppard and the fluffy Siamese cat can wait as much as it takes. When both parents work you began to understand their masochism after all. The danger show it self only when for the career woman awaits at home and engineer husband who gets off work at four o’clock and comes home from the plant and the guy wants cooked food, clean shirts and a bit of sex. And working like crazy to avoid the promotion of another fellow co-worker, the woman already volunteers her self to a part-time divorce and facilitates the extra-marital play of the man cornered by its own hormones.
When your daughter calls your mother in law mom (mother in law which didn’t even wanted you to marry her son, because you didn’t look like a good housewife, and she knows something after all) and she cries out because she loves the nanny more than anything, well it’s a bit late to resign. The kid does not understand that you work your ass off so when he or she finishes high school, if they do that because you don’t have the time to do homework with them, they can afford to go to a good college and maybe live the good life. Your children need you right next to them, worm, fuzzy, careful, they need to feel your love just like a nice cozy cushion.
But you just answered the call on the other line and when that guy asked you to marry him you said “Yes”, putting on hold the other call, and then blinked “sorry, please excuse me” and continue to talk to the Supply Manager that was on hold for a moment. You really don’t get all that quit your career for the family sake thing, do you?
Mircea, pretend you’re working! By the way, when was the last time you turned off you cell phone just to enjoy a movie without anyone bothering you? But is not the case with you because when you last saw a movie there were no ON / OFF phones yet, there were only those fixe curly wired table phones, right?
I flushed a few hours off work in my time and I will voluptuously continue to do so, always. Go ahead, cut some corners, and skip a few hours, save your life woman! As much as you can. Take common sense in homeopathic dosage. You will be the only one who knows. I got the most beautiful pieces of life while running away from my responsibilities. The best beer I drank wasn’t in Prague like the Vanity Fair people, but in Herăstrău Park, when I skipped out of an editorial board meeting, by leaving a message that my apartment was flooding because of a busted water pipe and my neighbors called me to fix the damn problem. Another big blunder that still haunts me (and so many others) was the TVR slip, during the Revolution, when they didn’t know that we were already live and someone shouted to Dinescu: “Mircea, pretend you’re working!”. And Mircea listened. And he made it. Until we will not understand as humanly as possible the deep meaning of that vital advice we will continue to pretend we are living.