A Matter of Perspective

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December 18, 2009 by skwishface

Sometimes you just have to smile.

I have this coworker. She’s a very sweet girl. Single and childless, brand new to the workforce, loads of time and disposable income. And she chooses me as her audience for venting.

Now, I understand venting. Sometimes your world is full of teetering stacks of unfairness that threaten to come cascading down upon your poor tender head if you take your eyes of them for a second, and the only way to deal is to find a sympathetic ear and just bitch. Whine. Moan. Let it all out. It has no practical application – the world is still there when you’re done – but it damn well makes you feel better about it all.

But! But.

When your big dramatic problem in life is how FILTHY your single-bedroom apartment is because you just don’t have time to clean it, what with all the 8-hour work days and 9-hour nights of sleep and weekend trips to LA and New York and “finding ME-time” in which to “just veg on the couch” … maybe Married-Two-Kids-Two-Jobs Lady isn’t the best person to whom one should vent.

She outlined for me a typical day in her life, so as to demonstrate how very full her schedule is.

7:00am – wake up
8:00am – at work
5:00pm – leave work
5:30pm – get home, cook dinner, go to the gym, maybe happy hour with friends, “ME-time”
10:00pm – in bed, sleep

Where, in ALL OF THAT MADNESS, is she supposed to find time to clean? Should she maybe hire a maid?

I advised her to just eat a bullet now and get it over with, because this insane schedule is going to KILL HER someday.

She blinked at me. For a second, I think she believed I was serious.

This is not to say that my daily schedule, which would have at least twice as many entries on the timeline as hers and far less time allocated to silly things like “sleep”, is somehow superior. It’s not. My days are full because I want them to be. Nothing happens during my day that I didn’t either choose or consent to. One job pays the bills, the other job pays for frivolities like Christmas. My kids are darling creatures who gobble up my time, and I happily spoon-feed it to them. The Husband is the only reason I don’t spend every night curled up in a fetal position, sucking my thumb and rocking until the Responsibilities go away.

I would sell superfluous organs to get the same 4.5-hour yawning chasm of free time in my daily schedule that my dear sweet coworker has. (Anybody in the market for a kidney? I got this appendix, hardly been used!) And then once I got that time, I’d fill it up with work and kids and housekeeping. It’s a character flaw of mine, I own it.

Look, I’m not saying that Single Childless’s life isn’t very busy and hard for her to manage. Just maybe, when complaining about it, she should … ya know … pick her audience.


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