Tuesday, September 07, 2004

What Do You Do?

America is a place where people seem to define themselves by their career. When talking to people, inevitably the question arises "What do you do?" meaning: what is your job?

So far, my answer has been, either one of two, depending on my mood: 1) "I work at home" which is true, if a tad misleading, or 2) "I'm a trophy husband".

I don't think the out and proud RebelDad types would especially like either answer. But if you're going to do this, you need to decide what your answer is going to be. In my case, I can at least make the excuse that I've not fully committed to the SAHD lifestyle. I might decide to go back to full-time work come January. I might decide to become a writer or an actor or something that allows me most of the benefits of the SAHD way of life while still technically working, allowing me to answer the WDYD question differently.

But its about roles you know? SAHD types are assumed somehow to be...wimpier than the average. But average what? Accountant? Insurance salesman? Computer programmer? I've done that last one myself, and people, despite our atavistic notions that this somehow stands in for hunting bears and defending the tribe from rampaging lions, it just ain't the same thing. I've actually done real He-Man work like herding cattle, and let me tell ya, I don't care how underhanded you can be at office politics, feeling like a stallion because you just pulled the rug out from under Marketing is not the stuff of which legends are made.

Still, even if people figure that out, its going to be a while before being a SAHD becomes even as accepted as either of choices women get to make -- and any woman will tell you that no matter what they choose, someone is going to take issue with it. So you need to make your peace with whatever you choose, because people aren't going to make it for you.

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