There are three things you must do if you really want to experience a cross-section of humanity in your town: buy or sell something on Craigslist, go yard sale shopping, and visit your local Wal-Mart. Hitting up yard sales is on my must-do list but with only being in Spokane 5 full days, I’ve managed to buy something on Craigslist and visited Wal-Mart (only because it’s closer than Target and I was lazy…I mean busy). Yowza, Spokane has some fascinating people. Trader Joe’s alone draws them in across the Inland Northwest, Canada, Idaho and Montana. Wal-Mart, wherever you are, never disappoints as it attracts the most incredibly bizarre people ever.
I had to buy a vacuum. I don’t move vacuums or brooms or mops. I don’t want my old dirt in my new house. Insert Vince’s eye roll here. Chalk up new cleaning tools as a moving expense. I went to Wal-Mart to buy a vacuum. Being the freak magnet that I am, a random man started talking to me as I was reading all the mind-boggling vacuum marketing buzz words. Nothing major, just idle conversation about vacuums and house cleaning. Then he asked me what my husband did for a living to allow me to stay at home all day.
I paused. I gave my response some thought before saying a word. I weighed my options, do I really want to get into it with this guy? No. Why is he asking? What a random question. I decided I didn’t want to get deeper into conversation with the guy so I told him to have a nice day and quickly walked away with vacuum in tow.
On this day when the Supreme Court grants equal rights, racism is still inexcusably in the nation’s spotlight, I was stunned that the assumption was made that I don’t work and I am dependent on my husband.
Let’s clear this up here and now. I’m dependent on my husband for car repairs, taking out the trash, tying knots, driving all trailers, building all things, dealing with the animals, explaining all things technical and teaching our boys how to be boys. I love him, I need him, but dependency is a strong word. This isn’t about him. The Wal-Mart guy’s comment made me think why does this guy think I’m not employed. Perhaps my workout outfit, no make up and shopping at Wal-Mart at noon on a Wednesday had something to do with it. All valid points to be sure. Even in my yoga pants I could work somewhere. Why would this guy say that?
My feathers were easily ruffled today as I am a working girl. Daily I am working myself ragged every day, unpacking, cleaning, entertaining kids, feeding the family three meals a day (why do we eat so much?) and working full days too! I work! I work hard too!
I have worked since I was twelve. I had a paper route for the Sandusky Register. I rolled, rubber banded and stuffed my cloth messenger bag full of papers, then jumped on my hot pink bike complete with gold glitter banana seat and rode my route delivering papers in rain, snow or shine. Monthly, I went door to door and collected payments and tips. My next job was selling t-shirts on Venice Beach with a friend who’s parents had an airbrushed t-shirt business. Once I turned 16 I was a union worker as a box girl/grocery bagger at Lucky Market in Westchester. Then I worked as a hostess then waitress in many restaurants. And so on and so on. I have always worked. Thirty-three years later, still working.
Granted, I am incredibly fortunate to have a job that allows me to work from home. Have you tried working from home? It isn’t easy. Working from home may not require fancy work clothes and make up but it does take strong focus and discipline. Not everyone has the opportunity to work from home, but in today’s virtual world, working remotely is becoming more available and more common.
In the end I decided the Wal-Mart guy was just wack-o. Just in case my image is sending the wrong message, I scheduled a hair appointment tomorrow night. It is never wise to judge a book by its cover (or a girl in her yoga pants), but sometimes the book needs to spruce up the cover. A good haircut is the answer to everything.