I used to be blissfully ignorant about the poor. Yeah I felt bad and it concerned me. If I had the opportunity to help I’d gladly do it although I definitely never did enough. Now unfortunately there is no more bliss and there is definitely no more ignorance. I’m right in the thick of the unemployment crisis.
I learned recently from a close friend that some people think that it’s ridiculous that my husband has been out of work for more than 2 years and that maybe he’s taking advantage of me. I wish I could say this shocked me but it didn’t, I’d always assumed people thought as much because people are ignorant and make assumptions.
I don’t know what irritates me more: that they think such insulting things about my husband whom they never bothered to get to know or that they think I’d ever put up with someone (even my own husband) taking advantage of me like that? I know for sure, no real friends would ever think these things of myself or my husband because a real friend knows us better than that.
As far as my husband, I’d say that the majority of people do not know him. 99% of my friends have never had an actual conversation with him and never bothered to. Very few people in our lives have bothered to really understand our situation or even really ask about it.
As far as myself, I have no patience and that’s a well-known fact. I simple can’t deal with bullshit and believe me sometimes I wish I could. My husband went through a period of time in the past 2+ years where he just shut down, which he does sometimes. He’d realized that not only was his entire career gone but nobody outside of what he was specialized in would hire him. After several interviews, hundreds of resumes and zero callbacks, he just basically gave up.
At that point I had to get tough and remind him that giving up wasn’t an option. Was I pissed? Fuck yeah. Did he know how pissed I was? Oh yes. After some yelling and a lot of stress he came out of the fog to fight harder than ever before. He’s still sending out resumes every week, though there are fewer and fewer options now. He calls up places that aren’t listing open positions and asking if they have work. He’s applied to Home Depot and other retail places. On top of that he work nearly every single day doing odd jobs to the point he comes home and goes to bed at 7:00 because he’s so tired.
That’s not all, he does at this point 90% of the housework, even when he’s gone all day doing one of his odd jobs. He does the cooking, the dishes, the laundry, he cleans the house, he does the litter and the grocery shopping to name a few. I may have to go to work everyday but luckily I can come home and relax.
So if anyone had bothered to ask me: hey, is your husband even trying? Hey, by any chance is your husband taking advantage of you? I could have, you know, told you what was actually going on. But what fun is it knowing the facts, when what you make up in your head is much more interesting.