Blissful Ignorance, I Miss It


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.


  1. Grant

    May 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I work in a position where I’m in contact with people all over the world and I’m constantly struck by how people in so-called poorer countries have better jobs, benefits, and employment regulations than the land of opportunity. People in Brazil and Asia get way more paid holidays than I do (especially since I get none), and people in India are appalled at the lack of opportunity for advancement we face. But I do what I can to keep showing up at cubeland because, as many reports and employment lawyers have told me, “do what you can to keep your crappy job because once it’s gone your only fallback is trying to get on disability”.

    1. Robin

      May 3, 2011 at 11:00 pm

      So sad but so true.

  2. Chibi Jeebs

    May 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    You know how I feel about this, but I’ll say it again: as long as those who are *important* to you (even if it only turns out to be the two of you) know the truth, screw everyone else and his/her asspinions.


    1. Chibi Jeebs

      May 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      (Easier said than done, though, I know. Proud of you, love.)

      1. Robin

        May 3, 2011 at 11:00 pm

        Thanks. I have more of a problem about what people think of my husband than of myself. So many people judge him and don’t know him. It just infuriates me but this is one of those things I have to work through.

  3. Anonymous

    May 7, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    People who act like that are shit heads. Seriously. I had people treat A the same way while *I* was unemployed. I kept track of EVERY PENNY he spent on me during that time and have paid him back (esp b/c we’re not together anymore!) so I don’t feel bad about it. But people are shits. Seriously.

  4. Jennifer Phillips

    May 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    So I read this, and then I had to step away for minute because I was all choked up. (And then I got distracted OF COURSE) But. Yeah. I wish I could make people understand this.

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