Doesn’t mean we’ve got problems
Things have been rough recently. I’m not writing this post in order to share my private life, as much as I’m writing to show that yeah, we all have problems. It isn’t easy.
Most of our readers know that I have been a stay-at-home mom for nearly twenty-three years, not counting the two school years I worked part time in the office of the learning center my kids attended. It boggles my mind to think about how long it’s been since I worked full-time. Even then, it wasn’t a “career”, really — I worked as a staffing coordinator at a temporary employment service. Honestly, I felt more like a warm-body that filled a seat more than anything else, which made the decision to stay home very easy. My boss at the time had zero respect for things like childcare or traditional working hours, and with my husband’s very long hours back then, there was no way I could keep working. My pay rate was a joke, and so it just made sense for me to quit. I didn’t think twice about it, and practically skipped out to the car when my doctor told me I’d have to stop working and go on bedrest for the final six weeks of my pregnancy.
Little did I realize what I was going to be giving up. At first, I don’t think I noticed the differences. It didn’t bother me that we were down to one salary, nor did it bug me that I’d be the one cooking and cleaning. I did that even when I was working, although with one and then two kids, I started feeling less like an equal and more like the unpaid help. My schedule became completely dependent on his. What time was he coming home? When did he get paid next? Where was he going on his next business trip, and when?
Doesn’t have to be serious
Staying at home is incredibly isolating. Most of my college friends sunk their teeth into their careers, while I was folding a never-ending pile of laundry. My sister-in-laws both worked outside of the home even after they had children. In my family, they were both considered intelligent go-getters. Me? I’m wasn’t quite bright enough to have a real career. After all, I went to school for a “liberal arts” degree, not science or engineering, or even marketing! The horror!!! Then there are the snide, sideways comments from family members about how I use his money and “have all the fun” while he works so hard.
We’ve all had problems, right?? And then….
That’s about when I got back into Duran Duran, met new friends, and organized a convention. Truthfully, and I’ve said this before – I think it saved my life, and most certainly our marriage on some level. I had my own things to talk about, to plan for, and to do. At first, my husband didn’t mind so much. I think in a lot of ways it all amused him, at least up until I started traveling for shows. Then, I’ll admit it became a little more annoying to him, purely because it was inconvenient. Suddenly I was asking for him to take care of the house and kids once, maybe twice a year over a long weekend. He would grumble about it, but most of the time it didn’t cause trouble.
Then I started blogging, and Amanda and I started trying to write. We took longer trips – and although the blog doesn’t always take long to write, we have a goal of getting something published, and so far, we haven’t hit on just the right formula for a publisher. Much of this has to do with the fact that we’re writing non-fiction, which is even tougher to get published than fictional work. There are fewer publishers, and because the market is smaller, it is just tougher to find a home for work like that. There are some other nuances to it all, but basically – it’s a science, and we are working on finding the right formula!
Ain’t always black and white
My husband is at the point now where he’s asked me to stop. He’s tired of the traveling (in fact he imposed a “moratorium” on flying to Duran Duran shows, which is why I’ve only gone to shows that are within driving distance for the last few years), and he’s even more tired of the blog and the writing. On one hand, he says he wants me to be happy, but on the other, he says it’s time for me to quit.
In his head, he feels like we’ve tried getting something published a few times and it hasn’t worked. Therefore it must just be that our writing isn’t very good or that we’re just not meant to do it. He doesn’t understand that being an author means you’re turned down far more often than you are accepted…and when I’ve tried explaining that, I’ve gotten nowhere fast. That’s all part of being an author, and why would my husband, the one person who is supposed to support my dreams – want to take that from me? I don’t have the answers. And then of course, there’s the Duran Duran thing.
It’s a problem, as I’m sure many of you can imagine. He doesn’t understand it, despite being married to me for 24 years now. To be fair, he didn’t know how big of a fan I was when we met, or even after we were married. It wasn’t until 2003 that I really wanted to get involved in the fan community. For my part, I suppose I did expect that he would be OK with me having friends all over the country, or being willing to let me go for girls’ weekends or do road trips without him. We never really talked about that aspect—it just happened. I don’t think it occurred to him that having this extra stuff, or my own “thing”, gave me some fulfillment I was lacking. Then again, my husband is pretty black and white about things. To him, it’s not necessary, so it doesn’t matter.
That’s just the way it is
Relationships are about give and take. Fandom is something that you either understand and support, or you don’t. Finding that happy medium is always a struggle. Despite the flow of happiness that I strive to outwardly display through my blog posts, I think it’s good to admit that it doesn’t always come easily. It isn’t just YOU who has a hard time with your husband (or wife, or partner, or even your job!) understanding how you feel about the band or why you do the things you do. We all have that issue from time to time. I think that’s why when it does all work out on occasion, it’s worth celebrating.