I originally started this blog on a lark. My husband pressured me because he thinks that I write well and so he thought that this might be fun for me and it is, but more than just being fun, my blog has become sort of an online form of therapy for me (and these days, I need it). It is cathartic for me, having people read the blogs and make comments about them is great, but the opportunity to void my mind of some 'mental noise' of which I seem to have an abundance, is welcomed. The blog I had planned to write today stemmed from an incident in which woman in a store asked me if I had grandchildren. Briefly, the gist of the post was going to be centered around that fact that while chronologically (had I started having children earlier in my marriage), I am old enough to be a grandma, the word 'grandma' does not necessarily evoke feelings of youthful exuberance to me and basically makes me feel cranky, annoyed and in need of a serious make-over. That said, a comment made this morning by my husband so far superseded the granny dig that I decided to write about it instead. Take a moment and get some coffee or a cold drink, I think this might be a long post.
I feel the need to interject a disclaimer before I get started because at face value, the comment was so banal that it probably would not have even registered as an issue for most people. Additionally, I am passionate about everything, both positively and negatively, so things usually get to me more than they do the average person. Living with revolving unemployment (it has become like a boomerang, we get rid of it, but it keeps coming back) and underemployment over the past almost five years has truly not been a walk in the park by any means. The situation works on your psyche over time, it erodes your self-esteem, heaps on the self-doubt and makes you question your self-worth. Long-term and repeated unemployment necessitates 'doing whatever it takes' to land the next job from attending endless networking meetings and events to revamping your resume a hundred times so that it is tailored to each and every job to which you apply. Basically, you need to act like a marionette, dancing along to whatever change the headhunter or HR person pulling your strings wants you to do next. Then, this morning, my husband informed me that he had been speaking to an HR person last night (at his networking function du jour), and she had mentioned he would need to shave his beard because he would probably not get hired where we live if he were to have one. Seriously?
Frankly, I am so not okay with that for so many reasons, none the least of which is the beard itself as even I realize that he can grow it back. For me, it is what the beard represents about which I take issue. What I resent is that this is yet another string being pulled, another ridiculous and inane step that this man needs to take in order to have a chance at a job. Let me preface this by saying that his beard is not of the 'John Lennon during the Let It Be phase' nor does he resemble anyone from Duck Dynasty. I am angry that he needs to alter his appearance as if by doing so, he will somehow become a more qualified candidate for underemployment at a particular company.
If effort to find another job--again and again and again--could morph into a real job with a salary, then my husband should be a CEO by now. He has raised the job search bar so high he is even harnessing his search efforts and giving back to the community by volunteering his time as the head of a networking group at our church. He certainly never expected anyone to hand him a job, he has put in an incredible amount of time over the past years trying to secure a stable position in an unstable economy.
So, yes, I know I need to 'put on my big girl panties' and deal with the loss of his beard--for the record, that I love-- because he will continue to do whatever it takes (and I will continue to be ticked off about it our lack of choice in the process)to land a job. Let's face it, desperation is not sexy, but apparently, it does seem to need to be clean-shaven where we live.