Thursday, August 30

Less Joy in Mudville

Remember "Casey at the bat"? The final stanza:

" Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville -- mighty Casey has struck out."

Well, I didn't get the library job I interviewed for or the secretary job I was offered pending a five day posting for internal candidates. A good internal candidate turned up, bringing me another come-from-ahead loss.

And the library job? Well, I think I'm Too Introverted to be a Librarian. This may be a fatal flaw in these days of diminished government funding. For $17.00 an hour one is expected to be an expert in child literacy and a go-getter at building community alliances. Except for large libraries like Ridgedale, Brookdale, Southdale, and Minneapolis Central, I believe the days of the reference librarian are over.

As I used to joke with my friend Laura long ago, it's time for life plan Z'', or Z double prime -- there have been many " life plans" along the way.


I was devastated the day the secretarial job fell through. I got through the day by promising myself I could hide under the covers when I got home. Jarrett was home when I got home, and he gave me a hug and asked me if I wanted to talk. Yes, the Man of Few Grunts himself. What a peach. This is his way when I am sad. I feel very supported. He doesn't say much, but I can feel how tuned in to me he is. He gives me some extra hugs, volunteers more help around the house, fetches me something to drink, and listens when I want to talk.

When Evan came home I was hiding under the covers, but I'd promised Jarrett I'd take him to buy a new video game he had on reserve, so once again parenthood pulled me out of self-centered self-pity and into the mobile world. Obligations give life structure -- something absolutely critical for a person who battles depression. Thank god for kids, cats, and work.

Evan gave me a hug too, and asked if I wanted to talk. What fine sensitive guys. Once male pattern baldness sets in, they'll be perfect Sensitive New Age Males. Evan also did something he's very good at, although it's hard to explain. I guess you could say he took over the physical and emotional management of the evening, smoothing out any conflicts, making sure things went smoothly and we all stayed on an even keel, pitching in even more than usual with chores.

Furthermore, he does it so subtly. There's no heroics of "Look, now I'm doing dishes because you are incapacitated with sadness, ain't I great." He just quietly steps in and covers things, not in a perfectionist way. He does "just enough," and that's a compliment, not a put-down. He doesn't grandstand it, and neither does Jarrett. I guess you could say Evan takes on a wider and more subtle role, some elements of which you might not notice if you weren't paying attention. In particular, the way he takes on what I can only call the "emotional management" of the household that impresses me.

I've seen Mom do this many times, and most of the moms I know (or women in any relationship), but I think it's outstanding that teenage young men have chosen to learn how to do it, each in their own way and to their own ability, and know when it's needed. I don't like to lean on them, but we all have days when we need support, and boy, do I appreciate it.

P.S. The subsequent days have been much better and my mood is much improved.

No comments:

Post a Comment