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We are the chosen ones

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Previously ……… The starting point: The Unemployment Chronicles, Vol. 1

—  Vol. 5  —

A week later …

I had a dream where I stumbled upon these really cool rocking chairs at a Costco in Pakistan, brought them over mountains with the aid of a 900-pound mule and a old Sherpa who helped transport us all into Afghanistan, where I’d sell the chairs at a small mark-up. So, in my mind, I’ve found work.

I was reading about the connection between work and worth and the value one gives the other — all about positive energy and fulfillment that’s lacking right now, with no employment. Also was led to a book called The Seasons of a Man’s Life, which details the difference between being in your lower 40’s and not as overwhelmed with goals and accomplishment – versus – the urgency a man feels in his upper 40’s, having not achieved the bulk of what he’s wanted in life.

No kidding.

When people who love their work say, “I’d even do this for free,” it’s different when you’re actually doing it for free and don’t have the enrichment of actual enrichment. This explains why I’m freaked.

I have to find some sort of income, not only for myself and state of being but for the sanctity of the household. Jules never used to be worried but lately she’s sweating smaller purchases, which only makes me additionally freaked. We’re both stressed for different reasons but similar reasons, at the same time.

We argued on the way home, a few nights ago. She had more than enough drinks and was making me feel like a loser by essentially calling me one, not in those words but not listening to anything I said because she was in her own argument. Granted, she’s footing bills I can’t contribute to and I get that, but what she said pissed me off so much that I pulled over, screeched to a halt in a parking lot, opened the door, and didn’t really know what to do once I got out of the car.

I screamed at her from outside her rolled-up passenger window, then just started walking. Like Forrest Gump. Kept to the sidewalk, headed home. Left the phone in the car, not smart. Totally on my own. This wasn’t in any way planned.

Probably a solid 20 miles from the house and I got about half way before my brother pulled up. I was in such a forward movement mindset, at that point, I was still walking even when I stood still. One foot in front of the other, no clue what the purpose of any of it was.

Jules was unable to drive and apparently a cop saw the car and threatened to tow us. I’m a shit for leaving her there and the worst part was, what she was saying to me was right. Didn’t realize that at the time. Couldn’t.

We didn’t talk for about 48 hours. I spent the next day trenching the backyard, extending gutter downspouts to move water underground, away from the house. We were supposed to do the project together but I knew she’d be hungover and we’d put it off for a better day. Went to Lowes, got the supplies and started digging.

Midway through, remembered I had an untouched Ruth’s Chris gift card I bought for half price years ago that I was saving for some point when I’d take her out.

Fuck that.

Showered, changed, poured a tall bourbon for the drive and sat at the bar. Had a medium rare burger out of anger and it was fucking delicious. Breaking out the fake money, all I’ve got left. Celebrated momentarily out of anger and pride in completing a project that was grueling, intense and neither of us wanted to do.

I did the job out of spite.

Couple of things to remember for us “modern males” — we are innovators. No one has ever been presented with our social or economic dilemmas. We are CEO’s of the homestead. We keep things moving pure as silk. Not many males are capable.

We are the chosen ones.

Food, gutters, children, pets, etc., and most important, keeping our women emotionally stable, which is no small task. They’re amazing at their jobs, but fragile. We manage the “talent.”

It’s not easy, it’s thankless, but damn it, it’s necessary! Resumes, letters, advice … ghostwriting at it finest, ghost shopping, ghost whatevah!

The Kowalski moments are necessary to show you are a man and still in control. Walking, throwing dishes against the wall, these are our primitive actions but effective ways of subconscious translation.

“I am the man!” Don’t under estimate your contribution.

I got out of the car two weeks ago and jogged four miles home. When CJ questioned my motives I simply said, don’t ever doubt me. She was speechless and later apologized. I’m a dick, I’m a career failure, but I’m a successful man and husband. Women just want to make sure we’re in control. CJ will always make more money than I and she deserves to, but she still needs me to be in control. I manage everything here and she admires and wants it that way.

A Stanley Kowalski moment is necessary now and again to reinforce. It’s in our DNA, don’t deny it.

I know you. You’re not a slacker. You’re a doer. You’re better than 99% out there …

I can teach you how to throw bowls against the wall.

Glad you had a Kowalski moment.

Found this from the Wall Street Journal and am still in a fetal position — “When the Wife Has a Fatter Paycheck.” For better or for worse and I’ve yet to be able to show Jules the better. Should be able to, know I’m capable, can never seem to locate it. Beyond feeling emasculated, feel unhuman, don’t know what I am.

Very good article. Look, I’m damn good at my non-conventional role. The house is perfect and I do my best to be a loving father and husband. But I AM enraged! I’m angry, and I don’t like myself no matter how much I try to justify my existence. But mostly I feel I’ve missed the boat.

I feel emasculated in the deepest sense and compensate with Kowalski moments to prove I’m a man, which is pathetic. But it’s in those moments I feel — on a DNA level — that I’m a man with power and control and that only adds fuel to the fire. The irony. The more I lose control, the more I feel I have it.

Vintery, mintery, cutery, corn,
Apple seed and apple thorn,
Wire, briar, limber lock
Three geese in a flock
One flew East
One flew West
And one flew over the cuckoo’s nest

I was listening to a financial investment show on the radio last week and the guy said his advice was to get a can of coffee and if you like coffee, drink and enjoy it. Then fill the empty can with whatever cash you have and dig a hole in the backyard. This was a financial adviser!!!!!

It’s ugly out there. At least you found something, not anything resembling what you’re looking for but still …

Well …

I respectfully “resigned” today. It was insane. The menu is 20 pages — soups, salads galore, burgers, build your own pizza 20 different ways with 10 different sides. They’re trying to be Cheesecake Factory so they do everything — EVERYTHING.

After 10 hours learning the computer and two “following” shifts, I still couldn’t put an order in without it taking two minutes. That’s how intricate and time-consuming the orders are. Everyone assured me, “it takes time,” “it took me 3 weeks,” but I came home last night after following my trainer and decided enough was enough. She was in the weeds and I basically watched her run around for 8 hours, non-stop. I think she walked with $80 after tip-outs and she earned every f’ing penny. She’s late 40’s and works six days a week, probably makes $600-700/week. But she has a lot of gray hair.

They do a good business, but the servers are always in the weeds and the side work is insane. I’m too old for this.

I got up this morning, went to the manager at 8 am and was very honest. Told him I was sorry for wasting his time, but I was done. He thanked me for actually going in and looking him in the face.

I’m closing this chapter of my life. I will never do that again.

Back to the drawing board.

To be continued (link below) …

  • Of the 4.3 million jobs created in the past three years, nearly 3 million have gone to people over the age of 55. To be sure, the unemployment rate remains naggingly high for all workers, including those 55 and over. But the unemployment rate drops sharply for seasoned workers over the age of 44 and remains comparatively low for those a decade older. The unemployment rate among those 44 and older is between 6.4% and 6.5%, according to this analysis of Department of Labor data.”  Older workers snapping up all the jobsCBS Moneywatch

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Next chapter: Vol. 6Minimum Wage and the Limonette Mystique

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