Will wonders never cease?
Finally, after four months of a semi-dedicated search for gainful employment, I am the joyous recipient of that Holy Grail of all job seekers:
The callback came right after I had gone to talk to the charity thrift shop people about being a volunteer. Of course it did. It's like lighting a cigarette at a bus stop. As soon as you do, the bus comes, as if summoned by a higher power.
I am well-versed in this phenomenon, and its accompanying disappointments, so I understand that a callback is not the same thing as getting the job. But I have an interview next Tuesday and, if nothing else, I will have an excuse to dress up, go downtown, and - after the interview - spend the rest of the day at one of my favorite museums (note to self: bring flats).
That's all I'm going to tell you. Until then. So, woo-hoo! wish me luck.
In the meantime, in an effort to dissipate some of the nervous energy currently surging through my brain, I'm going to contemplate something that has recently been brought to the attention of the world: the "wife bonus".
I consistently seem to be on the south side of trends that, were they happening when I was, I would have been genuinely interested.
One of these was the "push present". And now the "wife bonus".
The push present, I get. After the birth of my first child, I immediately understood (in spite of, or maybe because of, my penchant for uber-radical feminism) why men should buy women jewelry. And open doors for them. And walk behind them when entering a room. And go out and hunt mastodon. Personally, I think mothers should receive the same benefits as military veterans, especially if they stay home to raise the little buggers. Unfortunately, I was of the generation who was bullied into "natural" childbirth. Two of them. One was almost ten pounds. For that, there should be a Congressional Medal of Honor. And don't tell me I'm a whiner. That's what they told me in Lamaze, and they lied.
Now we have the "wife bonus" amongst the rich and powerful in New York City (and elsewhere, too, I'll wager, it's just too good), according to a somewhat casual anthropological study by one of the denizens of this caste. A wife bonus is money given to a stay-at-home wife/mother who lives up to the expectations of the working, mucho-bread-winning husband.
The criteria for the amount of money awarded is somewhat vague, and apparently varies according to the couple. It seems to involve producing multiple offspring, terrorizing them into accomplishments, not getting fat, running the households (plural) within a prescribed budget, and throwing dinner parties culturally indistinguishable from those on Downton Abbey. What's not to love?
Is there a performance review process? I hope so:
"Please step on the scale. Right. Two pounds up."
"But still, under the maximum limit."
"True. But I'll need to put you on warning. How are the kids?"
"Three of them are fine. One keeps setting his East Shore Country Day Pre-Pre-School classroom on fire."
"I don't know. He can't talk yet."
"Ten thousand over. We needed a sailboat."
And so on. Perhaps this is a trend that will trickle down. Imagine the same concept interpreted for a more typical American home:
"Please step on the scale."
"I'll step on your head."
"Go on, get up there. Right. JEEZ, lay off the cheeseburgers! How are the kids?"
"Good! Household budget?"
"Five hundred over. The kids are out of jail, they gotta eat."
I happily welcome the phrase "wife bonus" into my vocabulary, as will Webster's in some future edition, I predict. I will amuse myself with this for years. For instance, what kind of bonus could I imagine for myself...?
Nah. Forget it. Too complicated.
I would prefer just to be tipped.