Thursday, August 22, 2013

In which Primo and I negotiate over the terms of his possibly quitting his well-paying job that puts a roof over our heads and food on our table

You guys know that Primo wants to quit his job and do something more meaningful, which is completely understandable: the alimony ended last year and I have a job and we have a little more financial freedom plus he has been doing the same kind of work for a long time.

He is bored. He has ennui. And he wants to do something with purpose.

If we had children, he might not feel this way, as rearing children is a ton of work and you get to see results of that work and then one day, have grandchildren so all you have is the fun with none of the crap. But we do not have children and we don't have grandchildren to look forward to. Well, not grandchildren we can see frequently. Primo's two stepdaughters have three children between them, one of them brand new, and they are the cutest kids in the world but they are on the other side of the country so it's not like we get to be a part of their everyday lives.

I understand the desire for meaning and the desire to leave one's mark on the world.

And I want Primo to have this.

But I want something out of this.

As in, we have been negotiating.

So far, I have gotten an agreement that I would not face any opposition to changing my name back to my maiden name, which yes yes yes I know is as patriarchal as taking my husband's name - what's the difference between a father's name and a husband's name? - but I am not trying to make a statement against The Patriarchy or The Man. I just want my name back and I don't want to share a name with Sly and Doris.

Yes I am that petty. If you want a blog written by someone who is nice and who doesn't wish her in-laws dead (not enough to take out a contract on them - that would be wrong - but enough to wish they would either become nice or just disappear so Primo wouldn't be subject to their meanness), then you'll have to find somewhere else. There are a lot of nice bloggers out there.

(My friends' parents are starting to die. Nice parents are dying. The mean parents endure.)

I have also tried to get Primo to agree that we would never have a political conversation again. I have not had as much luck with that.

Primo has also offered to

1. paint the garage
2. paint the windowsills

I have informed him that if he becomes the stay-at-home person, he will be in charge of all the housework and the cooking.

Me: And you can't buy beer.

Primo: But that's one of the purposes of my quitting - to get to relax more!


  1. If he's the stay at home person with no responsibilities for, say, children or an ill relative who lives nearby, then it would seem fair for him to be responsible for:

    all cleaning
    all cooking
    all grocery shopping
    all errands
    all laundry
    all ironing
    all cat grooming, feeding, barf cleaning, litter box tending, etc.
    all yardwork

    And I say that as the former stay at home who did much of the above (minus the cats and heavy yardwork) while taking care of two small children.

    In other words, it's not too much to expect, nor is it too much to handle.

  2. Well, Primo, welcome to adult-hood. All of us would like to do something rewarding and important, and maybe even interesting - well, that would be my first choice. But, the reality of the world is that we don't. GD ain't exactly jumping up and down yelling, "i love my job, i love my job", either.

    That's why we call it "work". Perhaps he can truly cut back and work 3/4 time and have more time for relaxing. Maybe he needs to become less controlling and allow himself to not try to do it all.

    But, if he does cut back or stop work, he absolutely must take on 3/4 of the household stuff. Jen's list is good. And, her point well made.

  3. Maybe he could just change jobs? I can understand being bored...but would he lose a pension or retirement benefits? Lots to consider...Maybe D&S can start calling him golddigger if he lives off of your income? (jk)