Friday, November 02, 2007

Hey Gorgeous, Wanna Calculate My Taxes?

I understand that most mothers out there don’t have to deal anymore with this issue. But it’s one of those “laugh to keep from crying” moments.

I’m not actively trying to date. But if I were to suddenly meet my bashert on his white steed with a five-point saddle seat for my daughter, I wouldn’t be too busy washing my hair.

I know it’s tough and confusing out there for single men who’ve suddenly realized their careers are going fine and it’s time for marriage. It’s baffling for divorced men who never thought they’d have to be “out there” again. Here’s a little piece of free advice to make things slightly less confusing:

A good pick-up line for a woman who is paid to grade student essays about poetry is NOT: “Maybe we can get together and you can explain some poetry to me sometime.”

Yes, I know some may say it’s a show of interest in my work.

But if asking me to explain “poetry” is an expression of interest, maybe my approach is all wrong. I should sidle up to a mortgage broker and say, “Hey handsome, how’s about you come over and tell me how I should finance my first home.”

Or an interior designer, “Hi there, big boy. I’ve got some upholstery with your name all over it. Can you give me a free makeover? I’m really interested in how you express yourself through color.”

I suggested the Poetry Center in Bethesda to the interested party. They have great classes in poetry and fiction, too.

Turns out he’s not really interested in poetry. He just wanted to hear me explain it.

Oh, in that case, let’s just ask a stay-at-home mom, after she’s done cooking, cleaning, entertaining, bathing and putting the child to bed to make him a big stir fry. No, he doesn’t like vegetables and won’t eat it, but he just wants to see how well you cook. Because mothers aren’t appreciated enough, and it’s showing interest in their work to ask them to work for you. Right?

Yes, many aspects of unpaid or poorly paid work are rewards in themselves—your baby’s giggles and babbling, clapping and pulling up, your clean, shiny floor, your fabulous Shabbat table, the kid who suddenly learned to read and went from a D- student to a B+ student.

Maybe you hate poetry; many people do. That's why jobs in the field are so few and not as handsomely rewarded as other jobs that require equal training. It's not a deal breaker. Insincerity is.

My Mom says I'm too picky. But I’m fine these days just reading or dancing with my daughter in the evenings: Reggae, salsa, waltzes. Whatever we’re in the mood for. She’s a charming conversationalist and has great rhythm.

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