Tuesday, July 10, 2007

lying

i try not to lie. i mean, that's my big thing. to me, lying is wrong. if someone asks me something that i don't want to answer, i'll figure out a hundred different ways to say it without actually lying.

but. when it comes to my husband's CAREER, i do lie. i think that of all our many friends, only one or two know what his job is. and the friends that know it are only the friends who are worse off-jobwise. my parents don't even know what he does. our good friends, especially with impressive jobs don't know what he does. they know who he works for, but they don't know his job title.

honestly, we rarely talk about what he does when we're with friends. if the conversation is steering toward that direction, you can count on me to help steer it somewhere else.

am i ashamed of my husbands job? i wouldn't say ashamed. no, that's not it. disappointed that he doesn't have a more prestigious career? maybe. there's nothing wrong with his job,really. it pays OKAY. it pays our bills. it's not a bad job, but it's nothing to brag or be excited about. pretty close to an entry level type postion. it's an honest living, but nothing special. at all.

i guess i expected him/us to have a great career by our mid 30s, and he doesn't. when people ask what he does, i just say that he's a project manager. that's kind of a general, vague answer. i usually don't have to go into detail. usually after i tell them that, they don't ask for specifics about it. i guess it gives them just enough to form an opinion. at least i don't have to reveal his actual, mediocre, non-impressive job to anyone.

my parents know which company he works for but they never ask what he actually does. deep down, i think they probably think it's not so important or maybe they think they're sparing me the uncomfortableness of me telling them that he has an uninspired, dull office job.

i am proud of the fact that we've never had to borrow money from anyone in the past 11 years we've been married, and that we have perfect credit. so what if i don't tell the truth about what he really does?

when people ask what my husband does, do they really care? are they just trying to make an assumption about us based on what i tell them? i don't believe that our outwardly appearance gives any indication that we don't make a better living than we actually do, so what difference does it make? i'm just being hopeful.

17 comments:

Leigh-Anne said...

I don't tell anyone what I do for a living either. Especially not people from high school!

Maybe because so much was expected from me (I was a top achiever at school)...

Generally, when asked, I say "I work for an IT company". Previously, I worked for a multinational consulting engineering practice, and that's what I told people. Always. I never, ever said "I'm a receptionist".

It just doesn't sound as good...

Never mind that in my present position (I'm now Personal Assistant to the Chief Technical Officer of an IT Company) I earn at least double what my schoolmates are earning. It just doesn't sound nearly as good as what people expect me to be saying, and being a glorified secretary is just not what I envisaged for myself when I left school.

I never come right out and lie. I'm just deliberately vague and very selective about sharing the full truth...

Anonymous said...

Okay, I've done the same thing too. I'm not ashamed of my partner. I just want people to think he's just as amazing as I do and I don't want them to think less of him because of where he works. It's kind of protection thing with me. I really have to know someone well to open up, so don't feel guilty. It's not your fault that some people can be incredibly cruel and judgmental.

Anonymous said...

Some people can be judgemental, but that's their problem, not anybody else's. A good friend of mine told me, 'The people who care about it don't matter; the who don't care are the ones that matter. I'm guilty of trying to look better too, but I'm trying to get over it. Easier said than done, right?

Natalie said...

My boyfriend doesn't have he greatest job. He isn't as educated as me or most of my friends. He's still an amazing guy. Some of them know what he does. Some of them don't. It depends on how I think they will react. We are doing ok although we need to be doing better if we want the things we want from life. we'll get there. I think it is ok. Plus, omission of details is not the same as lying.

D said...

On the topic you brought up... yeah, I think lots of people do that.

On a tangent, maybe you and your husband could have a conversation something like...

"Honey, are you interested at all in upgrading your career? If you are, I wanted to know if there's anything I can do to help. And you know I love you dearly, but it would be nice to have a little more money now and then, and I know you've got the talent to do whatever you want to do. Is there anywhere you want to head with your career that you'd really enjoy and that might be a great career move, too?"

And since I believe in equality and that women can do anything men do, don't rule out the possibility that you could be the mega-successful spouse. (I bought my daughter a shirt that says "anything boys can do, I can do better"). I joked around with her a little bit and said I'd take the shirt back if she turned into a diva, but that I wanted her to be proud of her ability to get from point A to point B, and to never let gender roles or anything else get in the way of what she truly wants.

D

D said...

I read a different post where it sounds like you have had something like this conversation... : )

Aly Cat 121 said...

Dayum I wonder if most people have jobs they feel are "less than". I used to be an administrative assistant for UC for several years while I was in school. I always told folks were I worked and what I did. No one ever said anything, or maybe they did but I just didn't know.

Frankly I don't think there are many people that have super high end Condolezza Rice type jobs or Bill Gates type of positions. Most of us work in gov't as admins, project managers, IT assistants, or some for of supervisor or mid level managers. And most folks probably earn about 30K-65K or a little more a year (regardless of your education). It rare we run in the circle of VP, CEO, Executives who are all over 100K and up.

So don't feel bad. Your hubby ain't the only "pickin up garbage"

Anonymous said...

"I don't want them to think less of him because of where he works. It's kind of protection thing with me. I really have to know someone well to open up, so don't feel guilty. It's not your fault that some people can be incredibly cruel and judgmental."

No, you have reservations about revealing his job to others because you don't want to be thought of as lower and lesser due to the status of your partner. You are the one who is secretly ashamed of him. You are not at peace with him nor yourself. Why, you and That Black Girl have the same mentality, birds of the same feather fly together holds true in this case, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm black and I have a well-educated black man who makes more than enough money to support both of us...You got with a white man and still have the short-end of the stick-so to speak and you're ashamed of him.

Anonymous said...

Its a proven fact that when a white man marries a black woman (and everyone knows a bout it), his status and salary goes down hill meaning that he typically won't make as much income as the 'other men'.

Anonymous said...

Proven where?

I would be interested to see a link to some study or something. And how on earth would you know that the reason is because he is married to a black woman, and not some other job performance-related reason?

Anonymous said...

Wow. I did not realize this was such a big issue for so many people. I'm thinking "where the hell have I been?" Anyway, what I felt when I read it all was that it sounded so "crazy". And I don't in any way mean to lessen anybody's feelings or experiences by using that reflexive term. My spouse (when we were together) worked at McDonalds. Not the "regional muckdy-muck" or anything like that just the "plain McDonalds worker" and I never thought that. I was glad that somebody was taking whatever job they could get so we could get by. I dunno. And for Pete's sake I'm not telling you or anybody to do anything differently; what you do must "cure" or asage something you feel. I just couldn't help think how happy I would be just to not have had to ask people for money or not make bills meet. (Kind of laughing actually remembering it)...god knows we did both. Incidently, the stress and anxiety would kick the hell out of your marriage if it WAS like that.Look how good you actually have it?

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm black and I have a well-educated black man who makes more than enough money to support both of us...You got with a white man and still have the short-end of the stick-so to speak and you're ashamed of him

My parents are both obscenely educated huxtables (dad's a doctor, mom's a nurse practicioner/CFO/semi-retired goddess living in a giant house in a gated community driving her range rover.)

People maka a lot of assumptions about what marrying white is going to do for them. But the reality is that unless you educate yourself towards a PhD, you're always going to end up with someone of your same class because you share the same values (regardless of race). There ain't no way in hell, after all the education I got I'm marrying some man who doesn't at least have the same amount, have a clear understanding of what's going on and not make me look stupid in front of my family.

Yeah that's harsh, but I don't feel sorry for a white man who can't make it in a society where the rules are set up for him to succesd.

sucker.

Anonymous said...

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Galinda30 said...

The black Girl and a bunch of you should all be ashamed of yourselves! who gives a crap about what others should think about our spouses when they help keep a roof over your head, food in our bellies and are generally good and constant providers, i mean, these other people that you all are so concerned about are not paying the bills in your house. There are so many women that would love to trade places with you. Mediocre jobs mean nothing to me when you love the spouse your with, and you love them enough to have their children and through all that you are ashamed about your spouses occupation? being a provider! the nerve. There are so many men out here that donot provide for ther families, I dont care what my husband does, as long as he!! is happy as long as we! can pay our bills we make the deals.

keep it real said...

Don't feel ashame of your husband JOB! He making a honest living and taking care of his responsiblities that is something to be proud of considering the fact that there is a lot of men( of all race)that is not doing that. If you feel that your man should or can do better, then it's your place to encourage him to better himself and expand his education.To tell one lye...you have to tell two; You should be ashame of yourself so stop it! You have to lift your head up and stop worrying about impressing others.

Anonymous said...

I think you should tell people what your husband does, even if you are ashamed of it. One of your friends might have some advice / contacts that would help him in his career. But you'll never know unless you can share some of your concerns with them. It would be a shame to miss those opportunities.