Friday, July 15, 2005

But What ELSE Do You Do?

I went to a cocktail party last night. It was held at a hotel which overlooks the ocean and had all the food and alcohol one could hope for. These events are always awkward for me. I love the food and the drinks, but I feel uncomfortable in these situations. First, I'm only 5'3" and I get pushed in crowds. I can't see and I have a difficult time maneuvering around the masses (there were probably 300 people in attendance). After being home in semi-isolation for the last 3 1/2 years, I've lost my poise amongst people. I have no idea what to wear or what to talk about.

This event is particularly discomfiting. Everyone there is involved in real estate in some form or another. Everything is about the deal. When someone meets you, they are judging whether they can use you to get ahead. Upon realizing I'm not a member of the industry, they quickly exit. Its not necessarily a bad thing because these people tend to be interested in one thing: money.

At one point in the evening I sat down with a piece of cheesecake at one of the cute little tables surrounding the fountains. My husband deserted me to talk business with a client. A woman sat down at the table and asked me who I worked for. When I explained I was a SAHM, she asked me what else did I do. Certainly I must do something else. I was a little shocked. You mean being a mom to 3 kids and taking care of a house isn't enough? I suppose I could have said I was a struggling writer and talked about my writing, but I really didn't want to. I know when I've talked about my writing before, I've seen eyes glaze over in boredom.

It is amazing how low down on the social food chain stay-at-home-moms are. What a wake up call.

Well, the food was good and the drinks free, so I'm not one to get too worked up. I did learn some lessons. Women who are 45 really shouldn't shop in the Jr.'s section, they look ridiculous. Too much sun makes a woman look like shoe leather. If it weren't for cell phones, some people wouldn't know how to talk.

Oh, I wanted to add...

In relation to my post about losing and finding my writing mojo (thank you ladies for all of your good thoughts), I saw this post by Olivia and thought she more eloquently said what I was feeling.


Anonymous said...

I often just tell people I'm a stay-at-home-mom. It's easier than explaining that I'm a romance writer.

porchwise said...

Welcome to the long, rough, rocky, idiotic road to publication and the rockhead agents you have to deal with..columns were much agents, but then again, no money.
Glad you found your 'voice'. I never 'read' mine but pounding out a chapter one morning, I heard it..caused me to rip up three hundred pages or so.

Crystal* said...


If that isn't the biggest crock since I don't know when. And the ironic thing being that even if you HAD discussed your writing, you're right. You would have gotten "the look."
I did enjoy your "lessons" though.
Hmph. What a heifer.

Melissa Amateis said...

Being a SAHM mother is one of the toughest jobs on the planet. I'm not discounting those moms who have a job outside of the home, as well (I'm one of them now) because both are extremely difficult to do. But for those people who think staying at home all day taking care of children and a household is EASY need a good dose of reality. It is VERY hard - one of the hardest jobs I've ever had. It's because you don't get to go home at 5 p.m. and not face your job the next morning - you are at your job 24/7 with very few breaks.
People are just stupid sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne, I do the same thing! Not that I'm ashamed of it, I LOVE what I do, it's the best job in the world, but I get tired of explaining that no, I am not a sex expert, and yes, I actually get paid to write "those books".

Rene, hugs on the party. I get very anxious in social situations just like that one too!

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Yeah, it is hard being a SAHM, and a wife. You have all kinds of obligations and your needs always come second. And you do it all for the love of your family!

Cheer up!


I'm shorter than 5'3" LOL!

~~Olivia said...

It actually matters little what your profession is if it is different than the majority of the people at the gathering.

I am an out-of-the-house working mom. When asked the question of my profession, I see glazed eyes most of the time. I design computer software programs. If I am talking to someone that knows nothing of the software development business, their interest dies very quickly.

People would rather talk about their own interests than yours.

A conversation starting response to the typical what-do-you-do query could be something like, "I raise my children, but how are you connected with real estate (or insert other main topic here)?"

. . . And thanks. Can you make it rain?

Tess said...

Rene - that woman just has NO clue. My sis is also a SAHM of three. And that's ALL she does - and is doing a damned good job. As far as I'm concerned, you're TOP of the food chain :-) Raising the next generation!!! A very important job.

Though I still think you should have mentioned your writing. Though I know how hard it can be. The reaction when I mention mine varies widely, so I have to be in just the right mood, or like you, I just don't say thing.