photo credit here
Amber and Seth Haines started a Monday series on marriage, penning letters about the grit and the grace of it all. this week's topic is "my job - your job." link your marriage letter here.
How many times now? --
“So, if you don’t mind my asking, what exactly does one do with a degree in Philosophy?”
[shifts weight, left to right]
[makes crazy Nietzsche face]
And this, my love, is where you thank God that you married an English major. For once I have shepherded the questioner through a maze of metaphors concerning the realm of the metaphysical and the future of mankind as we know it, you swim off the hook, and he or she is left believing that the lamentable vocation you’ve been assigned is listening to me ramble for the next seventy years, and these classes are simply convenient excuses for escape.
Little do they know that for all of the rhetoric, I wouldn’t know an epistemic axiom if it plopped into the dishwater.
And dishwater is what I do. That, and sticker charts, and Goodnight Gorilla on repeat - though I swore I wouldn’t. Our first fight as marrieds – on our honeymoon, nonetheless – was about the jobs we’d do, you and me. I watched a plate of shrimp and grits congeal while I explained to your raised eyebrows what "real work" was, what my qualifications were, what I planned on giving to the world.
Then we were given a boy. And he made a fool out of me.
Since he came, we’ve learned to take the work as it comes: steady -- sprint! -- then slow, reminding ourselves that
we’re making a life, not just a living.
We discuss Hobbes in the bathtub. You know my favorite students by name. We love the work that we do outside these walls, but ask for daily remembrance that the work within counts more. We’re finding our rhythm, amidst the chaos, and
it’s never fifty- fifty. You don’t keep a tally of the times you fold the laundry, and I write off the walk to the dumpster as part of my cardio for the day.
We work ‘til we’re dizzy, into the wee hours, then we tell Monday morning “not just yet” and spend our slow waking daydreaming out loud over oatmeal.
Soon, you’ll wear a tassel. All those late night papers will get you a fancy piece of paper, and No, I will not call you Master.
The day will dawn, soon enough, when you’ll receive paychecks with numbers higher than the electric bill, and there’s a part of me that’s already waiting at the mail slot for one. But then I catch a glimpse of you, and that smallest of ours is in your lap, cradled beneath some volume of Platonist whatnot, crinkling her eyebrows like you’ve been known to do.
And somehow, in those moments - this life of late nights and patchwork income – just works.
Here's to finishing this work we've started ...
Your proofreading paramour,