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susie homemaker

February 18, 2007

(added to on 2/19) 

hey, for once it’s a story about someone besides myself messing up!

girls, don’t do this; boys, be on the look-out:

picture an extremely intelligent 21-year-old girl in college. she scores at the top of her classes regularly in the pre-med program, and yet switches to nursing. she does this not because she doesn’t enjoy what she’s learning, but because she wants a less demanding career so she can get married and immerse herself in becoming Susie Homemaker. in fact, as soon as humanly possible, she wants to be a stay-at-home wife. this, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call earning an M.R.S. (for you slow ones out there, going to college solely to find a husband). beware of these girls wasting their parents’ money and their own time because by month four of dating, you may be the boyfriend pressured into contemplating engagement rings or the best friend who has to listen to eternal, insipid conversation only about said boyfriend.

i’m neither of these direct parties, but it looks even worse from further out.

i’ve known susie homemaker since freshman year, we’re all part of the same loose group of girlfriends. she’s very smart, many times awesomely outrageous, witty, and attractive. when she’s good, she’s good to be around. but through the years we’ve all noticed this vein of underlying insecurity, seemingly much worse than mine. from things she’s said, it’s easy to see that she doesn’t value singleness. she sees it as a lesser existence and wants nothing else in the world but a boyfriend.

it’s strange to look through her eyes and understand what boyfriend means to her. i know on my part, i’m lonely. i want someone to be close to. i feel that a partner, like friends, will improve life (plus the sex stuff is good), but i don’t expect it to be the heart and soul of my world. i guess i picture it as having a best-best-friend; it just makes life more tolerable, more fun because there’s someone you can be easy around and share your day (and night). hence, in my situation where i’m lacking a best friend and am suffering severe sexual deprivation, singleness is thoroughly infuriating. susie’s reasoning, however, is much more ominous. she really seems to think that we’re all running around as half a person, and that until we find someone to link up with, we’re inferior. this is obviously nutso. there is nothing wrong, and plenty of people in favor of, singleness. plus, there are plenty of wonderful human beings out there who might not have the timing or the luck to run into someone who suits them. my mother is a wonderful whole person. she had an arranged marriage to my father, a man who means well, but doesn’t always end well. i would not see her coupleness as superior or contributing to her “wholeness”. and had she remained single her entire life, i would have attributed it to being so gung-ho about her work that she never stopped to really look, or maybe just never met anyone compatible enough.

ever since this particular susie homemaker scored a boyfriend, she seems determined to make her best friend/roommate feel substandard. here’s the gist of what she said to her roommate earlier today:

hey, are you doing anything tonight? oh ok. well i was going to have over <boyfriend>’s friends and their girlfriends. so, you might want to go hang out somewhere else, like stay over because otherwise you’ll probably feel obligated to stay in your room all night.

hmmm. so usually, one would go out of one’s way to make someone feel at home when a single friend might be uncomfortable in a couples situation. this is especially true when one is sharing one’s living space with the odd girl out. usually, one wouldn’t make it sound as if one wants the single girl to leave, as if she is a leper, when one invites other couples over…..

my own and others’ experiences with susie have dived into a negative tailspin. all roads lead to loverboy, as three hours of dinner conversation invariably showed. the girl is freaking out every other minute about something her boyfriend says. in just my presence, she asked eight different girls she knows to read the card he gave her because she interpreted it as implying imminent breakup. the letter said that he has really loved the past four months they’ve shared together. that’s all. really.

luckily there were five other girls to drown her voice out at dinner tonight. i observed as she first felt me, then three other girls out on responsiveness to her boring and trivial stories. i’m definitely the wrong person to pick, whether currently single or attached, to describe the special pink valentines day cocktails she concocted with this special dye she bought, or the types of flowers she specially ordered and arranged, or the glittery vday card she made, or the kinds of candles she lit specifically purchased for the dinner, or the food she made and the ridiculous care she took, and blah blah blah. maybe the stuff she did wasn’t really that over the top, although i’m still wondering why bother because the boy is definitely not going to care. i’m not the cutesy type, most of that kind of thing seems like a waste of time and pukily corny, but either way, the conversation about it was unnecessary, especially in the face of glazed over eyes and noncommital replies.

in the blizzard that hit here a few days ago, susie homemaker gets her car stuck in the parking lot. she calls her roommate down to help her and roommate is trying her best to shovel susie’s car out (in a blizzard) while susie sits in the (heated) car trying to drive it out of the drift. boyfriend arrives on the scene and helps roommate while susie is still in the car. another kind neighbor joins the mission. all three are shoveling away and susie apparently says, “oh <boyfriend>, your hands are going to be frostbitten, oh stop, oh stop! i can’t stand it!”, finally making him go inside for a bit while they continue. forget that loyal roommate has been shoveling for over an hour before boyfriend even arrived on the scene to help. i would come to the same conclusion as my friend—susie just doesn’t care about anyone else all that much anymore.

susie golden quote:

god i hate that girl laura. she’s really just horrible. i can’t believe she’s a wife. she shouldn’t be allowed to be, it’s just not fair that she’s married when she can’t do anything and i’m not but i would be so good at everything. it’s just not fair.

some of susie’s expenses:

  • 28 dollar bottles of wine
  • dozens of pricey scented candles
  • many, many dinners out where she covered herself and her broke boy toy for filet mignon and other expensive goodies
  • sexy clothes and lingerie for boyfriend
  • special cherries that cost twice the amount of red cherries for a dessert she was making for boyfriend
  • individually picked fresh flowers to arrange as the centerpiece during the many dinners she cooks him

what susie neglected to spend on:

  • two months worth of utilities for the apartment, asking her much more money-strapped roommate to cover for her while at the same time going into gross detail about how expensive everything she buys for her boyfriend is
  • sorority dues, which means she had to deactivate for the semester

to think that this girl was actually a kind, caring, normal friend not four months ago.

something i watched a long time back but seems relevant is a sex in the city episode where the main girl whatsherface talks about all the different events she goes to and all the presents she buys for people—weddings, baby showers, engagment parties, anniversaries—all of which involve couples. the only events she goes to for single people are birthdays, which attached people obviously also share. she asks why there isn’t a day for single people. why do we only celebrate and buy expensive gifts for those who choose to get married and have families? it’s as if no one’s actually announcing that single equals bad, but the way our society functions reinforces that idea.

slightly tangential, i recently read toni morrison’s sula. quick synopsis is that two girls, the best of friends, break up when one of the girls sleeps with the husband of the other. this betrayal seems to warrant the scorned wife’s anger, but morrison raises an intriguing point: why do we value love between husband and wife as transcending love between friends? i mean really, why does a man you’ve known a few years trump a friend you’ve known since you were three? ok obviously people are going to offer all sorts of darwinian explanation of family survival, etc, which are all completely true. but it’s still an interesting point. you know when someone asks if you’re going out with such and such boy and you say, “oh no, we’re just friends”, why is it damningly clear that friendship is less than?

in conclusion, there’s nothing wrong with single. we shouldn’t have to apologize for it, or endure looks of pity when we’re forty and say “it’s Ms. actually”. please don’t be that girl who wraps her entire life around a boy, looks foolish, and still has the audacity to pity us because guess what? i wouldn’t bet much on a life where everything you are about is tied to your kids and husband while they have their own rewarding spheres of life which don’t include you.

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2 comments

  1. It’s disturbing that you have such a strong opinion on your “friends” life decisions. I’m a homemaker myself. I never made it to college. The only degree I have is diaperology. I’m perfectly happy however. I do look at my husband as my other half and he makes me whole. And vice versa. He’s not whole without me neither. That is just us though. You wrote entirely too much on the subject and I really didn’t even read it all. If you are more comfortable being single, you shouldn’t really worry about what everybody else thinks of you. It sounded to me like you want to have a boyfriend but you in some way look down at yourself and maybe haven’t had one, or were hurt by a guy before. But in any case, what other people do with their life, isn’t really your business and honestly, doesn’t really require a blog about it either. You sort of made it sound like, woman need a career and can’t be stay at home wives/moms, because that would be stereotypical!! Who cares what everybody/anybody thinks of me or what I do with my life. I LOVE being a stay at home mom. My life is complete. I love getting a mass amount of hugs from my daughters and not having a lame schedule to follow. The only one I follow, is the one I made for us! I am the boss and It only took…wait that didn’t take any classes or training. Being a parent isn’t trained, even though there are books and classes and bla bla bla.
    Anyway, my point is if your friend wants to be a stay at home wife/mom I say YAY for her. Not every woman needs to be a career woman. Not every woman needs to stay home. Just because it’s not correct in your eyes, doesn’t mean it’s entirely wrong. It’s just wrong for you. I think you need to losen up and let some aggresion go. You are setting your own stereotype and it showed in your blog. Just be yourself.


  2. i think you’ve missed the entire point of the post, and believe me, i read it to see if your points were valid. i really don’t think they are (please someone else correct me if i’m wrong). i’m not commenting on the supposed uselessness of being a housewife–an aunt that i love to death is just that. i don’t see her on some lower level; she is the most loving, selfless woman i know. this post was about a particular girl who is only attending college to find a man (at $36,000 a year), who ditches her friends after she finds one, who makes them feel bad if said friends are single, and is pushing for an engagement after less than six months together with her boyfriend. she sees her entire life revolving around her future family, WHICH WOULD BE GREAT IF, she didn’t look down on any other girl who doesn’t also think the same way. i agree with you that there isn’t any one way to live life. the whole point is to leave your mark, whether that comes through raising and taking care of a family the best way you know how (and believe me, my family life was not great growing up, so i would have loved to have this), or through a career that makes a useful impact on the world. i think that it was a mistake that you DIDN’T read the rest of the post. i think you saw “susie homemaker” and went into hostile mode. in fact, you’re siding with a girl who feels hostile towards any woman who chooses a career path. that seems hypocritical to me, but i have to give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t read the entire post and were just hurt by what you thought was an attack on women who choose raising a family as their career.



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