As most of you know, Chief Money Maker brings in the primary yeast for this family’s bread baking needs. Because of this, I’ve discovered that there is quite a disparity between the way the crumb snatchers perceive his job and mine. There is a slim possibility it is because he doesn’t go around telling stories about them, but I’m still not convinced that is the main issue. I believe the crux of the issue is that no one understands the life of a writer (or a wanna-be writer to be more accurate.)
Chief Money Maker has blessed me with the opportunity to stay at home and pursue this life-long dream of mine, and to make sure I bring him lunch every day, pack his suitcase when he goes out of town, call the air conditioner repair man when needed (see previous blog titled Clean House, Dirty Air Conditioner), and refill his coffee as needed. Hmmmm, did I just describe the job of a secretary? If you factor in the make-out sessions he asks for on the rare occasions when we get rid of all the crumb snatchers, then I believe I just did.
Anywho, the life of a writer isn’t easy. I’ve encountered a few issues in my new profession, the first being that I must share an office space with Chief Money Maker now that he works from home as well. I pride myself on being a pretty good cube mate. Chief Money Maker on the other hand has been afforded the opportunity of the solitude of his own private office for many years. The kind of solitude that allows him to crunch on ice at whim, to giggle out loud at the latest People of Wal-Mart joke arriving in his inbox, and to repeatedly click his pen when on important business calls discussing WANS, LANS, and I think I even once heard him discussing hams.
Writers, however, need solitude to reach inside the depths of their creative, or some might say warped, minds and generate the words that will entertain the masses that subscribe to their blog (or the fifteen people currently subscribed). Either way, I need my own space. Unfortunately, with a crumb snatcher housed in every spare inch of our home, it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting that opportunity anytime soon. Perhaps I need to amp my efforts to encourage The Eldest crumb snatcher and his cousin to move out on their own, vacating the upstairs Man Cave so I can take it over as a writing studio.
Although Chief Money Maker understands and supports my new objective, the crumb snatchers have some trouble understanding the requirements of my current job. This has been the second, and more challenging obstacle to overcome in my new career. When Sweet Pea recently wanted an impromptu trip to the mall, I had to explain that I was working.
“But Mom, you’re just sitting on the couch watching “Jerry Springer” and eating those bon bon thingies!”
“No honey,” I explained sensitively, “Mommy is getting story ideas. Today’s story is about this woman’s brother-cousin Bo that just had a sex change and has become a pole dancer at her favorite lesbian biker bar! Fascinating stuff, don’t you think?” Sweet Pea just rolled her eyes and walked away.
A few days later, The Eldest crumb snatcher brought home a new friend of the female persuasion and brought her into our home office to introduce her to us. Chief Money Maker was busy working on a 600 page spreadsheet filled with those WAN, LAN, and ham thingies, crunching ice, and clicking his pen repeatedly. The Eldest explained that Chief Money Maker had a very important job that no one could accurately explain and that he had to go on really important business trips where he sent pictures of himself and his “team” sitting in bars nightly discussing “work”. The female friend seemed quite impressed.
He then sweetly introduced me. “This is my Mom. She’s an aspiring writer who seems to be working on her novel,” then glancing at my computer screen, “or updating her Facebook status.”
“No honey,” I explained sensitively, “Mom is networking on Facebook. It’s not the same thing!”
His female friend said, “Way cool! I’ll add you as a friend and we can work on each other’s farms!” Sigh, no one understands my job.
The final clue that no one understands my writing goals came when Gummi Bear crumb snatcher, the youngest of the crew, asked me one night if I was going to cook dinner.
While lying on the couch, I responded “Ask your Dad if he can get something started. I’m going to be working late tonight.”
He responded, “But you’re just reading The National Enquirer!”
I finally lost it and called everyone downstairs for a family meeting. “Look you bunch of insensitive, life-draining, money leeching, hoodlums…” Wait, I think it was a little more like this. “I love you all dearly and I need to explain to you that Mama Bread Baker has a very busy job. Writing for Dummies says that I need to network (i.e. post on Facebook), gather story ideas (i.e. watch “Jerrry Springer”), and expand my knowledge of current events (i.e. read The National Enquirer) to become a successful writer. You all want me to be successful, don’t you, so we can get that nice built in swimming pool in the back yard, right?”
They all glanced at each other and the bravest (or dumbest) finally spoke up and said, “Oh, we thought that was going to come from a bonus from Chief Money Maker’s real job.”
And suddenly the light bulb illuminated. The crux of the problem wasn’t that they didn’t understand what I was doing. It was that they hadn’t seen a paycheck coming from my job. Maybe they have a point. I guess I better quit networking, gathering story ideas, and expanding my knowledge of current events and get back to work on my novel. Those crumb snatchers may not be as dumb as they look!
© 2011 CThacker