I just finished reading your list of women I'm supposed to be admiring ("The Fierce List," pg 106) and I'm very happy to see these extraordinary women who put much energy and money into helping others. But I'm incredibly saddened by a societal norm that now considers a woman "extraordinary" because she does her job well, wrote a self-serving book, or has become a celebrity, or has a celebrity father! I'm not sorry that I don't want someone like Lady Gaga representing my sex. I see nothing extraordinary about her. I don't know if the story was done lazily or the budget was tight, but there are many, many women out there putting others before themselves and helping others for no fame or fortune. I would have been thrilled to have these women profiled even if I don't know their names.
Becky, Fort Worth TX
I rarely feel compelled to comment, but Helping Mr. No Job struck too close to home for me to let it go by. My husband was ‘downsized’ out of his job more than two years ago. He has had temporary jobs, always far below his old level, and one fabulous job which lasted four months until that company went through restructuring and he was downsized out again. At his age (57) it is difficult to find opportunity, there is definitely ageism and just plain economics at play in every decision; most companies will take a chance on the younger cheaper employee over him. So when I read the tips which included ‘don’t expect him to become a househusband’, I have to strongly disagree. We wouldn’t be married any longer if he had not stepped up and assumed almost all responsibility for maintaining our home life. I would resent him completely if I had to work full time and also had to do my ‘fair share’ of the home work while he was home looking for a job. Even now, while he is working at a temp job, I still expect him to manage all the household functions. His job is strictly by the hour, it all stays at work. Mine is demanding, requires some long days or part of weekends, and is exhausting. I don’t want to go to the grocery store on the way home and worry about making dinner. He doesn’t have a problem with it. The fact is, our roles have reversed. I am providing most of our financial support and stability. It’s not easy for either of us, it’s not what we want, be we do want to stay married and we are doing what works for us. Frankly, I think any self-respecting man would want to contribute in whatever way he could while unemployed, and should be happy to take some of the burden off his wife.
Also, the Parent Trap spoke to me, as I experienced the death of both of my parents 6 weeks apart in the summer of 2007. My mother was weeks away from her 87th birthday, my father was a few months from 90. That article spoke the truth, although it left out the irony of how many articles in More are about extending our health and life when at some point the brutal truth is extending life past a certain point is not desirable for many people. The points made were valid, my Dad stayed in assisted living for the last 15 months of his life, it was non-profit and I believe his care there was better than we could have given him at home. I also agree with the quality over quantity point. My mother became ill and deteriorated quickly, and while in the hospital we had her care transferred to hospice rather than medical, so we could focus on comfort and pain relief. On one of her last aware days she didn’t want the food they were serving and I asked what she would like…it was a particular kind of ice cream treat, which I went out and got for her right away. It’s the only thing she ate on the last day that she ate at all, and it comforts me that I was there to do that simple thing for her.
I think More is an excellent magazine for adult women and the issues in our lives. Thanks for the good work you do.