March 25th, 2008

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Personal note...

Yesterday was one of those days....

First I learned that we have to do the "Arts Scene" interview about Twenty-One Novel Poems over again tomorrow afternoon, because of some technical difficulties. Then there was a long series of unanticipated stuff that had to be done for the upcoming Arkansas Literary Festival gig -- complicated by my e-mail software acting up. I got nothing done on LJ, and nothing done on the book revision, and I was an exceedingly crochety person to have to put up with. Even my dog complained.

I don't think today is going to be a repeat of yesterday -- I sincerely hope today isn't going to be a repeat of yesterday -- but I can't be sure of that.

Staring fixedly into my inadequate crystal ball here....
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Caregiving discussion; afternote...

What do you think -- are we through with this discussion?

It seems to me that we've established a few things:

1. That for most families, holding the family together requires a lot of caregiving and emotional work.

2. That caregiving and emotional work ranges from actions as simple as sending a birthday card once a year all the way to the fulltime tending of infants and children, and the fulltime nursing of invalids.

3. That what goes on the list of caregiving and emotional work that has to be done, as opposed to just being something that would be nice but isn't really necessary, varies widely from household to household.

4. That whatever may be on that list, our culture seems to expect women to be responsible for caregiving and emotional work, even if only in the sense of having the ultimate responsibility for seeing that it gets done by someone else.

5. That men who assume the responsibility for caregiving and emotional work are still considered in some way exceptional or heroic or superior, while women in the same situation are perceived as doing what's "normal" and "natural" and expected of them.

6. That this difference is also found in households that do not fit the traditional mold.

7. That this situation is the source of much conflict and bitterness and resentment, and is often almost impossible to talk about.

Am I leaving things out that ought to be on that list?

Are there questions that you would still like to explore -- questions that we haven't covered to your satisfaction?

Over to you...

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