Working Hard, or Hardly Working?

I get really frustrated when people ask me if I’m working yet. Uhh, excuse me? What do you mean, yet?! What exactly do you think I’ve been doing for the past two months – playing Connect Four with my cats? I cannot believe that in this day and age, people still don’t get the concept that being a stay-at-home-mom-without-children is hard work. Personally, I consider it to be one of the most challenging and noble of all professions. And coincidentally, also the most underappreciated.
I don’t have the luxury of punching out at 5:05pm every day from my casual Friday wearing, ID badge sporting, Corner Bakery lunch eating, cushy job, and leaving it all behind for the weekend. Being a stay-at-home-mom-without-children is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week, 365-day-a-year job. We don’t get paid lunches, or long Memorial Day weekends. There are no fancy blue cubicles, or supportive managers to tell us we’re doing a good job.
Just once I’d like to hear someone say, “Hey, Jenny, way to shop wisely at the Jewel this week!” Does anyone even care that with my Bonus card and two coupons from Sunday’s newspaper, I saved $7.09 on my last grocery bill? I can show you the receipt if you don’t believe me. And is it too much to ask that someone tell me, “Wow! You really do a nice job of keeping the litter box clean! I can hardly even tell you have cats!”
I’m not looking for gold watches or pop can cozies emblazoned with the company logo. Just a little respect and recognition. That’s it. That’s all I ask.
Realizing that this respect is not going to be handed to me anytime soon, I have decided to go out and reclaim that which I am due. Really, I’m not just doing this for me, but for all stay-at-home-moms-without-children. In order to raise awareness for our cause, I’m working on putting together a demonstration, the likes of which this country has never seen. I’m tentatively calling it The Million Stay-At-Home-Mom-Without-Children March On Washington. I say tentatively because it’s a little hard to fit that all on a t-shirt, but I’m working on it.
I see the Internet as my greatest tool to reach like-minded SAHMWC’s such as myself, and am using my keen marketing background to target the prime audience. So far, I’ve started message board threads on key websites such as:,, and I’m reaching out to any woman who, like me, feels her contributions to society are being dismissed. You can either have a job, or have children, but god forbid you should have neither!
So far, my requests for support from the Rosie O’Donnell camp have gone unanswered. Apparently Ms. O’Donnell’s definition of women’s rights doesn’t include the rights of the SAHMWC’s of the world. I realize that people like me don’t have a voice in society – that’s why I went to her for help. If anyone would understand discrimination, I thought it would be Rosie. So disappointing.
But don’t worry about me – I’m not letting this minor setback shake my passion for the cause. The SAHMWC is everywhere – she’s your sister, your friend, your aunt, or your neighbor. And she deserves to be heard. So please – anyone who’s reading this right now – help the SAHMWC’s in your life rise up and be counted. Not because it’s the popular thing to do, but because our mission is just and good, and because we matter.

What Smells?

I haven’t driven my car in a while, and when I got into it yesterday, it smelled like cat pee. Gross, I know. I’ve heard that cats sometimes crawl underneath cars and sleep on the engines for warmth, but it has been almost 85 degrees the past few days. I can’t imagine there are too many shivering strays running around right now. Or maybe some cat just liked my snazzy Honda Civic so much that he wanted to mark it as his own. I may never know.
In any case, I’m stuck with a car that smells like a Port-o-John. I thought it would go away if I just drove around for a while with the windows open, but no luck. I stopped at a gas station to pick up an air freshener, but the only scent they had was musk. I’m no chemist, but isn’t musk the same thing as sweat? So my option is to have a car that smells like pee, or like pee and sweat. Just throw in some sour wine and it’ll be like driving around in the Paris subway.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had to deal with a smelly car issue, so you’d think it wouldn’t upset me so much. A few years ago when I went on vacation with some friends, I parked my car in my parents’ driveway for the week. My parents live on a 3-acre wooded lot, so they had the room. When I got back from vacation and drove my car home, I immediately noticed that something just wasn’t right. There was an odd smell coming from the vents, and every time I turned the fan on high, I heard a kind of thwapping noise.
This odor wasn’t a faint, “Hey, do you smell popcorn?” type smell. This was thick and rank, and not going away. I actually remember thinking at the time, “This smells like death.”
I dropped my car off at the auto repair shop to have them check out the problem. When I picked it up the next day, the mechanic tried hard not to crack a smile as he handed me my keys, along with an invoice for $175 that said: Removal of mouse debris. As it turns out, a little country mouse decided to climb up into my car and get cozy. Maybe he was ill, maybe he was in debt, or maybe he simply dreamed of a better life in the city. Whatever the reason, he chose my car as his final resting grounds.
As tragic as his passing may have been, I really had a hard time accepting that it could cost $175 to fix this little problem. Removal of mouse debris? I imagined the mechanics in full surgical scrubs, with tweezers and gauze in hand, like some warped game of Operation: “Take out his spare ribs for $100! It takes a very steady hand!”
In reality, I’m sure they just turned a garden hose on full blast and sprayed it under my hood a few times. Then they probably high-fived and butted chests, laughing as they wrote out the bill for $175.
This time around, I don’t plan on seeking expert intervention to investigate this smell – I’ve chosen to tough it out. And I just picked up a new air freshener: Country Apple. I think the mouse would have liked that.