Thursday, December 04, 2008

I'm not sure what to think

So, not unexpectedly, my sweetie was laid off this week.  Most of his coworkers were also laid off.  WaMu is truly no more.

It's got me thinking about a lot of things.  I recently got into a brief discussion in comments on someone else's blog about choices, the economy, and how to fix this whole mess.  Twenty years after I first got on an online message board and learned the meaning of the word "flame," and you'd think I would know better :-).  Anyway, this person told me that we make our choices and have to live by them, and her husband had survived 25 years at his company and countless rounds of layoffs, so "he must be doing something right."  Implying that if my husband got laid off, it would probably be because he was lazy.  She did use the word "lazy". The smug complacency in this statement left me breathless (though no longer speechless) with rage.  I heard on the news that 80% of WaMu's Seattle workforce lost their jobs on Monday.  I suppose you could say that it's no wonder a company with a workforce consisting of 80% lazy people failed.  

I wish I could be as sure that making the right choices is always guaranteed, or even that making the right choices, assuming you can manage it every time, guarantees health, happiness, success, etc.  I wish I could believe that nothing is left to chance.  That there are no flukes, that you cannot be affected by anything that you are not personally responsible for.  I mean, of course, that I wish nothing had ever happened to me to make me think otherwise.

There are a lot of reasons to be down--how about the WalMart employee who was trampled to death on Black Friday by shoppers who continued to shop even when  they knew someone had been killed?  The self-centeredness depresses me.  That's why I think even though the election supposedly changed things, nothing will change, because everyone thinks they're better than everyone else.  Everyone thinks the other guy should suck it up.  We'll be pointing fingers at everyone who is lazier or stupider or more morally bankrupt than we until we're a snivelling footnote in history.

All of this has me thinking, too, about love and marriage, because what makes everything OK is that we're in this together.  I know that sounds smooshy and cliche's kind of true.  However worried I am, being with my sweetie makes me smile.  I can't say we haven't had a few stressed moments during this mess, and or that we won't have more, but I think we are both very happy to have each other.  Though I sometimes miss NYC and my comfortable single life without any real worries, I don't really wish to be back there.  I like it in Seattle.  I love our house.  I like my job, though now more than ever I wish it paid more.  And I love my sweetie.  Life, for all its scariness right now, is better than it was.  So I guess, on balance, we ended up making some good choices after all.  Ask me what I think in a couple months if my sweetie has not found a new job :-).

And, because I am the way I am, this got me thinking about divorce.  You always hear about marriages falling apart during periods of crisis--the loss of a child, or a job, or the aftermath of crime.  How do people get from here to there?  Do they make a choice to give up?  Does the lure of comfortable single life, where there are no decisions to live with but your own, become too strong?  Is it a fluke?  Does it always mean that the choice to get married was a bad one?   Maybe our crisis isn't bad enough yet, or hasn't lasted long enough.  Maybe divorced people were just lazy.

Sigh.  I think I'll go curl up with my sweetie now.  At least until we start blaming each other for everything that's wrong in our lives.


The Beast Mom said...

The Walmart trampling was really depressing to me too. I heard that some customers were actually UPSET that the store was going to close early due to the death. That really floored me.

And no, right choices don't always equal being ok. I think they often result in the opposite of that actually.

And yes, blame is destructive. I think that's the No. 1 killer of marriages. Money problems and other stressors are only the costumes that blame wears.


Squirrelette said...

I am the poster child of my personal choices having nothing to do with (a) the fate of my employer and thus (b) the consequent fate of my JOB.

Stupid people infuriate me. Stupid, smug people make me want to scream -- at THEM.

And in the midst of this depressing morass of greedy, trampling shoppers, and potential job loss, I am indeed grateful that I have someone in my life who reminds me there are good things and good people out there. (One of the good things, of course, is that this good person loves me.)

Ok, back to working in the land of financial roadkill.

Nopinkertons said...

Honestly, I hope all of the complaining shoppers went home and vented to their loved ones: "Can you believe that after I waited all night, they closed the store because someone got killed? I wasted my whole day!" And that said loved ones responded with unmitigated disgust.