I don’t know what to label myself anymore. It used to be so simple. I was a stay-at-home mom. While raising my children I have had numerous cottage businesses, but my true love was being a stay-at-home mom, caring for my husband and four children. Now, my kids are grown but I still stay at home (technically I do a lot of things out of the house – it’s not like I’m locked in here).
So, what label should I give myself now? The question is always coming up – what do you do? Honestly, I hate that question. Your job only tells others so much about you. Maybe you’re an engineer like my husband. Does that mean you are a scientist working in front of a computer designing things? Maybe you build bridges or work in a nuclear power plant. Maybe you take care of a building. All of those things fall under the heading of engineer. So telling someone you are an engineer doesn’t offer much, except that you excel in math and you probably have people ask you to help with their computer.
When I told people I was a housewife that didn’t mean I was married to my house. In the same way, telling people I was a stay-at-home mom didn’t mean that I was always home. This brings me to a situation I recently found myself in when Bob and I were car shopping. We sat down at a dealership with a young man. And I do mean young – his mother may have had to drop him off and pick him up.
He looked at Bob and asked what he does for a living. Bob’s answer was easy. Then he asked me, “What do you do?”
I answered, “Have you ever been to a circus and seen the cats performing in between the big acts? I train cats.”
“Really? You mean lions and tigers?”
“No, domestic cats. The ones you see jumping through hula hoops, pushing baby carts or climbing ropes and crossing tight wires.” (I don’t know why I said that. I had not planned it in advance. Bob just sat there staring at me, probably wondering where a whopper of a lie like that came from and questioning everything I ever told him.)
The young salesman didn’t miss a beat. “I didn’t know cats could be trained. I have two I’d love for you to spend some time with.”
“Oh, yeah, cats can be trained,” I said with confidence.
Honestly, I don’t know where this story came from or why I perpetuated it; but telling it was the most fun I have ever had while car shopping.
Finally, after looking at Bob whose eyes seemed to say, “Who are you,” I confessed that I was having some fun with this guy. He was good-natured about it, but he was trying to sell us a car. We didn’t buy from him. I wasn’t about to buy a car from a person who bought my cat-training story. He simply couldn’t be trusted.