Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Childrearing via Craigslist

My friend Geoff forwarded a link today to one of the most bizarre Craigslist ads I have ever seen:

Actor needed for emotional role – One day high pay

Date: 2009-04-17, 12:52PM EDT

My deceased aunt gave my two kids a Cocker Spaniel a few months back. The dog has been a terror and become overwhelming for me. I am a single father raising two young children. I cannot face telling the kids that the dog must go. I have found a good home for the dog, and just need someone to transport the dog, and play the villain. 

Premise: You will be the dog walker hired by daddy (me) to walk Skittles. I will introduce you to the kids, and you will tell them you are going to help Skittles get her exercise when Daddy is too busy to walk her. At that point you will walk Skittles to your car and take her to her new family 20 minutes from my place. Then return holding just a leash. The story will be that Skittles broke free of the leash and took off. At this point prepare for crying, things being thrown at you, and possibly cursing. My kids are young and dramatic, their girls. 

Pay will be $500. The job will take roughly 2 hours at best. 

This job is ideal for an actor looking to diversify their role base, or someone who genuinely likes to make children cry. Acting experience is a plus, but not necessary. Please inform me of any prior experience in this kind of situation. 
  • Location: DC, MD, VA
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation:
I wonder if this dad overwhelmed dad ever found an actor to fit the bill?  

But more importantly, doesn't this seem like a bit of a parenting cop-out?  I mean, really.  We had a dog.  We couldn't care for him anymore because he needed more attention and space to run than we could provide.  We explained that to the girls (who were four and one at the time).  And they missed him, but they got over it.  Life lesson taught, life lesson learned.  (Admit your mistakes when you get in over your head, and do something about it.)  

Such an elaborate plan, just to not have to tell kids the truth.  But maybe I am being to hard on him.  Thoughts?

Friday, June 19, 2009

As for more life changes. . .

Several weeks ago, Darling Husband and I made a pretty big decision.  Really, a pretty HUMUNGOUS decision.  The kind of decision that generally speaking makes people's jaws go slack (right before they shout 'WHAT?').
We are moving.  Again.  And not just moving to another suburb, another state, or across the country.  We are moving back to Australia.  
I am aware that I cannot drop that bomb without further explanation.  In brief:
1)  Quitting my job put some things in perspective for me about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
2)  Darling Husband is not too thrilled with his job, either.  (UNDERSTATEMENT!)
3)  The economy in the dear ol' US of A sucks.  But even during this global economic meltdown, Australia's economy is kind of like an economy on antidepressants:  although it is harder to make gobs and gobs of money than in the US, but nobody is going to totally fall off a cliff financially.*  
4)  Everyone in Australia has access to healthcare.
5)  There is no gay marriage debate in Australia.  It is a non-issue, because domestic partnerships are legally binding for both heterosexual and queer relationships.
6)  The Australian government actually invests in parks, social services, renewable energy, and oh so much more.  In other words, many of the things that I fight to get the US political machine to take care of here, they are already done in Australia.  (I know, it is not perfect!  Cop-out?  I don't really think so. . .)
7)  Having worked on the Obama Campaign last year, I think I saw too much of the sausage being made, so to speak.  I'm tired of fighting for proper governance and government, when I have the option of living somewhere where the fight is already MUCH further along.  
8)  Our Dear Daughters are beginning to show signs of really needing a slower lifestyle.  A more mellow lifestyle.  For that matter, so are we.
This list will continue to grow. . . but that at least provides a taste of the reasons. . . 

Bellingen, NSW.  Again, jaws tend to go pretty slack at that announcement.  For now I will say that we found it nearly eight years ago now, by accident (Darling Husband was driving from Canberra to Brisbane, which is a REALLY LONG WAY, and found Bellingen on the way.  He stayed for a night, and fell in love.  We went back together maybe a year later.  And fell in love with it again.  More on why, and what we intend to do there, later.  For now, just imagine living in a lush river valley, with pristine surf beach 25 kilometers to the east and rainforest 25 kilometers to the west, only a 40 minute drive from a city of 70,000 people with an airport and a university. 

One year - summer 2010.  It will take that long to get our lives in order, on both sides of the Pacific.  

The funny thing is that when we came to the US back in 2004, we came with a specific purpose.  That purpose was for Darling Husband to experience living in the US (since he hadn't, and I had spent three years in Australia) so that we would then be able to TOGETHER make a decision about where we wanted to settle, and where we wanted the kids to grow up.  And we had gotten so caught up in just trying to LIVE, that we had almost forgotten about our stated purpose.  I'm glad we remembered.

So, from here on out, we have a brand new goal to strive for.  And I intend to document, in gory detail, all of the insanity involved in moving countries (which, by the way, I have done THREE TIMES ALREADY**, but never, of course, with two children in tow).  Enjoy the ride!

* More on this later.
** 1998 - USA to China, 2000 - China to Australia, 2004 - Australia to USA

Monday, June 8, 2009

Officially Unemployed, and other assorted life changes

I have been officially unemployed (well, at least not pulling a paycheck), since June 1.  This is a very Very VERY strange transition to experience.  I spent last week TRULY unemployed - both Darling Girls were still in school and day care respectively.  Unfortunately, my newfound freedom proved to be a bit too free, and I did not do half of the tasks that I had set for myself.  Starting today, Miss Fletcher is with me full-time.  It is such a wonderful opportunity to spend time with her, time that I did not have with Gryphon. . . 

I struggle to find the right balance of tasks, schedules, etc.  Without a schedule imposed upon me by the daily grind of a 9-5 office job, I have the opportunity to schedule my life ALL BY MYSELF!  But I'm not sure how. . .  

How much time do I spend reading the news everyday, and writing, in order to keep myself engaged in my chosen field, in the hopes of actually pulling in a few contracts to actually earn some money?  How much time do I spend on the house everyday (cleaning and laundry, not to mention reorganizing, stripping paint, repainting, etc)?  And how much time do I spend just focused on Fletcher (and eventually, Gryphon too)?  

I have been mulling over undertaking a research/writing project over the next month or two, specifically on this topic.  It is about the process that people undertake on a daily basis of moving between worlds.  Some people go to work, and put on a persona - one very separate from who they are at home.  Some people are lucky and have made work for themselves that allows for them to not endure a forced split personality.  Some people, like me, feel schizophrenic half the time, trying to move between, for instance, motherhood, politics, work, neighborhood, etc, etc.  Not sure how this is going to work. . . I'll keep you posted.

On my schedule for today:  laundry.