Tag Archives: vacation

Conversations with Coworkers

15 Dec

Convo #1

Last week I asked a coworker if she was taking time off for the holidays. We’re civil servants and the federal government is typically a ghost town during the month of December with so many people having use-or-lose leave to burn.  She said she wasn’t taking time off for Christmas because she’s not married nor does she have children.

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I said neither am I, but I’ll be taking time off. Everyone needs a break. Americans work way too much as it is. Forty percent of Americans do not use all of the vacation days we’re entitled. If you’re fortunate enough to have paid leave — use it. And women tend to do the heavy lifting (lest we forget) so we truly need a break to recover, rest, and recharge.

Time off isn’t the sole domain of couples and/or breeders. In fact, I’d argue that singles actually need it more because we’re a unit of one with no one to share life’s load. We’re more likely to be the caretakers of family members/friends and the contributors to our community as a whole.

Yes, our capitalistic society likes to center holiday fun around kids and obligatory-gift-exchanges. But festive adventure shouldn’t end with adulthood; nor should one’s parental and relationship status influence one’s propensity to enjoy life. The child-free and/or spouse-free needn’t opt out of holiday cheer and well-deserved time off. Party.  Sleep.  Vacate. Drown yourself in tacky holiday decorations. Do absolutely nothing.

We all deserve it.

Convo #2

A married coworker (Kim) told us that she “pulled” her husband with her tasty home-cooked meals. Apparently Kim’s now-husband was heavy into that gym life and was eating low-calorie bland meals before her arrival. Got ’em, Kim said. I assume with her macaroni and cheese.

A male coworker (Mark) cosigned with the adage, a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. We’ve heard it all before. Somebody cue up the Sunshine Anderson.

But what’s path to a woman’s heart? What’s the corresponding adage for that?

In We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie writes

We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.

My point exactly. Where’s the instructional for men? They’re left to their own devices and women are expected to silently and graciously endure.

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