Yesterday, I had been to the bank, to update my passbook. The man in the counter smiled at me and started making small talk with me. I didn’t mind the questions which were out of my personal sphere. Then came the – Is your husband working with ….. ? What is he, in that company ? Here I am, trying to answer those questions with all the patience in the world, while he was waiting for the printer to print my account details. I was praying for the printing to be done fast, as I know the next question that was to be thrown at my direction.
Madam, Do you work ? — Now, what kind of question is that ? I hate this question pointed at me. I get up at morning 5.15am, start packing my girls’ lunch boxes as they leave at 6.45am. Then comes an array of chores like breakfast for me and S, lunch box for S, laundry, buying things for the house, banking, baking (some days), handle the maid, evening snack for the hungry girls, dinner and the list is sometimes endless. I try and catch up with my favourite Nigella’s shows in between, if possible. While I slog around the house so much, I don’t take it kindly to answer that question – Do you Work ? Should I answer a NO, I don’t work – to this stupid question.
Just because he happened to be the person who helps me during long queues in the bank, I nodded my head both ways – up and down and side to side, totally confusing him. While he looked at me eagerly waiting for the answer, I took the passbook and escaped a verbal answer to him.
Are you employed somewhere ? sounds much better.
Another question that makes me really really irritable is – Are you a housewife ? I am totally angered by the way this society forms words in English – housewife???? grrrrrrr. To which I normally answer, I am a homemaker.
If you take up any application form in this country, there will be Name, Address. And under the heading Occupation, there will be options which has to be ticked. Options available are Employed, Housewife, Student, Others. When there is an option for employed, let the other option be Unemployed – Why degrade the 24*7 working women with a word like housewife ???? I generally choose the Others category and write Homemaker in the space provided.
If a man stays at home taking care of the house and kids, will he be branded as house husband ????? Maybe, yes, in India.
I prefer the stay-at-home Mom / Dad tag much much better than this stupid housewife thing which I am living with.
What are the questions which repel you from answering ? Do you get irritated like me ?????