Saturday, November 15, 2014

My Dad's day

I know it was in Princeton, because I can see my Mom and Dad around the table in the Dining Room there. They were doing the bills. That's what they did every month, together. Bern does our finances and has for years. If she dies before I do I'll have to get a CPA to do my finances as well as a cleaning service and a yard service. (I don't do anything of importance besides empty the litter box, take out the trash and feed the creatures.)

So, I must have been home for a holiday or summer vacation from college, because I never lived in Princeton until I went to college.

Anyhow, what happened was this: it was the first month ever, in their marriage, that my father made more money than my mother. She was a school teacher and he had lots of jobs--running a bar, working my uncle in a grocery store, picking up dry cleaning and finally, as an insurance agent. I have no idea how insurance agents are paid, but it has something to do, I believe, with a cut of each policy they sold.

And that day, sometimes after 1965, his cut of policies was more than here teacher's salary.

He was delighted, that I remember, as excited as I ever saw him, happy and fulfilled. Given that he was a man born in the first decade of the 20th century, to have gone that long having his wife make more money than him must have stung.

That's all I remember. His unhidden joy to, at last, have been the main wage earner in our family.

I don't remember what my mother said, though I'm sure she was fine with the reversal. She, after all, was a 'woman' of the early decade of the 20th century. She might even had been uneasy about bringing home more bacon than my dad for all those years.

I'm not sure why I'm thinking of my parents so much these days. They've both been dead over half of my life.

But I remembered that night around the dining room table when my father finally was the 'wage earner' of the two.

I remember that clearly.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.