Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wait, I Thought You Were A Music Major? Part II

Continuing the story from Part I

After the attempted railroading, Dave quickly looked around and put out feelers and found a job as an assistant band director in a county about two hours away. It was a good job for someone just starting out or without much experience. It was essentially a team teaching position with a guy who had years of experience and could guide Dave through his first years of teaching instead of the sink or swim situation he had in Crazyville and it paid more money.

We moved and, after a short delay which would take another post to explain but I will spare you, Dave started working the new job immediately. I was at home unemployed. At first I looked around a bit, but since school had already started, there were slim pickings. This is when it first occurred to me that maybe having two band directors in the family might not be a good idea. After it was apparent there would be no positions open within a reasonable distance, I began looking for an hourly job in the town where we lived. To my surprise, I had trouble finding a job in this way as well. I was told over and over that I was overqualified. I was frustrated to say the least because I knew it would be at least nine or ten months for even the opportunity of another band job opening. Surely a good worker for most of a year would be good enough, but no, they expected you to make a career out of bagging groceries or they were not interested.

Dave's schedule was very hectic and I spent a lot of time at home alone. It generally takes me a long time to make friends and I was now a stranger in a cliquish, small town. I would head over to the band room and hang out, but the band parents at this school were strangely uninvolved. I tried to cook and keep house, but never felt like anything was good enough. Every task left undone at home was an indictment of my slacker freeriding. Daytime television, which I hate, sucked more of my time, but I really didn't know what to do with myself. I had plans but no drive to complete them. In retrospect, I was very lonely, but I didn't recognize it at the time.

Money was tight since rent took nearly 40% of our take home pay and I began to think about the future. It was very important to me that our potential children be raised directly by us at home and not go to daycare. I went to daycare for a time as a child and HATED IT! After I outgrew daycare, I was a latchkey kid after school and HATED IT! My mother was a school teacher so I was only home by myself for maybe an hour a day, but I felt abandoned, not that I could articulate that feeling at the time. I hated unlocking the door and being in the empty house by myself. My siblings were around but I hated the unmoored feeling of there being no adults home. I think this is why I had so much trouble functioning during this period of unemployment. I had no functional model of what to do all day. I also think unsupervised children and teenagers create more problems than would normally arise if there was an adult around to put the kibosh on it.  It was extremely important for us to be able to live on one income when the children came. Knowing what my future desires were, the reality of living on the single income of a teacher began to sink in. It wasn't that I wasn't willing to live frugally or go without extras, it was that we were spending almost every dime and just barely scraping by with basic necessities. I began to question the long term viability of our situation.

After six months, I was finally hired by a local bank as a teller and we could start putting money in the savings account again. Hurray! But the necessity of more income weighed on my mind.

On to Part III

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