After 47 years, I’d have said my favorite parts of the day are the morning when I wake up and find my husband in bed with me, and in the evening when he comes home and we make dinner together.  My life has its rhythm because I enjoy him.

 

A few weeks ago, he got a call asking if he’d consider an interview with a head-hunter in Singapore.  I freaked.  

 

 I was willing to leave the US to go to Canada if his draft board went after him. I would be willing to leave the US now, if we had to. Or even if Romney had been elected, and was as bad a President as he looked like he’d be.

 

But to leave for a job?  We both have jobs.  We like our jobs.  Why leave?  He has a talent for languages.  I do not.  He would have a job there. I would not.  And since I fix people’s computers in their homes and businesses, I could not create such a job where I don’t speak the language. Even the computers there speak a foreign language.

 

I told him I wasn’t interested.  He wanted the job interview.  He spent over an hour on the phone and said this was just the head-hunter.  The next level would be talking with people at the institute that wanted to hire him.  

 

I said something I never thought I’d say to him.  “If you go, you go alone.”

 

This stunned me.  Had anybody asked me – what do you value most in life? I’d have answered “my husband’s company.  I love be-withing him.”  I had no idea there was anything I value more.

That I value being independent – able to talk to people around me – earn money – understand directions, and get help in words I understand – I never even thought about how much I value that.

 

I am not aging well. I cannot imagine trying to explain my health issues in Chinese, Malay or Tamil.  I get lost frequently, when I bike more than 3 or 4 miles from my home. Would I be able to use a smartphone and get google maps in English if I was in Singapore? I eat weird foods. Could I even get chocolate sweetened with stevia? Or seaweed dried seaweed for making sushi. Do they even sell brown rice there?

 

My mind was going crazy – what do I really value?  Who am I? Would I really become a prisoner of the English language?  I can master the Pimsleur basics for travel – but that’s not the same thing as real communication.  I know there’s an ex-pat community there from England – but I don’t want to be a member of a culture that lives in an enclave.

 

It shocked me that I would throw away my marriage, which I enjoy, rather than move to another country. Discovering new facets of my personality can be a shock.

 

Fortunately I won’t have to deal with it – at least this time.  My husband decided he liked being wanted, but he doesn’t want that job.

 

Views: 143

Comment by JMac1949 Today on June 28, 2013 at 4:26pm

My year working in China was a painful revelation... 22 years later I still have ambivalent feelings about my time there.  R&L ;-)

Comment by Rosigami on June 28, 2013 at 7:57pm

What a difficult position to be in. I'm glad it was resolved. 

Comment by Jenny on June 28, 2013 at 8:30pm

Whew. That would be terrible challenge to deal with and a major life change. Hope you're back in rhythm. 

Comment by Arthur James on June 29, 2013 at 12:48am

`

The past seven years we've lived under separate roofs.

Good Neighbors are curious and inquire` How you doing?

I am honest. I respond` We get along fine. We never speak.

`

We sleep in separate residences. It's more peaceful that way.

We tried separate bedrooms. We agree it's best to vows silence.

Enmity. Mystery. I refuse to argue about the weather. Celibacy?

I just respect that both parents were lawyer types in Manhattan.

Then, She was a Orphan when She was twelve. Life is mystery.

She loves to hoard my money. She is quite a unique creature.

Comment by Lois Wickstrom on June 29, 2013 at 8:15am

James, Rosigami, Jenny, Arthur James, we humans are odd creatures.  Thanks for your comments.  Arthur, I hope you have found peace.

Comment by Kai on June 29, 2013 at 3:01pm

I can think of a thousand places that I would rather move to than Asia, especially at this stage of the game.    Don't get me wrong, I like adventure, and I like to travel - but that has never been a bucket list item for me.    Mainly it's all the fish fish fish.  I'm semi-allergic to fish.  One night, ok.  Two nights, trouble.

My husband tossed around the idea of teaching at the American school in Saudi Arabia early in our marriage.  I tossed it right back at him.    He also decided to pass on it.   Whew. 

Comment by Lois Wickstrom on June 29, 2013 at 5:48pm

Kai, Singapore isn't on my travel wish list. I'd love to see Vietnam, Cambodia and probably Thailand. I want to see Norway and Sweden, Equador and Peru, Spain and possibly Portugal.  I've been to China and Japan. Singapore doesn't have amazing scenery, fascinating historical sites.  It doesn't call me.

Comment by Helvetica Stone on June 30, 2013 at 2:37pm

I'm glad it worked out, and I understand not wanting to change.  My husband once was really against a move to a job that I really wanted. I didn't take it, but, for a long time I held it against him...until I realized that it was as much me saying no to it as him being against it.  Still, if it ever came up again...Singapore happens to be a country where English is an official language, like Belize in Latin America.  So if that was the primary issue, maybe it could have been overcome.  We dream sometime of moving to another country in our older ages...but one does get accustom to the set up one has...

Comment by Arthur James on June 30, 2013 at 5:00pm

`

a comment failed to ` post.

Comment by Lois Wickstrom on June 30, 2013 at 6:45pm

Arthur James, thanks for the poem.

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