Through a series of flirty e-mails, one of my dearest pen-pals and I have concocted a simple plan that involves one of us selling a television pilot and hiring the other as the lowly assistant. He finally admitted to me, “Actually, I’d hate to be at your beck and call. I guess I’m a sexist pig!” I couldn’t help but laugh — at least he’s honest. And the more I thought about it, I realized the feeling is mutual. Our little exchange led me to wonder how anyone could let their life revolve around someone else’s career, yet I know a lot of people who happily do so.
For example, a buddy of mine and his girlfriend have lived in three different states in the last three years. She has her own career to consider, but his seems to be the priority, and, like me, he works in radio — a business that forces its workers to live like gypsies until they’re lucky enough to stumble upon a semi-secure position in a good market.
Luckily, they’ve ended up in a city they both enjoy, but when he confronted her about possibly moving again for an even better job opportunity, she finally put her foot down. At first, following him around was entertaining enough, but after a few years, it was probably long overdue for a little “her” time.
It’s not that I wouldn’t be supportive of my husband’s or boyfriend’s livelihood, far from it as a matter of fact, but at the same time, I exhibit a little type-A personality myself. How could I ever be expected to drop my own projects and put all my energy into someone else’s dreams? Unless their efforts resulted in a pampered life of lounging on a king size bed while sipping champagne and watching the Home Shopping Network as I receive my daily massage from a male concubine with large hands, I’m not interested.
But at the same time, I couldn’t be with anyone who didn’t have ambition. That always seemed to be a main issue with a lot of the guys I’ve dated — they’re content to just drink beer and play video games with their free time, which is all well and good, but how about a hobby that would make for a good ice-breaker at a dinner party? I need someone who’s going to inspire me with their own endeavors. I desire a muse, my good sirs! And I want to be someone else’s too — it’s a two-way street.
So like everything in life, you’ve got to find balance. Considering that I’m not interested in playing the homemaker, nor having a litter of bambinos hanging from my teat, the only things I really have to thrive on are my creative affairs. Those are the things I value most in life because they give me identity, and I should never have to give them up for an equally ambitious gentleman.
Remember what happened to SNL legend Phil Hartman? His wife Brynn, a struggling actress, felt like she was forced to give up her own dreams and was left to linger in the background of his limelight. Before you knew it, she was pie-eyed, coked-up, and Zoloft-ed out, while pointing a gun at her husband, firing three times, and eventually turning it on herself. I know that’s a dramatic example, but it goes to show that one can’t help but become a little resentful when they choose to live their life through a significant other’s.
I’m pretty sure once my pen-pal reads this, he’ll have second thoughts about hiring me.
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