Awhile back, I attended a day-long seminar on Practical Proofreading (Don’t roll your eyes. It was fascinating).
The presenter asked us to introduce ourselves and tell where we worked. Both government and private sectors were represented, and each person was welcomed with murmurs of appreciation and approval. I wear many hats and, as I listened, I wondered which one I should talk about.
“My name is Kathy,” I said when my turn came. “I work for my husband. I translate, crunch numbers, edit communication pieces and help prepare content for articles, workshops and conferences.”
Great answer, I thought. It shows the variety and responsibility of what I do.
I smiled and waited for murmurs of approval. I waited… and waited… and—
“You work for your… husband?” someone finally said.
I nodded and shrank in my seat wondering if a giant L had suddenly appeared on my forehead. Was that really, truly, the only thing the group would remember?
A few months later, I attended another editing seminar—Substantive Editing—but this time I was ready.
“I work for a psychotherapist,” I said. “I translate, crunch numbers, edit communication pieces, and help prepare content for workshops and conferences.”
“What a fascinating job you have!” someone said. Others seemed to agree.
It’s all in the spin. I fit into a box of life-choices they could understand and welcome.
I’m left with a question, however.
Why did I care so much what they thought of me? I’ll never see them again.
Perhaps I should discuss that with the man I work for, aka my husband, aka my favorite psychotherapist.