“What does your husband think about it?”

That brought me to a grinding halt, and I poked at it all evening the way you keep running your tongue over a newly broken tooth. There were so many assumptions behind the question. Aside from the fact that I don't have a husband, and I had already said I had no one to discuss it with, the tacit assumptions behind it: that my husband would know what to do, would make more sense than I did; I could go on and on. It's not the problem I started with, but it made my feminist heart beat madly. And it was a woman who asked the question.

It all began with one of my students. Once, he told me he came here to be free. Two weeks ago he said we didn't have freedom here. I thought this was connected with his work situation and just said yes, having money gives you more freedom. He seems to have had a lot of problems lately, most of them connected with money. Last week we filled out forms for his daughters' school, and he expressed concern about them possibly not being ready to move to the next grade.

This week he wanted to fill out a form for a passport. He already had completed forms (someone else did them) for his wife and kids. Again we talked about money. I asked why he needed passports, and explained that you only need them if you want to leave the country. He gave me several different reasons for needing a passport, none of which really made sense to me. I helped him fill out the form.

This is when I decided I had to speak to someone and really didn't know where to turn. (Because I have no husband?) Was I being silly? overly suspicious? had I bought into the paranoia that seems to be gripping our country?

I have been working with him under a very loose arrangement with one of the groups that help refugees here in Pittsburgh. They introduced me and left; giving me no guidance. I never hear from them unless I initiate the conversation, which I did, and got that wonderful question to mull over and no practical answers.

Where do I go from here?

6 thoughts on ““What does your husband think about it?”

  1. when i moved to pittsburgh, the 1st thing i noticed was that it felt like (for better or for worse) that i’d stepped back in time 10-25 years. random examples: racial & sexual attitudes, people having trampolines in their back yard (trampolines in chicago were rare – fear of litigation hung heavy in the air), white landscapers, kids playing dodgeball at school (alas this was just banned at my son’s school, much to his disappointment. chicago banned it years ago).
    my point is that i could see someone innocently making the comment in 1985. wait maybe that’s not far enough. 1955?

  2. Studio Ruthe remains the same. Meade Place was just something I was playing with. Google wont let me sign in under Typepad so Meade Place remains.

  3. …and that would leave me steaming too. Yes, his evasiveness would leave me wondering if he was taking everyone home again. Somethings not right.

  4. Ah, I see you have become “Meade Place.” 🙂
    Yes, I updated the blog this morning. They wouldn’t commit but told him to call back mid June. They liked him and he appeared a perfect fit. He’s stopped job searching, and he believes he has the job. We have hope.
    Now what are you doing with Studio Ruthe?

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