I’ve read an article in The Winnipeg Free Press about how this failing economy has been referred to as a ‘he-cession’ (recession) because it is the men who are mostly affected. Most of the companies that are downsizing are those in the male-dominated industries such as: trades and transport, including construction; manufacturing; and natural resources. The women, as a result, now make up a large percent of Canada’s labour force. And of course, this affects the family dynamics.
There is now a role reversal between husband and wife. More women are bringing home the pay cheque and more men are staying at home and taking care of the family.
It’s not as if there isn’t already an ongoing war as to which spouse/parent is to do this and that chore. But whether the husbands like it or not, they have to step up in doing most of the work only their wives used to do. For some men, it is hard to do things they were not doing before.
Let’s take for example Isabel and Hector. When he got laid off from work, she had to work the extra hours to make up for the loss of income. Hector didn’t mind cooking and doing his share in cleaning the house. But he had a hard time accepting that he had to do the grocery shopping and the laundry as well. They did end up doing the groceries together but he just wouldn’t do the laundry. She was so frustrated, so she started picking out his clothes out of the pile and didn’t do his clothes. He wasn’t too happy about that at first but after a few confrontations, he understood how she was already tired and exhausted and she just couldn’t manage to do all six to eight loads of laundry every week.
It’s tough. But with the changing times and things happening that are beyond our control, we have to learn to adapt, to be flexible and to be tolerant of each other.
This past week’s episode of Ugly Betty titled, A Mother of A Problem, brought me many years back.
You see, Betty is now dating Matt. She met him in her YETI (Young Editors Training Initiative) class. She just recently found out that Matt is rich. But she liked him even when she suspected that he didn’t have money. Well, last week, she went to his house to meet him there. But Matt wasn’t home yet and Betty met his mother, Mrs. Victoria Hartley. At first, Mrs. Hartley thought that Betty was one of the maids. When Betty told her that she’s dating Matt, she wasn’t too impressed. Matt came and introduced them properly and when they left, he apologized to Betty about her mother, “She’s judgmental and controlling. No one I date is ever good enough for her.” But Betty said, “It matters to me that she likes me.” And she wanted to meet her again.
So Matt invited Betty to this fancy dinner that his mother was holding the following week. Betty wanted his mother to like her and so she prepared for it, even asking her boss’s mother, Mrs. Claire Mead, how to act at this kind of parties and Mrs. Mead even told her how Mrs. Hartley have these topics for these dinners. They tried to find out what the topic was and it was “Torture.” Good thing that Betty just read an article about the topic.
The big night came and there was a mushroom fiasco with an expensive painting owned by the hostess, but Matt took the blame for Betty. Even so, Mrs. Hartley made sure that Betty wasn’t sitting beside Matt at dinner and what do you know, she changed the topic to “The Future of Opera.” Well, Betty is a smart girl and since she works at a fashion magazine she came up with an answer that she knows very well, “Opera is fashion.” (She does know about fashion a lot, although her sense of fashion may be debatable. ) The guests were impressed with her opinion. She thought that she impressed Matt’s mother, as well.
But she was wrong. After dinner, Mrs. Hartley talked to Betty. She asked Betty what she has in common with Matt. She went on ahead and told Betty that Matt went to Yale University, he speaks three languages and he plays the piano. When Betty couldn’t answer, Mrs. Hartley told her that it would be the last time they’d be seeing each other. When Matt saw Betty leaving, he told his mother that he was leaving with her.
This is the part where I was brought back in time. I was in my early 20s many years ago and I had been dating this guy for quite a while. I already had a feeling that his mother wasn’t that fond of me. One night she came to my house and told me that maybe I should give her son some space. She noticed that we had been spending a lot of time together and that he was at my house a lot. She thought that since her son was still young, that he should still meet other girls. She kinda knew that we were getting serious. She probably thought that if it were not for me, her son would meet someone who conformed more to her standards, whatever they might have been. Maybe she didn’t think that I was good looking enough for him or that he was a bit young for me (only two years, btw). I didn’t know. I never thought of asking. Because, honestly, I was surprised when she came to talk to me. I thought that “you’re not good enough for my son” speech only happened in the movies. At that time, I rattled my brains and tried to think what lines those characters delivered in the movies that I had seen. I told his mother that I wasn’t trying to force her son on myself. He liked me and I liked him and if he ever felt that he didn’t want to be in the relationship, he was free to go.
And yeah, of course, I was hurt. Friends told me to ignore her. She wasn’t the one I was dating or going to live with if the relationship was headed in that direction. My friends had a good point. But I think, to some girls, it matters that their boyfriend’s mother like them, like it did matter to Betty. But to what lengths are you going to try to make them like you? If it’s a matter of attitude, you can probably try to change. But if it’s a matter of personality or the way you look or just the way you are, there’s nothing much you can do, is there?
I like Claire Mead’s advice to Betty. She said that she’s never going to win over Mrs. Hartley and that she needs to stand her ground. And I guess that’s what I kinda did.
I usually do my grocery shopping only at The Real Canadian Superstore. They mostly have everything that I need: food, household supplies, toiletries, clothes, electronics, etc. They also usually have the lowest prices, but not of late. And with the rising prices on almost anything, I have now resorted to comparison shopping. I usually buy the No Name brand on certain items because they are cheaper, but I do have preferred brands for certain items and they do cost more.
My girl friend and I compare notes and I find that really helpful. I thought that I’d also share my cheap purchases in this blog. It’d be nice to compare notes with other Winnipeg bloggers, as well.
Fruit Gushers six .9 oz pouches
$ 2.33 at The Bargain Shop compare at $3.27 at The Real Canadian Superstore (This is my 10-year old son’s favourite treat in his lunch bag.)
Dutch Crunch Potato Chips Kettle Cooked Jalapeno and Cheddar 175 g
$3.19 at The Bargain Shop compare at $3.39 at The Real Canadian Superstore (This is a family favourite. Not so good a deal, but I still saved 20 cents)
Jergens Naturals with Aloe & Lanolin 3 skin care bars 90 g each
$1.00 at The Bargain Shop compare at $2.29 at Shopper’s Drug Mart
Alberto European Humidity Resistant Gel Extra Hold 150 ml
$3.27 at The Bargain Shop compare at $5.49 at Shopper’s Drug Mart
Adidas hoodie, one of 14-year old son’s favourite clothing brand
$19.99 at Sears this week compare at $39.99 from last week
Who says pennies are useless? I’ve read reports of pennies being abolished.
At home, we keep our pennies in this tin container. This is where my youngest son takes his pennies to put in his Penny Power bag. His catechism class has a Penny Power Project that encourages the students to bring pennies in a Ziploc bag every Saturday. The pennies collected from the school are then sent to the village of Loma Linda in El Salvador and help with the children’s schooling there.
Once in a while, I’d also dig in this container when money is tight. Like now. After spending a lot on tuition fees, school supplies and new clothes for the kids, I’m broke. It’s true what they say. After Christmas, school opening is the next most expensive season.
After rolling all those pennies, nickels and dimes, I counted $9.00. I’m bringing these to the bank tomorrow. That’s gonna make my purse heavy.
Would you just throw $9.00 away? That can buy us a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.
That loose change will stay in the container until we can collect enough to roll them, or when I find myself broke again.
I don’t think that the price of gas is going down. I’ve been hearing people complaining not just about the price of gas but also the price of almost everything.
Ma-ann from work said that her usual $20.00 a week of gas is not enough anymore.
Libay was also complaining to me on Friday. She and her husband went grocery shopping on Thursday night at Superstore. She spent $75.00 and they only had three bags of groceries. And they didn’t even buy any meats.
I told her that I’ve also been noticing that my grocery bills are going up by the week.
And I was in total shock when I reached the Oriental aisle of Superstore on Saturday to check out the price of rice. Because it went up a few weeks ago.
We consume one bag of this eight-kilo bag of Rooster brand rice per week. About five years ago, a bag of this rice cost about $6.98 and it used to be a ten-kilo bag. Later on, the price went up to $7.98. It stayed there for quite a while. But after some time, the ten kilos became eight kilos, at the same price. It stayed at eight kilos but the price went up to $8.98. It’s been like that for I guess over a year now. And then a few weeks ago, I was surprised that it went up to $10.98. But what can I do? We eat rice everyday. Gotta buy it. And my jaw dropped yesterday when I saw the new price. It shot up to $15.98. Que horror! I checked out the other brands just to compare. The prices are the same. I had no intention of switching brands anyway. We like this brand. It just cooks right.
What about you? Are you also feeling the pinch?
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