My parents were married on Halloween. As I am writing this, I believe that says it all: a couple that marries on Halloween in the city of New York has an interesting sense of reality along with humor. They remained married for over 50 years. They grew up on the same block and they stayed together until each passed away. I am thinking of how times change along with the way that we choose our partners and our jobs. Years ago, some of the best jobs I ever found in the city of New York were by knocking door to door. That is how I found a job that I loved in the garment district working with the buyers.
Now you might find a job by internet searching or if you are very lucky, word of mouth. Some people find their partners this way. It is interesting how times have changed. Years ago, I remember in my 20s living on my own in Manhattan, I had an interview with a jewelry broker for a vacancy with his company. I can still remember the lunch interview sitting across from the buyer in a New York delicatessen discussing my qualifications. I was an English major and not really qualified for the job but I was hoping he would take a chance on me. He decided to hire someone else but I still remember feeling like I had the chance because the lunch interview went well. In our technological age, interviews are so different. I feel less that the person opposite me wants to get a sense of my character through conversation and more like they are weeding through their own script.
I was never really aware of how few jobs outside of New York jobs in publishing, editorial, etc. require an “English major” there were until I moved to the deep South. I mean Alabama, not Florida. It was there that I learned that my viewpoints were different from those around me, my language and the dialect I favored gave me away as being from up North somewhere. There were even some people who didn’t want to hire me because of where I was from. It was an early lesson that some people don’t like differences and that in some places, you had better conform. Along the way, I discovered that the people who despised me because of differences that I could not change were not the ones who mattered in my life. One of the most interesting and relevant remarks that I have overheard relating to the gentle tact of women in diplomacy was by someone I know very well. He remarked, “Madam Secretary has the gentle touch needed in diplomacy.” While he didn’t always agree with the bottom line, he respected her tactics. Hmm. That could be way the marriage of my mom and dad lasted over 50 years. Diplomacy mired with tact and respect.