“Should We Just Quit Our Jobs And Get Married?”

Betty Draper, who didn't really have sweet shit like "options"

Last week, in a moment of frustration, EIC Jennifer Wright asked, “Should I just quit my job and get married?” It was supposed to be funny, but deputy editor Ashley Cardiff couldn’t entirely tell if she was joking. Now they’re curious: if given the option, would we spend our days watching TV and having no responsibilities? The answer is “Maybe” and also “adult babies.”

Jennifer: So, we’re debating “should we just get married and quit our jobs?” Does this not seem a little presumptuous of us? As though we think that at any moment we could call on any number of young gallants and they would take us away from all of this?

Ashley: Whoa whoa whoa, I thought this was called, “Should I just quit my job and get married?” because that’s what you asked me, while aggravated about something last week, the sarcasm of which was ambiguous. Hence…

Jennifer: Oh. And I made those words backwards. And plural. I don’t want to go alone. I thought we could be like Lorelei and Dorothy in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Give up our life of hustling and have a splashy song and dance wedding.

Ashley: Let’s back up a bit and maybe you can start by saying why that’s appealing? Other than the obvious appeal of “not working,” which–for real–would drive both of us insane.

Jennifer: Sometimes I just get really tired. And I think “what would it be like to nap in the middle of the day?” And cook like, an entire meal? Mostly napping. I think every PERSON who works fantasizes about this – however, weirdly, I think a culture still exists where if a woman leaves her job to get married – rather than retiring at 60 or 65 or whatever – it’s socially acceptable. Not that many people would judge you for leaving your job if you said “I want to prioritize having a family.” I mean if you were a man that would be… not an option.

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    • Jennifer Wright

      In conclusion: I really think Ashley would wake up later than 9.

    • Marissa

      I miss fashionable Betty. Why must she wear fat suits and dresses that resemble drapes now? Megan gets all of the fun.

      • Cate

        I’m sure she’ll be back! The only reason she was fat in the last season is because January Jones was pregnant. Sadly, though we’re getting up into the seventies so I don’t know if we’ll get to say goodbye to the dresses that resemble drapes.

    • MR

      If that’s what Ashley looks like working, I think she should be married. I mean black is her natural color. :)

    • Jenniwren

      God, I think about this ALL THE TIME. Perhaps it makes me a bad feminist, but I sort of suspect most people, man or woman, would choose not to work if they didn’t have to. And by “work” I mean the wage-slave thing. I think most people would like to be independently wealthy enough to do work we actually liked without worrying about the amount of fiscal reward we would get out of it. Of course there are people who can turn their passions into something that earns them lots of green, but that’s just not the case for everyone.
      It’s hideously unfair and unequal that leaving to start a family is something a man can’t do without being censured, even if his partner has money, when a woman can. And the fact that men continue to be paid more and get less paternal leave just makes it worse. I think I’d like a house-husband actually, but I dread to think how poor he’d have to be to make me the breadwinner of the relationship.

    • Kate

      I’m a 27 year old stay at home wife, and it’s pretty terrific. The only thing that I dislike about it is being asked what I do. I ‘do’ a lot, and I have energy and time that I wouldn’t have if I were working (cooking, writing, watching garbage on TV that I would never admit to, going to the gym for three hours because I can), but not much my daily routine is translatable to people in the work force. So, yea, staying home is rock solid, but the niggling sense that people perceive you to be old fashioned or a bane to the feminist movement keeps me from shouting about my love of free time from the rooftops.

      • koolchicken

        It’s always nice to meet someone from the same profession, lol.

        Don’t ever feel bad about staying at home. And you’re not a “bane to the feminist movement”. The way I see it is you’re simply exercising your right to stay home, you shouldn’t have to defend yourself to anyone. The feminist movement gave us the option (key word there) to go out into the workforce, but it does not mandate that we do so. Whenever someone asks you what you do, tell them. Why should you be bored to tears listening to their water cooler drama and then feel like your life doesn’t compare? You do what you do, and if you enjoy it then don’t hold back when asked to share. And if they say something snarky about how they’d love to have time to xyz, just ignore them and don’t take the bait. It’s jealousy in more cases than one.

    • Sara Wagner

      On our last move it took a couple weeks for me to find a job and I became, essentially, a stay at home wife. Sleeping in is nice but the rest of the day is horrible. I was lonely and bored (living in the country without a car) and wasted a lot of time online. If you are super motivated I guess you could fill all that time with something productive, but it’s hard. I’m working at a winery now, today I put in a twelve hour day of, basically, physical labor. Today was much better than any of my stay at home days.

    • koolchicken

      I tried to read this article, I really did. But I just couldn’t get past the first paragraph where it suggested I watch TV all day have no responsibilities and am an “adult baby” Seriously?

      I’m a housewife, and it’s a source of pride for my husband as so few men where we live are successful enough for their wives to stay home. He wouldn’t be opposed to my working, but I know he likes it that I’m always here. And as for sitting around all day, HA! I’ve already run the dishwasher, done two loads of laundry, hand dyed 9 baby outfits, and later I’ll be making a ham. I’m always amazed by the rude people who ask me “What do you do all day?” when they find out I stay at home. I do the same stuff you do after you finish working 40 hours a week. And what can I say, it really cuts into my sitting around time.

      Quite frankly I feel bad for the women who have to work. Where I come from it’s always been an option for women to work, but most choose not to exercise it. After all why would anyone choose to work two jobs if you didn’t have to?

      • Peeta

        Quite frankly I feel bad for woman who have to do laundry all day.

        Also, how many sets of baby pajamas do you have to dye to feel like you’ve accomplished something?

      • superjack

        I don’t think anyone was conflating being a stay-at-home mom and being an adult baby; the authors were saying what *they* would do if they didn’t have jobs.

        Regardless of what you do for a living, though, it ALWAYS makes you sound stupid if you announce you haven’t read a post and then rage against it in the comment thread anyway.

      • Kristen

        You do the same things that we all do after we finish working 40 hours a week. Sooo… then shouldn’t you have an extra 40 hours a week that’s sort of unaccounted for? I mean, I don’t hand dye baby clothes or anything, but I do have to wash my clothes and do my dishes.

        Why would anyone choose to work? Because careers are fulfilling and enjoyable and allow you to pursue your passions. Probably moreso than being at home so that we can be be a “source of pride” for our husbands (which, ew).

      • Katie

        Kristen… I, too, cringed at that “source of pride” comment. Yuck.

      • koolchicken

        @Peeta, Wow, you’re kind of a witch. I don’t need to dye baby outfits to feel as though I’ve accomplished something. I choose to do it as I want my baby to have the best. And I’m sure it’ll offend you further to know I’ve also finished a crib sheet, dyed 20 more outfits and cut out the fabric for matching burp cloths. Sure all of these things could be bought, but why?

        @Kristen, No I don’t have an extra 40 hours a week that’s unaccounted for. I do however have a spotless home, home cooked meals, hours to spend talking to my Mum (who lives over 5,000 miles away), and a number of creative projects that are finished- not just sitting around half completed. Sorry if my life doesn’t sound fulfilling to you, but it is to me and countless other women. I shouldn’t need to work outside the home to feel fulfilled.

        As for my husband being proud I can stay home, should he be ashamed? Seems to me he has every right to be proud. He’s worked for decades to achieve his dream of being able to support his family on his income alone. I’m happy knowing that I have endless hours to devote to my family, and personal creative pursuits. Sorry family life and personal time aren’t of value to you.

    • Amy

      Where I’m from, it would not be socially acceptable to quit your job after you got married. People would derisively say, “well, what do you DO all day?” If one partner works while another stays home, most people assume the non-worker is lazy, unemployable, or taking advantage.

      It is perfectly acceptable for someone to stay home if there are children, but once your kids are school aged… it starts to seem unbecoming if you aren’t actively trying to re-enter the workforce and have a life outside of your home/family.

    • Lemona

      So you’re also writing a fantasy novel about a dragon world plagued by civil war . . . this leaves me no choice but to quit my job in order to finish my dragon war novel first! I’ll have to write quickly before my limbs atrophy . . .