Why Should A Woman Hide Her Engagement Ring for A Job Interview?

A news item advised women not to wear their engagement ring to the interview if they wanted to be considered serious job candidates.

This sounds like career advice women received in the sixties.

Divorced, with children and no recent work experience, was not a good place to be in the sixties. There were few female hiring managers and you couldn’t count on them for support. Their status had been hard won and few would risk it for any reason.

Women had the vote, but you’d hardly know it from questions posed by male interviewers. “Do you plan to re-marry?” “Not unless hell freezes over” or “Are you out of your freaking mind?” did not come across as politically correct responses. The other version of this job interview landmine was “You will re-marry someday. Should we decide to hire you, we’d have to replace and re-train your position”.

An engagement ring was the least of my problems.

In the sixties, divorce carried a stigma that fell for the most part on women. During an interview, it was difficult to refrain from stating if it were not for my children, I would have raced to a nunnery; but as I was damaged goods, placement in a religious institution was not an option. I was not asking to become indentured, just the opportunity to make a decent living.

“What will we do when your children are sick?” Assuring a prospective employer that you had arranged for care for your children was next to impossible.

After swearing to never date or have sex until well past retirement, you might have a chance at getting a job that paid less than a man performing the same duties. After all, men were the head of the household.

I remarried and moved to a larger city. There was not much difference in attitudes. Metropolitan interviewers were more brazen. They did not hesitate to ask how long you had been married. A truthful response brought a different twist on the same old tired line. One male interviewer solicitously stated, “You will want to mesh your new union with a child.” Using his superior visionary abilities, he had determined in a ten-minute interview my family planning objectives.

No woman of today would want to revisit the restrictions of the sixties. For younger women, who might not be aware of how their current rights evolved, some research is in order.

Hiding an engagement ring is a step in the wrong direction.

Pool People

Our community pool is visited by a cast of colorful characters.

Impeccably groomed Miss Couture arrives poolside, deposits her accessories in a deck chair and tests the water with a perfectly pedicured toe. She then begins her catwalk down the pool stairs and glides into the water. She is going to do nothing more strenuous than take up real estate in the pool.

Next arrives Unkempt Joe. He’s hauling a beer cooler, boom box and pool float with cubbies for his beverages. He hasn’t shaved in five days. The flies that accompany him indicate an absence of a bath for at least that long. His man boobs compete with the bay window hanging over his swim trunks for space in his raggedy suit. Thank God, he doesn’t know about Speedos. After turning on Leonard Skynard full blast he executes a decibel bursting belly flop and lands on the float. Miss Couture is not amused.

Miss Fitness Freak arrives with barbells, paddles, noodles and weights in tow. Slathered in sunscreen spf 75 she proceeds to enter the middle of the pool after giving Miss Couture a look of disdain and a warning glare to Unkempt Joe, she begins her exercise routine. All she requires is space and non interference from pool mates.

Last to enter is Miss Socialize. She’s as perky as a poodle and talkative as a parrot. She is poised to greet  her next victim. Miss Couture unavailable to those who don’t meet her standard of fashion. Unkempt Joe is belly deep in “Sweet Home Alabama” and longnecks. Miss Fitness Freak is a whirling dervish of activity.
Miss Socialize chatters away to anyone who hasn’t managed to escape.

Miss Fitness Freak is the first to depart the pool leaving behind an oil spill of sunscreen glaze. She is the picture of efficiency as she gathers up her equipment and makes a hasty retreat. She is followed by Miss Couture,  gives Unkempt Joe a withering, warning glance as she runs for the pool exit. Miss Socialize who has managed to drown out Skynard has accomplished what no one heretofore has been able to. Unkempt Joe and his redneck accouterments exit the pool.

Miss Socialize is left to her own devices and ring around the pool as a parting gift from Unkempt Joe. Fellow poolies, having noted her arrival and departure time, will make sure their paths do not cross again. I think she planned it that way.

Sharing water can be a challenge.

Fourth of July Sale Sputters

I have given up on bargain hunting for summer clothes after the fourth of July. There are none. The selections are unattractive and shop worn. Still, I decided to brave the heat to search for a couple of summer outfits. The giant poster of a girl holding a bouquet of autumn leaves at the mall entrance should have been a big clue.

The broom skirts were all that remained and made me look like a weeble wobble. The airy cotton tee shirts and sweaters had morphed into trapezoids from try-ons. The hanger bumps would require heavy construction equipment to remove. We won’t even mention the selection of swim suits whose style would be better suited to a big box home improvement store.

A major home accessories retailer emailed a flyer advertising half priced summer sales. After opening the email I was hit with “Get a Start on Christmas Home Décor”. The usual holiday gilded angels, bells and whistles were featured. It’s a hundred and six degrees at 8:00 AM in the shade. Free jumbo frozen margaritas could not entice me to shop for holiday décor.

The holidays are nowhere near being on my radar screen. Promoting holiday items in July is lunacy and a huge contradiction of this upscale retailer’s image as the “go to” for elegant home accessories. I’ll bet the summer sale selections are tacky stuff no one would buy and Christmas home décor consisted of last year’s Santa and Rudolph too.

Next year I will ignore the lure of 4th of July sales. Labor Day, however is less than sixty days away.