Culture Magazine

He Promised Her a Rose Garden

By Starofdavida
I've never been a poet, but here's an attempt.
It was 1976.
Peak of the women’s lib movement.
New York, New York.
Peak of the peak.
She was going for a PhD in psych.
She could, thanks to Betty Friedan.
“After you finish your PhD,” he told her,
“We’ll move to Long Island.
Have three or four kids.
Buy a house.
With a white picket fence,
And a rose garden.”
She was nineteen.
She fell for it.
A week after the wedding
He got fired.
It wasn’t such a surprise.
Between the mental illness
Never showing up
And long sick leaves
It was just a matter of time.
“I won’t get a job immediately,” he told her.
“You can type anywhere.
I have to do something important.
I have to have a career.
I’m the man of the house.”
She felt like she had been slapped.
You can type anywhere.
Well, she could.
And since he wasn’t getting a job,
She had to.
She couldn’t finish her PhD dissertation.
She was working too many hours.
When she wasn’t working,
She was cleaning his toilet,
Cooking his dinner.
You can type anywhere.
It would ring through her head for years.
She typed for thirty years.
He rarely worked.
She never finished her PhD.
Never moved to Long Island.
Never even bought an apartment.
There was only one child, a girl.
(After nineteen years. He was impotent.)
There was certainly no white picket fence.
Definitely no rose garden.
After 36 years of no rose gardens,
36 years of severe mental illness,
She finally couldn’t take it anymore
And put him in a nursing home.
She told all this to her daughter.
You can type anywhere.
She quoted it bitterly,
She would never forget it.
Her daughter wouldn’t, either.
Don’t be like me, she said.
Don’t fall for that.
Don’t fall for the picket fence.
Don’t fall for the rose garden.
Don’t listen when he says that you can type anywhere.
The only typing you’ll do is legal briefs.
You can, thanks to Betty Friedan.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Pineapple Pie


    How are you all surviving these dog days of summer? I have discovered a sweet that will cool everyone down. Pineapple Pie. You can make it with canned... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Kalamitykelli
  • 10 Reasons To Market Yourself More Than A Great Idea

    Reasons Market Yourself More Than Great Idea

    Too many entrepreneurs I know still believe that that their great idea will carry the startup, and they may even minimize their own value, especially if they... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
  • In Praise of Liver: Falling in Love with a Widely Reviled Food

    Praise Liver: Falling Love with Widely Reviled Food

    Do you love liver? If you are like almost 50% of Anglo-Western populations, the answer is likely no. In fact, surveys in some countries - UK, US, Canada -... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Dietdoctor
  • Infertility, PCOS and the IDM Program

    Infertility, PCOS Program

    Dr. Jason Fung: I was having a discussion with Megan Ramos the other day in our clinic, and she mentioned that yet another patient had gotten pregnant... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Dietdoctor
  • Magdalene’s Day 2018

    Magdalene’s 2018

    Every year on her feast day, I honor St. Mary Magdalene; even though the Church does not officially recognize her as the patron of whores, she certainly is in... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Maggiemcneill
  • Cops and Robbers

    Cops Robbers

    The deluge of GDPR emails has finally dried up, thank the Lord. For the uninitiated, GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation 2018. Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Jackscott
  • Holy Grove and Ripple Music Announce the Completion of the Upcoming Album by...

    Holy Grove Ripple Music Announce Completion Upcoming Album Portland's Epic Heavy Doomers

    Ripple Music is thrilled to announce that Portland, Oregon, heavy rockers Holy Grove have just completed the recording of their second full-length, to be... Read more

    The 22 July 2018 by   Ripplemusic