Half-Ass vs. No-Ass

halfassWhat’s better: doing something so poorly that it’s obvious you don’t care, or not doing something at all?

When I was in middle school, there was an old woman that lived across the street; she was my grandma’s aunt.  As she got older, she was unable to do some things: rake her yard, take out her garbage, clean her coi pond, wipe properly (I was moved out before the last one happened)…  Now, being a nice person, I did all sorts of stuff for the neighborhood elderly.  I mowed lawns and shoveled driveways and cleaned garages and I never asked for anything in return (except for Mrs. Feldman between whose bosoms I became a man).  Sometimes I was given a soda or a candy bar, and I accepted, but I never asked for money.

One day my grandma’s aunt asked my brother and I to clean up the border to her property.  She owned half a country block, so this wasn’t what you’d call a small job; it would take a weekend.  She also agreed to pay us.  We got paid $5 per trash bag.  She would only pay us if we filled the big 50-gallon models and if they were filled so much that they wouldn’t close.  After finding the remains of a dog that was set on fire and raking in a cool $5 a piece after working about 20 hours over the weekend, my brother and I decided that we wouldn’t be working for her anymore.  We would’ve done it for free, but paying us this wage for this kind of work with these hours was much worse.

So, after hearing that, tell me which one of these is worse:

A friend of mine, we’ll call him Jeat, has a wife.  Before they were married they both had jobs; after they were married they both had jobs but he was the obvious breadwinner.  After they had kids, though, it was a different story.  She quit her job when she got pregnant.  Before the kid turned a year old, she refused to look for any work.  Then she got pregnant again. Now the kids are 4 and 5.

If this was my wife, I honestly wouldn’t care that much.  She could quit work, raise the kids, and we’d be super-traditional; I might even take up smoking and reading the paper (if they still had a paper in my county).  But that’s not what she did.

For the last 5 years he’s been busting his ass to make more money – not because they need it, but because the wife wants it – she wants a nicer car and better vacations.  She’s been saying for the last 4 years that she really wants to go back to work but hasn’t been able to find anything; this hasn’t stopped her, mind you, from putting the kids in day care (that he has to work extra hours to pay for) so that she has some free time “to work on her résumé.”  Currently, she’s working in a salon making a sweet $0 per hour plus tips.  With her best friend.  And her mom.

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