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2005-03-16 - 10:20 a.m.

OK- so its the Corcoran Gallery that Westley's old co-worker has studied at.

I most definately am going to take the girls there for a visit one of these days in the coming weeks. I've been looking for a place to take them.

I was also excited I thought I found the artist on line- but then I noticed the FAX # was 516 are code, and that is L.I. so I suspect its just someone with the same name... oh well. I'll e-mail to find out! The artist I found is incredibly talented so I enjoyed that site anyway!

Off to set up my computer so I don't have to rely on Westley's. We moved my desk and computer OUT OF THE BEDROOM which is a GREAT MOVE!

HE hates me using his study, so I am as happy to get off this computer and back onto my own as he is!

I also had a nice chat w/ him this morning and got the approval for what I want to spend money on for Easter. (BASICALLY WHATEVER I WANT WITHIN THE AGREED ON BUDGET... which is lower than we thought as he did bills last night and reports we are basically almost out of $ again! Our burn rate is high with him working out of town and therefore lots of travel and additional housing expenses.)

OH well... thats typical.... another real truth of the so called wealthy: With the exception of those few "aristocrats" who have really inherited the family money and pretend they are STILL in ENGLAND.... like those annoying Western Loudoun neighbors of mine that have been called "fascists" by some.... MOST of the so called RICH are in that high income because they have worked their way through both higher education and jobs through the years and are willing to constantly SWITCH JOBS for an increase in salary and responsibility. Its their incredible willingness to take high risks and be MOBILE that pay off in the end financially. Along with that many of those professionals also have huge sacrifices- such as working FAR from their family who often remain rooted in one home through all the job hopping. Its amazing ! Places our immediate neighbors work: CANADA, OHIO, WASHINGTON D.C., NEW YORK, Rockland MD, FLORIDA.... to name a few. I include D.C. in that list as at this point it is at least a two hour commute-- so that's not exactly working in the neighborhood.

So their assets look great on PAPER as these people often then have TWO HOUSES: one they live in when working all week and the homestead. BUT that makes sense as every few years they seemingly move up the corporate ladder- often in a new city!

But the reality is that the expenses of travel and maintaining the two homes translate into making THE SAME IF NOT MORE SACRIFICES as a family than anyone else does!

IT fascinates me.

They also often have larger families, and then the per capita per person is basically about the same as anyone else.

Its incredible that in the company my husband works for almost all the executives have at least 3 or 4 kids or more! AND they all also have two homes-- and it turns out many here in VA, with the second one being in the home office town. Funny.....

Unless thats just that he fit the culture of the company he was hired by-- but I don't think this is an isolated phenomena as it is VERY common around here.

In the little Lincoln school when Westely worked in CA a few years ago full time, there were THREE OTHER families also doing the same where the Dad commuted to CA for work!

Maybe its the industry my hubby is in-- but I believe it is actually a trend that is not limited to his industry.

Heck- its not even that new of a trend! In Europe that was done for years! All those Irish lads took off for England to work and send home money. Immigration from MEXICO and other Central and South American Countries to the U.S. follow this same pattern. And in the end those workers all still consider their home county HOME and many DO GO BACK after traveling back and forth for years.

I heard an interesting piece about some politician in Mexico City who lived and worked in California and ran a restaraunt for years then went back to his country. Part of his agenda is to facilitate the lifestyle of heading to the US for work and income but remaining involved and active in the Mexican community.
So lifestyle differences between rich and poor?
The lifestyle of a Mexican migrant worker would assumedly be vastly different than that of a tech professional. But from here I see the amazing similarities. When the professionals are HOME in Northern VA many of them enjoy the work of the land they tend and farm alongside the migrant workers they hire to care for things when they are not here! MAny of them are also just too damn cheap to pay for labor and do it all themselves, or too ethical to hire illeagal labor, and too busy to jump through the hoops of hiring LEGAL farm workers which is quite a feat (And expense)

But ironically, both the professionals and the migrant workers seems to ENJOY the labor of the land, an both are away from family most of the time to make money to provide for them, and both go back and forth having two homes in a sense. And in the end they BOTH know the work of the labour of the SAME land, and BOTH apprechiate the beauty of it and the literal fruits of their labor.

The similarities are easy to see. Maybe that's why there is the ease of many of those working relationships between the men of seemingly different worlds (At first glance). Maybe that's why the men I encountered professionally (like the lawyer I worked with in the coveted Middleburg Zip code) had no problem with professionally dealing with immigrant workers. There is a mutual understanding and RESPECT.

IRONICALLY it was the WOMEN I worked with - those who never traveled much at all- except to drive from the WEST (often from West VA) to go EAST into Middleburg where the jobs pay more who had a problem with the immigrant community. They do the SAME THING on a smaller scale in their daily commute from home to where jobs are.... yet they don't seem to have that understanding. They don't recognize that behaviour when done over larger geographic regions as the same as their own. They were the ones who saw the farmworkers as "foreign" and feared them.


So class differences? I suppose there are many- but in the end I actually think that GENDER differences are the largest challenge for us all for some reason! Its often gender differences which affect communication moreso than any other. WOW- I think after reading the above that something is clearer to me so I am adding onto this previous entry after coming back here just to fix a typo I noticed: In the end I really think the discomfort of the women at the law office may have had to do with HOW the Mexican man interacts with women. He is indeed a tremendous flirt. Frankly than never bothered me in the least, as I just took it as a compliment and ignored it until I found him offensive. Then I addressed his inappropriate communication and he ceased it immediately. I however think that he likely offended the WOMEN at the office, wheras he didn't offend any of the men. That is of course because he likely was a jerk to some of the women, who rather than tell him to knock of his "subtlties" and respect the professional relationship, were just freaked and feeling vulnerable by his inappropriate lack of respect. I had forgotten that this had been an issue I had to address with him early on. The thing is, that I think this is VERY MUCH about power-- the power men THINK they have over women. In that working relationship I CLEARLY HAD POWER, and therefore I wasn't threatened but made my expectations of appropriate behavior clear (similar to how I'd do so with any toddler, or any man who is a jerk!) So I never thought of either class or nationality as entering into the concern area when it came to his behavior (although some could argue that men of his culture interact with women in a different manner than those men here.... I think that could be true to some degree, but he's been here for almost twenty years! Furthermore THERE ARE men HERE that are ANGLO and very American that are indeed good men overall- yet WILL BE JERKS TO WOMEN IF YOU LET THEM.)

Anyway, once I recalled the one time I had to put him in his place, I then realized there is likely more to the story of why the Middleburg office was suddenly less interested in continuing to work for this man as he persues nationalization for wife and remaining family members. It also gave me a new perspective: KUDOS For the attorney who backed his office staff with such support!! Once I recalled the inappropriate interaction with me, I then had even more respect for the attorney. The realization that there must be more to that story at least fills in the missing puzzle pieces for me (even if my theory is wrong!) Now I'm at peace with this issue as I felt like we dropped the ball on this guy who needs help... and although I referred he and his wife elsewhere, I felt like a heel for not being able to follow up myself. Now I am thinking of that phrase "People get what they deserve" and believe it is likely well deserved that the office doesn't want to continue to work with him. There has to be some story I hadn't heard because the interaction with the office staff was suddenly so changed and different from before. And if it is not due to any of his communication, well then the severing of the working relationship was initiated by the office staff based on the one time I failed to call AHEAD of time when I wasn't going to use the reserved conference room. If so- then I got what I deserved as I wasn't professional on that occassion, and as I said before that was a lack of respect on my part toward the office staff! Although that doens't seem to be an issue as it wasn't the concern the attorney raised to me. He just said the "girls" as he calls them were uncomfortable not being able to answer any of the clients questions, and that the language barrier was posing a communication problem, and he felt that placed him in a vulnerable position open to malpractive claims. He also indicated it was becoming a problem as the immigrant clients were stopping in to pay in cash and asking about the cases all the time.... So reading between the lines it seems that REALLY they were mostly bothersome to the ladies and made THEM uncomfortable. So now I really think those were gender based communication problems because this guy was a jerk to women! I don't have a well established repoire with any of the ladies to ever know. I basically interacted with the attorney and the clients and only seldom with them for administrative needs. But nevertheless, I think it still is true that gender is as much of a problem, if not moreso, in communication problems in relationships than other differences. I think this is so because power struggles create the greatest conflict in relationships. Gender, whether we like it or not, is a factor which for some reason plays into those power struggles. I suppose that stems simply from the Neanderthal basic instinct that I believe men have and the knowledge wonen accept that yes- in the end they ARE usually physically stronger than us! Than of course is balanced by the fact women are often so much smarter! (HA HA.... just being facitious) But wait there must be SOME truth to that in some sense.... Maybe its balanced by women being EMOTIONALLY stronger? Emotionally smarter? Hmmmm.... I'm not sure but physical power MUST be balanced by SOMETHING..... or women would ALWAYS inherently be second class citizens.... and I'd like to think that is not the case. Maybe those instincts of man are simply balanced by the collective REASON that although if they wanted to men COULD overpower us women, that really wouldn't be beneficial to them! so in the end, men do what makes them happier in the long run, as do women. We put up with some crap from men and won't tolerate other crap because in the end we do what will make us happiest! There is likely balance from the simple fact that men and women both know that overall we like life better with both genders getting along. In any case, I really think that the communication concerns are often based more on gender differences rather than other differences. These gender differences can be about power, but sometimes I think are just basic physiological difference based on men's and women's brains literally be wired differently! Studies show that there are actual differences in how men and women both process information and communicate! Power struggles however may be MORE apparent when it comes to gender issues than when it comes to religion or class, or life goals yet all of those areas of conflict can also be, but are not necessarilly, about power.

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