27 September 2011

A Fond Interview

So I showed up on the doorstep of Mrs. 49er Entrepreneur about an hour before supper. Which, according to her, was going to work out perfect because Mr. Entrepreneur comes home every night for dinner at 6:00 PM. It's their sweet, but very firm tradition.  Her title is fitting because she and her Entrepreneur actually just celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary! Amazing.
I felt like I was having a Sunday afternoon visit with my grandmother and not just because of the age similarities, it was the whole picture really. It was the quaint home. It was the delicate keepsakes on the shelves.  The bowl full of apple cinnamon potpourri on her entry way table. Her sweet laugh and gentle voice.  As I sat in her living room in her delicately soft Queen Anne style sofa {and did I mention it was pink} in her charming home I felt very comfortable visiting with a woman that I just met about a life we both so clearly understood...which probably explains why I ended up being there for 2 hours and they had dinner at 7. :)

Mrs. 49er Entrepreneur
Married: 47 years
Kids: 4
Phase: Retired

Format isn't exactly Q&A. I didn't feel the need to interject and we had good flow...she talked and I listened. :)
...So, years ago I attended a class on entrepreneurs and colors personalities and their combinations. And I came across an interesting fact that most Entrepreneurs are red personality types and they are married to blues. I just thought that that was very significant. So a blue personality is someone who is reliable and trustworthy. And red personalities, well, we all know a red personality when we see one. Our personalities, and by that I mean blue personalities, are a little more even tempered which balances out the Entrepreneur who is typically really high or really low.

You see...I believe very strongly that you can teach Entrepreneurism and how to be a good business person, but I believe my husband was born this way. So I have had to learn about it because it is who he is.
...I don't think his parents understood him really, but they were wise in that they gave him some free reign to pursue things so that was smart.

...It's funny, I try to fall asleep next to him at night and he will get up at all hours of the night thinking about things. Technically we are retired, but, my husband doesn't want to "retire" and I've been married to him long enough that I knew that was going to be the case.
...He has more ideas than you could complete in a lifetime and 98% of them are really really good ideas, but not all 98% of the really good ones are going to be what you are able to or willing to or in a position to pursue. So in our marriage I help him sift through which ones are good ones. There have been times when I have been wrong. I remember the day that he said we should get into bottled water and I thought we have spent all these years trying to get water straight from the tap no one is going to want to pay for water in a plastic bottle. {laughing} He knows trends. I don't really.
...I have not been involved with his businesses. We would drive each other nuts. I am in Early Childhood Education and I kept to raising the children.
...He would be the kind of person who would work 12 hours a day and half a day Saturday and not think anything of it. He always worked on Saturday, but he did make a commitment to me that he would be home for dinner @ 6:00 every night while the kids were growing up. And he would always give me an X amount of money to manage the household to pay the bills, pay for the kids lessons, their extra curricular activities and all of that and that was just fine until I began to realize how much money he was bringing in and we had to sit down and talk about that. We always bought fixer uppers and then we wouldn’t fix them up or we would take our time fixing them up. So that had to change! {laughing}
...We had a time when we had 10 months without an income and we got through it ok because we were smart and because he had a lot in savings.
...In 1993 we sold the big business that made the big money, he was just in his 50’s and he had enough money that he didn’t have to work anymore and at that point we moved. And we could do that because he didn’t have a business and honestly he was kind of without an identity which is also an interesting thing. Men their identity is so tightly attached to their vocation and how they provide for their family. And when that is pulled away they will flounder, that is why unemployment is so hard on men. Our roles flip flopped for a little bit, and oh, it took him maybe 4 months to decide he didn’t like going to the cleaners and preparing meals. {laughing}
MTE: What are some of the hardest things?
They are never quite satisfied and never quite finished and never quite content. In fact, I used to wonder what I was bringing to the marriage, he was outgoing and gregarious and funny and has a lot of personality and charm and he was making really good money, but then I had a dear friend who told me that when I would go out of town (when my kids had babies or whatever) That he didn't know what to do without me. That I was his anchor. So they need that, they need an anchor. You need to help them put their feet on the ground for awhile when they get all excited about 10 different things. I always feel like I am holding onto his coattails saying, "Wait for me!"
MTE: Any other thoughts you'd like to leave me with?
You know...neither of us would change it. Because if we married someone like ourselves life would be very dull. We are always on the brink of something grand or something great and I love that. By the time we had been married for 5 years we had done a lifetime of stuff. We had to be a little more stable when the kids came along, but I think what is hard is they love change and that is good and bad. Who moved my Cheese, ever read that? He’d be the first mouse. I'd probably had been the 2nd mouse. Now, I would not have ever been the 3rd mouse. I may not have been  first, but I would have been there. I'm still here.