Sunday, August 10, 2008

From Shirley Jackson's Raising Demons

"...I was a faculty wife. A faculty wife is a person who is married to a faculty. She has frequently read at least one good book lately, she has one "nice" black dress to wear to student parties, and she is always just the teensiest bit in the way, particularly in a girls' college such as the one where my husband taught. She is presumed to have pressing and wholly absorbing interests at home, to which, when out, she is always anxious to return, and when at home, reluctant to leave. It is considered probable that ten years or so ago she had a face and personality of her own, but if she has it still, she is expected to keep it decently to herself. She will ask students questions like "And what did you do during vacation?" and answer in turn questions like "How old is your little boy now?""

"Naturally a husband presents enormous irritations no matter what he is doing, and I think it is unreasonable to regard a teaching husband as necessarily more faulty than, say, a plumbing husband, but there is no question but what the ego of a teaching husband is going to be more vividly developed..."

"Unlike faculty wives, students are nice girls who have come to college to get an education."

(Raising Demons, 1957)

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