THE BUSY WOMAN IN "THE TIME OF HER Life" {August 26} enjoys two advantages most women don't have: money, so that she can afford luxuries like a cleaning woman and $8-an-hour baby sitters; and job flexibility, which most women don't have regardless of how much they make. This was not a snapshot of the way I live.



THE ARTICLE BY MADELEINE BLAIS about a certain woman's time management techniques really opened my eyes.

I too have two children. What I don't have is:

1. An hour and a half to work out every morning.

2. An $80-an-hour job.

3. A pool of $8-an-hour sitters that I can call on (with their own cars!).

4. A flexible enough work schedule to take off half days at will.

5. The ability to make ends meet on only one job.

I resent The Post's insinuation that this woman's life is anything but ideal. All she has is free time.



MOVE OVER, ART BUCHWALD AND ERMA Bombeck -- now we have Madeleine Blais! Surely she wrote this piece with her tongue planted firmly in her cheek -- but, alas, I think she is serious.

As a full-time caregiver, I can't imagine having enough time to indulge myself the way her $80-an-hour therapist friend does.

If she really believes anyone with this abundance of time for herself is a "snapshot of the way we live," she has never encountered the real world of "maxed out."



READING ABOUT THE ULTRA-STRUC- tured week of the upscale, newly single mother in Madeleine Blais's "The Time of Her Life," I did not experience the rush of sympathy and identification I was expecting. Instead, I found myself thinking, "This woman has a nice life."

But though I shook my head in envy over her autonomy, her support system and her budget, I found myself nodding in agreement over her determination to live a balanced life (and that seems to be the point of all the planning and scheduling). She is right.

Most women, rich or poor, are struggling to meet multiple role expectations. In the case of the single mother, anxiety and guilt can be strong enough to eliminate balance altogether, as the woman postpones the arrangement of her own life in order to be on call for her children.



BACK TO VIETNAM PLEASE PERMIT ME TO SAY A FEW words in defense of the Indian money-changers in Saigon, mentioned in passing in George C. Wilson's article "Good Morning, Vietnam" {August 26}.

Whenever we correspondents in Saigon met a colleague off the plane at Tan Son Nhut Airport, the first order of business was always to take the new arrival to one of the Indians to stock up on black market piasters. These accommodating gentlemen accepted dollars, traveler's checks, personal checks on any bank known or unknown, or virtually any other tendered instrument of payment, all of which ended up in bank accounts in Hong Kong or Singapore.

It was an invariable ritual. Otherwise how could the newcomer enjoy Saigon's marvelous French restaurants, or even tip the boy at the hotel or pay the cabdriver?

The Indian money-changers, Wilson reports, are gone. Too bad. They are no longer there because the American press corps is no longer there. I was afraid some of Wilson's readers might have gained the impression it's got something to do with morality in the new Vietnam.


UPI Saigon bureau chief, 1959-61


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