An Open Letter

Dear People-Who-Have-Opinions-On-Everything,

Why do you feel that you must share your opinions on my life decisions, when it has nothing to do with you and affects you in no way what-so-ever?

I don’t need to be told that I’m “giving up my career for some guy” or that doing my PhD is useless if I’m “just going to stay home” or doing something other than academia. Questions and comments like these are not only extremely nosey, but also insulting – to both me and DH! You don’t know why I am making the decisions I am, or what the whole story is, so why do you feel the need to be a total asshole? Do I tell you that you’re a frickin’ idiot for some of the shit you do? No, I don’t.

Do you know what else bothers me, PWHOOE? When you try to infer that it’s not me making my decisions, but that DH is doing it for me. It can’t possibly be that I want to move where he finds a job and actually want to live with my husband, or that we can make such decisions together. No…that’s just impossible! It must be that I’m “following” him, like a lost, stupid puppy, with no aspirations of her own.

Of course, if he were to move where I found a job, that would be okay…but since it’s the other way around, I must not be a feminist and am letting DH walk all over me because he’s a man, and that’s just what they do. They’re all jackasses and treat us like shit, don’t they, PWHOOE?

Oh, and if you can’t tell (since you’re not so good at the picking-up-on-social-cues thing), that was sarcasm.

So, let’s make a deal: you shut your trap when it comes to giving me your asinine (and uneducated) opinions about my life, and I won’t punch you in the face/knee you in the balls. Mkay?

Sincerely yours,
Mrs. (yes, it’s okay to be a Mrs.) Comet Hunter

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Comments on: "An Open Letter" (8)

  1. boo to all those asshats. Sorry they're giving you a hard time. It's YOUR life and you can do whatever YOU decide is best for it, sheesh!

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  2. When I left school 1 for school 2 (where fiancé was also going to start), I had a lot of PWHOOE who criticized me without knowing my reasons. I was going to leave no matter what, it just happened to work out that we found a place that worked well for both of us. “Oh you're moving to be with your fiancé',” they would say. “No, no, I'm running far away from this program because it makes me miserable,” I wanted to say. Instead I internalized it all and started to question my own motives. I got over that quick.

    Screw them (the PWHOOE). They don't deserve to know your reasons and fully understand your awesomeness.

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  3. PWHOOEs suck. Is this coming from people you know at work, or a friend/family member? My responses to my own PWHOOEs when I a) left research and b) changed my name when I got married were different depending on how I knew the PWHOOE.

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  4. Cath – these are mostly people I have a work-only relationship with. Family and friends, thankfully, are much more understanding!

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  5. i-hate-this-i-hate-this-i-hate-this.

    I think the only thing WORSE than “ohh, you're just moving to follow your boyfriend?” are the follow-up comments of “well, he's going to have to make SOME sacrifices for you, you know.” Being lectured on the state of your personal relationship! As though making compromises with someone you love is a self-destructive behavior that requires a fullscale intervention! Let's see:

    1) I am not a battered wife. The fact that my boyfriend won't move 4000 miles to a place where his job prospects suck just to watch me finish my PhD does not make this an unhealthy relationship. Shit, I wouldn't do that for him – why should he do it for me?
    2) You do NOT know what you are talking about. Please don't make me enumerate the personal sacrifices this guy has made for me already. You're too dumb to understand, and they involve that freakish world of “life-outside-work” that you appear to have very little understanding of.
    3) And how the flying fuck is this your business anyway??

    I will also give $5 to anyone who has ever heard a guy get similar comments – “ohh, I dunno, you're just following your girlfriend? Are you really serious about your career?” (and not “why isn't she following you??” Oblique critiques of women don't count – it has to be a critique of the GUY'S personal life, decisions, and relationship judgement)

    Nobody thinks that guys need to be lectured on how to live their lives. Why are women still fair game??

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  6. you know, as far as i know, no one has said a thing to Mr. Phizz about his intention to follow me since I will have the first job.

    the world is so weird. i hope those people stop talking at you soon!

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  7. I haven't encountered this (yet), but I definitely know the feeling! My family that still lives in Europe still has a lot of that old school mentality that says a woman is not complete without a man, etc. Before I met Jason, they were constantly commenting that I need to find a man or “don't worry, it'll happen soon”. Never mind the fact that a) I wasn't even looking and b) I was happy without! Then Jason and I got together and it was “when's the wedding?”. Now we're getting married and they've already started the “when are you having babies?” thing. As if there is nothing going on in either of our lives. It's all about Jason being successful and being able to support me and the babies. What about what I want?? Do I get any say in this??

    The point is, I totally get where you're coming from. I don't understand why people can't just mind their own business. You're the one that has to live with your choices. Screw 'em and do what makes you happy!

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  8. *Disclaimer: I just finished organizing/running a student conference and am taking part in some well defined web-surfing and brewskis*

    Nah, other peoples' opinions are 99.9% worthless. Success is a measure calibrated on an individual basis (was that nerdy?), go with your gut, have no regrets and punch life in the face (this is a positive use of the phrase) cause it's too short not too!

    werd,
    Connor

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