Monday, December 31, 2007

And A Happy New Year To YOU, Too

We are returned from the Land of Giant SUVs and Morbidly Obese People. Yaaaargh. Inspired by Nicole's highly amusing Christmas letter, I present to you: The New Year's letter.

Dear In-Laws,

Thank you for all the lovely Christmas cards. The picture of us at Lawyer Cousin's wedding was also nice. The letter exhorting me to accept the healing power of Jesus? Not so much. Let me remind you once again: I am a practicing Jew. NEVER. Thank you.

As you have all heard, Dr. S finished his PhD. No, he is not now getting a 'real job.' He has HAD one for the last six years, and now he has another one. I am not 'still in school' as you conceive of it: I work in a lab all day. No, we have not had 'classes.' For years and years. I will do physical violence to the next person who utters a phrase involving 'real job'. We work twice as many hours as you and think at least ten times as much. We work. All day. In labs. Are those words small enough for you?

Surprisingly enough, Dr. S actually wants to stick around here in SnootyTown until I finish. Fancy that: a wife who works. I know it's a novelty to you, but try to wrap your little minds around it.

You will be shocked- shocked!- to hear that I am NOT PREGNANT. I will NOT be pregnant soon, this spring, or even this summer. When we finally decide to breed, it will be unrelated to your archaic notions of a woman's place. And while we're at it, I'm not 'really a Scientist now! Part of the family!' just because I changed my name. Y'all will always be no relation of mine.

Although I forget from year to year, it's always lovely to be reminded how some of you think your narrow, circumscribed experiences are comprehensive. It's thrilling to know that
  1. living in small town Ohio
  2. going to college in small-town West Virginia . . . . and then
  3. living in small town Ohio
has given you a complete understanding of academia and of scientists! All the same, working at an R1 is not 'just the same' as teaching high school in rural Ohio. In fact, people are not 'exactly the same everywhere' either. Multi-million dollar grants involve more work and politics than your requisition for more chalk. But it's nice to be reminded that I know nothing about my experiences, which you've never had. You and your B.A.

I try not to mention it during the holidays, but you are all fat. Very fat. While some people are genetically inclined to be larger than others, the fact that Aunt K. lost 40 pounds when she started eating a vegetable every now and then seems to indicate that it's not 'in your DNA.' Eat a fricking vegetable. And Dr. S is not starving to death, he's simply not FAT. Also please stop trying to feed me animals. Meals for which nothing died are still tasty and nutritious.

Yours until next year, when I am leaving BEFORE the yearly on-a-Saturday family reunion full of ham and rabid hypocritical Republicans, so help me,

Jenny F. Scientist

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm sad we're moving so far away from all of you. But I promise the long-term plan is to live closer. Thank you for never urging me to reproduce, as you're sure I'll do it when I'm damn well ready. I appreciate this more with every year. Also thank you for the vegetables and random hand-sewed objects. One can never have too many aprons. Or acorn squash.

Mom, don't work too hard, and Prudence, finish your scholarship application already! Other sister, you might consider consulting reality seeing as your husband just lost his sixth job. Can I send him to join the Republicans? They'd get along much better. Besides, he and they know everything about everything. What a match!

Family and friends, except the crazy sister, I like you. Visiting you is nice. Dr. S likes you. There is no ham or Republicans. We miss you. Do I have to go see the in-laws next year? Is two days enough?

Maybe three.

Love, J