Monday, August 30, 2010

Ain't No Sunshine

Dear Readers! It appears that I am becoming depressed.

Part of this is from a difficult relationship patch with an old friend. (All snooze off here.) Her husband is getting a PhD in History of Lost Atlantis, they are fantastically in debt, and he cherishes the notion that he will magically get a faculty job upon graduation, which will happen in a magical 5 years. They are on food stamps and Medicaid. (Also, Medicaid is NOT the path to getting good healthcare. No. Really not.) She is very controlling about her 3-year-old's eating ("Never try to teach a pig to sing") and her 8-month-old has dropped to the 2nd percentile in weight.

I am a judgmental bitch about all of this. And contempt does not make for good friendships.

The whole "magical faculty job" thing... really pisses me off. It's like those new grad students, who are convinced that they will get that experiment to work; you know, the one 200 other people have tried before, but this student! This student will just work harder! This student wants it more! I know this is partly a naive sort of magical thinking, but the rest is scorn and idiocy. Because everyone who didn't get what they wanted? It's because they didn't want it enough! You can graduate in 5 years if ONLY YOU WORK HARD ENOUGH!* Everyone who didn't get a faculty job (70% of PhDs, if you're counting) was a lazy, stupid bum. (Or... wanted to be paid fantastically well in industry, or hates academia, or didn't want to live in fucking BEIRUT.)

My dear, darling child appears to be having some strong Bug feelings; specifically, all bloody night. Also all day. And the hitting! Forever with the hitting.** This doesn't help.

I probably need to exercise, but I'm too tired. I probably need to make more friends here, but I'm too tired. I probably need to sleep more, but I need to exercise, so I can sleep. I probably need to go take a shower now.

No advice please, I know what I need to do. I am merely filled with angst and depression. Thank you. We're here all week.

*NO. No, you can't.

**I take his arms in my hands, and kneel down and say "No, Bug, no hitting,
gentle", and then I stroke his arm gently. EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TIME. So mostly he just keeps hitting me, but this evening he walked over to me afterwards to gently stroke my leg. It was... kind of sweet.


  1. *hugs* i'm so sorry about your friend. but i have to say i LOVED the rant about wanting it more....i actually read it in a carol burnette (playing ms hannigan from annie) sarcastic manner. made my day!

  2. Anonymous5:10 PM

    So sorry. No advice--just hugs.
    --Neighbor Lady
    p.s. i am actually in awe of and impressed with your patience with the hitting and your response to it. it will pay off--really.

  3. yep i'm really in richmond! coming from here, i'm not certain how you've stood cheese-land for so long!! nic to meet you too!! and my email is, but i'm terrible at checking it more than 2x/week, so drop a line if you email :)

  4. I'm so sorry you're feeling depressed.

    I too loved the rant about the new student enthusiasm. everyone thinks she'll be different. I thought that too. I learned. There's no such thing as a special fucking snowflake in science.

  5. (hugs) if you want them. I'm at that place right now too. Working through it. Hating it. And yes, no one is a special snowflake.

  6. Reminds me of cancer patients not wanting enough to be healthy again. Or infertiles not wanting a baby enough. Sigh.
    Hope things get better.

  7. Thanks, all.

    Neighbor Lady- amusingly, he has started petting other children. To be gentle and nice. It's fairly cute, and better than hitting...


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