Last year, prior to leaving me for the Arctic without a second thought or one love letter (I wrote her three), I attended a conference with Sula. We went to a banquet together and then spent a weekend roaming about the city having a grand old time. Despite all of my attempts to the contrary, only one person mistook us for a couple: the gangly youth who drove us to the airport and likely spent the rest of the time fantasizing about Sula and me acting out the scene from Scream 4 where all of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends wake up in bed with Charlie Sheen, only without the tiger blooded madman of course. The following is the last two letters that I wrote to her and her crew ostensibly to lift their spirits and remind them of the horrors of the South: traffic, bathing, more than five people!
You’ll want to stay in the Arctic because as soon as you return to the lower ten, I’m going to waste no time in trying to convince everyone we meet that we are a couple just like the guy who drove us to the airport in Winnipeg. The difference is I think the majority of people when they ask us “Did you go on any dates?” won’t be thinking “Oh please let them say “no we just stayed in the hotel room having naked pillow fights and jumping up and down on the bed”.
Also the minute you get back, I will take you shopping (horrors!) and then tell people that I’m pregnant with our love child that we made without the aid of a sperm donor through our devotion for each other, like Immaculate Conception only with more crocheting.
Either that or when I’m asked what I’m having I’ll say “an ostrich probably or maybe one of those warm blooded fish actually not maybe, definitely” think of all the awkwardness you’re avoiding up there. In the Arctic there are no bewildered salespeople only people with tanned faces and hands if everything I’m told is true.
Enjoy your time in the sunny North, I’ll be preparing the best way to tell people that we’re having a baby iguana and that you plan to take it on walks with a leash.
So much love,
You need to stay in the Arctic, it’s a matter of self-preservation or at least that’s what the comic Piled Higher and Deeper tells me. According to them, grad school is terrible and should be avoided at all costs. By Piled Higher and Deeper standards, you are winning the International World Universe Grad School Contest; you are avoiding being in the lab and the grind while looking like you are being hard core and an awesome, amazeballs scientist. (Sorry I know that “amazeballs” isn’t a word but not everyone can win the International World Universe Grad Student Competition.)
Hence you need to stay where you are, based on my limited research which doesn’t include attending grad school; I’ve determined that it’s in your best interest to remain in the Arctic permanently. Don’t worry, Elizabeth will be there with you and you can pretend to be doing important science while reading Diana Gibaldon books for at least three years by my calculations.
Before you call me a crazy person, (which in fairness would be unfair- in all honesty I’m more of a failed scientist/ dirty hippie) listen to my reasoning. Grad school has deadlines whereas the tundra has pretty icebergs. Grad school has stress and supervisors; the Arctic has sweet, sweet solitude. Grad school has papers; the tundra doesn’t even have trees! Where would it get papers?
I believe the correct decision is obvious here, I shall be sending you a care package of overfilled calendars and recordings of colleagues telling boring stories about their pet gerbils in the event that you have a moment of weakness and think of returning home.
Your savior from the perils of academia