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Those without kids

Deirdre Sholto-Douglas finch at Mcs.Net
Thu Apr 27 03:40:33 EST 2000

On Wed, 26 Apr 2000, Linnea Ista wrote:

> It is clear that although you expect empathy and understanding about
> your situation, you have none for mine.  Your troubles are REAL
> whereas mine are only anecdotal.  You also seem to know all about what
> my life is like (in terms of my disposable income. Exactly how much is
> that, by the way? You might be surprised! 

Linnea, don't think my question nasty, but how can you expect to have
a discussion in a public forum if you take everything personally?  Is
this how you respond to your colleagues?  If so, I can understand how
they might present themselves as less than understanding.

> in terms of my health-- as
> it turns out I DO get quite a few colds, always have.  And most of

Poor baby, have an antihistamine.  Heaven forfend you should understand a
jest and take it in the spirit offered.

> And this is based on the fact that you were once childless yourself.

Say what?  *Everyone* was once childless.

> you don't think anyone does it! And I do not roll my eyes when
> someone's sitter bails. Where the heck did you get that?

"You", Linnea, can also be used as an impersonal pronoun.  Perhaps you
(personal) might want to consider thinking of it this way when something I
write ruffles your (personal) feathers.  You (personal) apparently thought
I was addressing you (personal) when, in fact, I was addressing an issue
in a public forum.

> I must respond to one thing.  You claim to not understand how my life
> is different now at 36 than it was at 25.  It is because I have

And so not understanding how your life is different is Bad, somehow?
You would prefer for me to assume I know when I don't? You would prefer
that I *not* ask if something isn't clear?  How does that promote

> assumed more responsibility for things. I have taken on other roles
> outside of work that I would not have at 25. I am also married, which
> makes a big difference.  I have found that my friendships have become
> more rich, but also more time-intensive.

In short, your life has roughly paralleled just about everyone else's.
Again, how does this make you different?  How does being childless in this
situation make you different?  It's not a nasty question, Linnea, it's an
honest one.  How can you expect me to understand your perspective if you
won't field queries about areas that are unclear?

> All I am asking is that while you are trying to keep balls in the air,
> realize that even those of us without kids are doing that too. To you,
> they may not seem as big, or as important, but they are what makes up
> our life, and are important to us. THAT IS ALL I AM SAYING!

Linnea, I get the feeling that you think that you've been treated badly or
unfairly.  I also note that you tend to be VERY EMPHATIC and somewhat
hostile in your response...I suspect you reply in haste.  The tenor of
your reply belies the words within...I don't think you're as understanding
as you profess to be.

If what I say troubles you, I apologise to you (personal), however, I
stand by what I said and make no apologies for that.


Deirdre Sholto-Douglas
Argonne National Laboratory
Environmental Research Division

I only pay taxes to Uncle Sam, I don't speak for him.

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