Monday, June 13, 2011

The Curse

Ever since people found out Adam and I are going to Korea we keep getting the oddest questions. The conversation goes something like this:

Me: "We're moving to South Korea for a year to teach English."

Person: "Both of you are going?"

Me: "Yes."

Now perhaps I am a tad hasty in this assessment, or maybe I expect too much of people. But really? I mean, we just got married four weeks ago. To me this is the kind of question that one should mentally process before asking. "Wow, she said they're going to Korea. I wonder if they'll both go. They just got married. And she did say 'we.' It only makes sense that they'd both go."

It's called a verbal cue and having mental acuity. Just a thought.

The second most popular conversation follows this line:

Person: "How long are you going for?"

Me: "A year."

Person: "Wow. A year's a long time! What do you do when you plan to get back?"

Me: "Finish school then move to wherever Adam gets into grad school and apply for teaching jobs."

Person: "Sounds like a pretty thought-out plan. Unless of course you bring home a little 'Made in Korea' with you, right?" *insert self-congratulatory laughter here along with a knowing nudge or wink.*

Me: "No. There will be none of that." *in serious tone with blank expression and no return of knowing look or nudge*

The first issue I take with this is, why is it now that we are married that it's ok for everyone to comment on our potential reproduction? Second, I know they mean it in good-natured fun, but when people say this I feel like they're trying to curse us with an accidental pregnancy. Like the mother's curse of getting a child that was just like you so you know how rotten you were. It feels like they're telling me, "I hope you are incompetent enough to have sex without protection/your birth control method fails so that you can have a baby you were completely unprepared for emotionally/mentally/financially because it's fun for me to say 'Made in Korea.'" Bottom line: I don't find it funny.

The last thing that most people ask:

Me: "We're going to South Korea for a year to teach English."

Person: "Oh my gosh aren't you scared?!"

What I want to say in response: "Yes. I intentionally do things that strike the fear of God into me so I can be reminded to be humble. I like feeling uncomfortable and that my life is as fragile as a butterfly's wing to be crushed at any moment. Makes me live so every moment counts. You should try it some time."

What I really say: "No. Not at all."

Granted, there is a thing called "healthy fear" that we should all maintain to stay alive; it's part of what keeps us careful, makes us pay attention to what we do, etc. But if I was literally afraid to move to another country, why would I take this job? This hearkens back to a question I had last semester when a professor asked a classroom of education students (translation: people who want to be/are studying to become teachers) what scares them most about teaching and someone put, "I hate being in front of groups of people" and someone else wrote "I'm really shy." WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO BE A TEACHER? I'm all for challenging yourself, facing your fears, and conquering the weaker parts of one's self, but really? The license and the title isn't going to suddenly make groups of people your friends, and you're not going to become magically outgoing. Pick a new profession.

The truth is Adam and I both love traveling, we like languages, and we like experiencing foreign cultures. We're looking forward to Korea. In fact, it can't come soon enough.


  1. Wow. That was a little harsh. I think you were feeling a little bit hasty when you wrote this one. Some people just don't know how to react when you say you are going to Korea. I was one of the many that asked if you were both going. And I am your sister. So there ya go. And who cares if someone wants to be a teacher and is afraid of being in front of big groups of people. Look at your own husband. He hates groups of people and he is going to another country to stand in big groups of people to teach. I think you need to tone down the judgement level a little and settle down. You are not here to judge what other people are doing, but to encourage them in their challanges that they are taking.

  2. Do I dislike groups of people? Yes, but more specifically, I don't like groups of people in a social setting. Especially when I'm the only one nobody knows. It's a completely different thing to be teaching a small group of people. There, it's only the first hour or so of "getting to know you" and then I become the expert and am presenting information.
    In the large social situation, everybody asks me the same questions and I don't get to talk about anything I enjoy.
    I agree with Chelsea on the idea that if you fear being in front of a group of people, why be a teacher? That's all the job does.

  3. I was a little offended by this post too! Then again, it's your blog and you can say what you want. But for the record, I joked about a Korea baby because it's an earned priviledge or something to be able to tease newlyweds about having a baby. We endured it (while suffering infertility to boot) so now you get to :) I'm mostly joking but I want you to know I definately wasn't trying to jinx you with an unplanned pregnancy. Oh, and since when did people bug you so entirely! I'm oficially watching what I say around you.

  4. P.S. I have to point out the irony. When I went to post the above comment the word vertification thingy said "ur sore". Take that as you may but I thought it was funny