Pathologically Obsessed

, , , | Related | July 16, 2019

(My mother-in-law was one of the first speech/language pathologists trained in the United States and she thinks that speech pathology, occupational therapy, etc., are the be-all-end-all of careers for women. She tends to be EXTREMELY overbearing and has ALWAYS insisted that I follow her career path to the letter because she doesn’t want her son — her only child — to be married to someone who “isn’t like her.” I am a former truck driver — one of the few women in my area to be a truck driver — who went to college to study supply chain management but is now pursuing a career as a Certified Public Accountant. My mother-in-law isn’t happy about this.)

Me: “[Mother-In-Law], I have decided to enroll in the MBA program at [College] to get the required college accounting credits to qualify to take the CPA exam in [State].”

Mother-In-Law: “But why don’t you want to become a speech pathologist? Everyone wants to become a speech pathologist, but most people aren’t smart enough to become one.”

Me: “I hate speech pathology! I’m not comfortable sitting with children and disabled people and teaching them how to speak or swallow or whatever you people do.”

Mother-In-Law: “But speech pathology is the best career for women! I love speech pathology!”

Me: “Yes, you might love it, but I am more comfortable working with numbers and financial statements. Remember how you told me that you barely passed basic accounting when you took it while you were in college in the 1960s? I took basic accounting for my supply chain management degree and I got an A because I loved it so much. We are different people; please understand that!”

Mother-In-Law: “But everyone loves speech pathology! People don’t like accountants!”

Me: “I don’t care! People also don’t like truck drivers, despite the fact that we are the people who deliver every single good that they use in their day-to-day lives. Public perception is very flawed. Also, pretty much no one I know even understands what speech pathology is. Everyone knows what accountants do.”

Mother-In-Law: “But you should become a speech pathologist. I have always wanted a daughter-in-law who is a speech pathologist!”

Me: “That’s you. I also took a vocational test through the Department of Labor and accounting was the career that I scored highest on. My scores for speech pathology and the other health sciences were very low. Why should I do something just because you say so?”

Mother-In-Law: “Because I want you to!”

(I walked away from her at that point because she wasn’t going to understand the fact that people are different and have different interests.)

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