BY HALEY WHITE
Class of 2012
My parents met at Princeton as undergraduates about thirty-years ago and got married six-days after my mother marched through FitzRandolph Gate for graduation. Eighteen-years ago, they got a divorce.
I don’t fault my parents for their union—without it I wouldn’t exist. I also don’t fault them for their divorce—they handled it with great dignity and took pains to ensure that my brother and I would not be placed in the middle of their disagreements.
Having grown up in a fractured Princeton marriage, I was dismayed to read Susan Patton ‘77’s letter last week. One of the many lessons my parents’ relationship taught me was that the right person is not necessarily the man or woman who has the same academic credentials as you. The right person is the one with whom you feel comfortable building a life and making difficult personal decisions. Reducing the search for that person to an intellectual yardstick leads to poorly framed thinking about an institution that is so beautiful, fraught, and complex.
I also disliked Ms. Patton’s statement, “As Princeton women, we have almost priced ourselves out of the market.” It suggests that, before reaching out for a new accolade, a woman should stop and consider how much share that achievement will make her lose in the dating market—that, simply by attending Princeton, we have already limited ourselves to a boutique audience that we should not shrink any more.
What if I don’t want to change myself into someone who stops reaching? Is it really that absurd to hope someone will love me, ambition and all?
Haley White ‘12
P.S. On a lighter note, I would like to correct a factual error in Ms. Patton’s piece: Heterosexual women need not limit themselves to undergraduates. There are many interesting, attractive men over at the Graduate College. If your personal life has hit a lull, go to the D Bar.
Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article contained an incomplete draft of this letter. The ‘Prince’ regrets the error.