Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MM 101, Lesson 6: On the Defensive

It's about time for another lesson in medical matrimony, don't you think?

Picture this: You are the partner of a medical student, and you are completely mad about this person.  They are pretty much the greatest thing since Mickey Mouse key chains (or some other really awesome thing---I just say the key chain thing because at the time I met Dr. D when I was 10, there was really nothing greater than any sort of Disney kitsch that I could affix to my backpack).  You are supportive of their career choice 100% and think they are seriously going to change the world, one patient at a time.  It so happens that you are also fairly confident that you will make your own equally important, unique mark in the world.  You just won't be doing it with a ", MD" behind your name.

You're meeting someone at work for the first time.  Or maybe you're at dinner with a new group of people.  Or at a bar.  Or making small-talk in line at the grocery store.

{small talk ensues}

You: "Blah blah blah [insert partner's name off-handedly here] blah blah."

Fairly uninterested, but socially polite person you've just met: "Hmm, really?  That's great.  What does [partner's name] do?"

You: "Oh, he's in medical school.  But anyway, blah blah bl---"

Now surprisingly interested, kind of judgey person you've still only just met: "---Oooh, a doctor, huh?  Well that must be nice..."

So here's our next lesson in medical matrimony: prepare to periodically go on the defensive when it comes to your partner's chosen career and your presumed motives for loving them.

Unfortunately I've had some variation of the above conversation on multiple occasions.  I'm never really sure at first what makes me more indignant: the insinuation that Dr. D is only studying to be a doctor because he wants to line his pockets and use Benjamins as toilet paper, or that I've only chosen to be with him because I'm some kind of talentless, motivation-less gold digger who's hoping to rake in some cash so I can buy myself butt-loads of diamonds/cucumber facials/catty friends.

Pardon me, is my bitterness showing?

Truth is, I loved Dr. D even back when he thought he'd probably go to film school.  Truth is, the only butt-load of anything we're going to have for a while is debt, but we're both completely okay with that because we can live modestly.  Truth is, I happen to be in love with a fantastic man, but I am a strong and independent woman and there isn't much that can piss me off more than implying that I'd be lost without his financial support.  Truth is, it's the Mrs. who is currently bringing home the bacon, and glad to be doing it.  And I think he's glad, too.

Can I get an Amen?


Hanna said...

Preach it sister! I seriously dislike that money is the first thing that comes to people's minds when they find out about hubby being in med. school. And the possibility of money later somehow equals that we have it now? I've gotten several remarks along the lines of "hey, why can't you guys get [non-essential semi-expensive thing]?? Your hubby is going to be a DOCTOR!" Argh!

Corinne said...

augh I hate this and completely understand what you mean. Even some people that we know don't completely understand and it's frustrating! They think "ohh yeah life is soo rough for you right now" and it just boils my blood. We're basically living off 1 income (mine) and it's not anything close to even consider bragging about so wtf! (Obviously I have some issues on this topic as well) but I've been in your above situations more times than I can count and it really irks me.

Is it Friday yet?

Keely said...

OMG this crap DRIVES ME CRAZY! Once I put a status on facebook about needing new breaks and not wanting to pay for it. Someone had the balls to say "Aren't you married to a doctor?"

No, I'm married to a freaking medical student and we've got nothing but the modest good stuff. Sure, one day we might have some money- but not until we spend our young and beautiful years broke, watching everyone else buy houses, take vacations, and build savings accounts.

Oh crap, now my bitterness is showing.

I'm like you, I fell in love with the person that my husband is- and the one time that he mentioned maybe not wanting to be a doc...I was relieved! It's a tough road that would be pretty hard to walk if our only motivation was greed.

Wow- sorry for the rant- I just think these assumptions are so unfair...

DJ said...

AMEN. My favorite is the girl who said, "Oh how exciting! Soon you won't have to work anymore!" Like I don't have anything to contribute to the world other than packing a doctor's lunch.

Mrs. Dr. D said...

Thank you all for validating this for me as a major irritant... I was truly hoping that I'm not just over-sensitive on the issue!

Ashley + Christian said...

GAH! THIS! My husband is just done with his first year (last exam today!!!) and I can't stand this.

"Just wait until you can stay home and do whatever you want."


"Can I come live with you in your mansion when Chris is done with medical school?"

I can't ever imagine us having money. Like ever. I feel like we will owe our firstborn to the department of education as it is. I know that eventually we'll be okay, but people don't understand that it's not worth it to become a doctor if you don't love it. Too much work and too much money. Good thing he does and seeing him learn what he worked so hard for is awesome. :)

Kaytlin said...

ditto to the above statements plus the fact that i'm going into social work which is a notoriously underpaid profession which fuels the input even more.

The worst is when people begin telling me that I should encourage my partner to go into higher paying branches of dentistry because, you know, "why not? it's all the same."

again with The Words. too good.

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