Our friend T's homemade table, site of many dinners with medical students
I wrote this for the Real Simple blogger contest this summer, which asked bloggers to write about the friend they were most surprised to have. At the last minute I decided it didn't really answer the question, so I didn't enter it, but I thought it might be worth sharing.
My only memory of high school science is the day we thought it would be funny to ask our teacher what “sodomy” meant (it wasn’t). My most vivid memory of college science is my elation that attendance wasn’t enforced.
And yet, here I sit at a restaurant with a medical student (my husband), two surgeons, a dentist, and a physician’s assistant. They talk about medicine, science, break to discuss the food, then more medicine, more science. I chime in to comment on the risotto but remain silent when talk returns to bodily fluids. Though discussing discharge over dinner no longer fazes me, I have nothing to add.
Our waiter reads the specials. When he leaves, the table huddles together. I lean in, in case it’s layperson gossip.
“Did you see that?” someone asks. “How about the lump on that guy's neck?” The rest of the table agrees, throwing out potential diagnoses. I realize I’m the only one at my table who doesn’t perform a secret physical examination on every passing human.
Born to be a liberal arts student, I was shocked when I married someone who was so thoroughly a scientist. Though I know he accepts me mass communication degree and all, it’s hard not to be intimidated when we meet friends for drinks and discuss the experience of delivering a baby.
It’s a daily test, but I’m becoming acclimated to my unexpected social circle. I’ve learned when complaining about my terrible day in the office is in poor taste (right after a friend shares that his patient died, for instance). I’ve absorbed enough to comment on medicine occasionally. Most importantly, I’ve discovered that as intense as these very smart people are, they sometimes crave tales of life outside the hospital. And that’s where I come in.