Friday, June 09, 2006


Is There a Doctor in the House?

I'm a doctor. I know this because it says so on my diploma, which is wrapped in cardboard and stuffed under my bed. I also know this because neighbors of my parents insisted on calling me "Dr." everytime they saw me last week, even when they didn't actually have any follow-up conversation to offer (this immeditely preceding the pinching of my cheeks and vocal remembrances of the time I vomited on myself after Thanksgiving dinner at the age of 6). The fact that I now have a title has been so ingrained into my head over the past two weeks that it disturbs me when I encounter situations where people don't acknowledge this. It doesn't say "Dr." on most of my mail, for example. This should not be a big deal. I should be revelling in my "everyman" status, mocking the elitists in my class who would actually care about shit like this, and yet every time I return from the mailbox, a small part of my ego dies. My narcissism is insulted on a daily basis. Given the reactions of friends and family, I expected there to be some sort of immediate international recognition, some all-points-bulletin sent to J. Crew and The New Yorker, accompanied by balloons and a cake to mark the title change of their favorite customer. I tried to get my bank accounts changed to reflect my new status. The helpful gentleman at Wahcovia informed me that an "M.D." at the end of my name wouldn't fit on my checks. I asked him what people usually did to remedy that situation, thinking that I could nobly sacrifice my middle name, and he replied with slight disdain, that most people don't bother with the M.D. Most people also think jean shorts are acceptable summer wear, but I didn't feel like pointing this out. My faith in popular opinion isn't exactly at an all-time high given where we've now ended up politically, and yet, I recognized in his condescension an element of truth. After all, it's not like my daily life has been revolutionized. I don't even feel like a doctor. I feel instead like that really uncool community college student who still hangs out at his old highschool, smoking Marlboro Lights and wearing a Guns N Roses T-shirt. Thankfully, my home internet access has been restored, so I no longer have to disguise myself to go to the health sciences library to check email. I'm in a weird state of limbo right now. I guess that ends on Tuesday, when I officially become an intern. That leaves me with only three days to not respond in the event of a medical emergency. I started off on that trend well today when I glanced out the window of the sushi sky-booth at lunch to see a middle-aged woman completely eat it on the steps out front. I stared with detached interest for a good 30 seconds before I remembered that I might actually be compelled to aid in sitautions such as these. Fortunately, her friend exited stage right in a mad rush and returned 10 seconds later wearing a black visor that she definitely did not have on when she left. The additional headgear was pretty much all I could think of to help the situation anyway, so I returned to my bento box, my mind at ease.

It has been a long 18 months...
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