We had our annual winter party last night. I was lucky enough to have the night off so I could go. I should rephrase that. I was unlucky enough to have the night off so I could go. And spend my day off with work people, talking about work, instead of anywhere else, not talking about work.
It's not that I don't like a lot of the people I work with. It's just that all we talk about is work. It's my fault as much as anyone else's. I talk about work. What else is there to talk about? Except I wish that there was something else to talk about.
"Did you hear that Bill is dating Jessica?"
"I thought Jessica was married."
"She was, but she's not anymore."
"She was spending too much time at the hospital. Her husband left her."
Even the people who've already found a mate-- the people who I take for granted are lucky because they're done, they don't have to worry about that stuff anymore-- they still have to worry about it. Maybe it's as hard to be a married resident as a single resident. Especially if your other half doesn't understand what the lifestyle is.
I'm amazed at these kinds of things, when people bring their spouses and the spouse has absolutely no idea what their doctor wife or doctor husband does all day.
"Oh, she never tells me anything about what happens at work."
"Oh, are you in the same division as my husband? What's it called?"
"Yeah, that's what it's called, right?"
"Yeah, I'm in that too."
"Oh, is everyone in that, or it's just a few people?"
"It's a good number of people."
"And everyone else is surgery?"
"Oh. What is everyone else?"
"There's psych, and derm, pediatrics, OB, a whole bunch of things."
"Oh. My husband never tells me anything."
"Oh, I don't even know what my wife does all day and night. I don't know if she sees patients, or it's classes, or what this whole residency thing is all about."
"Oh, I just wish my wife would work less. I don't understand why the chief doctors always pick her to work the nights and weekends."
Are they just never talking about work, is the spouse not listening, I don't understand. I know more about what my third cousin does at work than most of the non-doctor spouses I meet know about their husbands or wives. No wonder people get divorced. They must never be talking if they know this little. I thought part of the point of being married is having someone to share with, and to talk to. I guess not. I don't know what these people talk about at home. I don't know what kind of lives they live. It makes me less sad about my own situation. Maybe I've idealized what marriage is, what having a partner is about. Who knows.
And today, half the doctors on the floors have a hangover from last night, which makes for great patient care. Free open bar until midnight, and half of us working the next day? Smart.