Friday, May 09, 2008

Living the life of a Doctor's Wife

She had to be just shy of 20, rail thin, hair pulled back in a tight bun, bright eyes with wholesome good looks that most men would be proud to introduce as their daughter.

Her fingers were deft and sure as they flew across the keypad of the cash register at the combination gas station/beer cave/munchies stop/Subway Sandwich establishment in the smaller town a few miles south of my small town.

In front of me in line was a slightly graying gentleman, maybe 8-10 years my senior who was buying a bottle of water and a newspaper. After he made his purchase and skedaddled away from the counter allowing me to place C's turkey and cheese minisub on the ring-up spot, the young waif uttered the following phrase..."I sure wish I was his daughter...or married to him."Observant enough to notice my upturned easterly eyebrow, she clarified her seemingly nonsensical statement by nodding knowingly and telling me that the HE in question was a doctor.

To which the fully liberated son of a working Mom mindset within my noggin replied, "why don't YOU become a doctor."

I saw the incomprehension creep across her facial muscles immediately, and found myself looking straight into the eyes of a person to which higher education and lofty goals which included something more than her small town had to offer was as foreign as the fuel injected powerplant sitting in my Canadian-made Japanese car.

I'll not bore you with how the rest of the brief conversation went, but suffice it to say, there was no way a middle-aged man, paying for his daughter's minisub with a debit card, was going to convince her that indeed, she too could become a doctor, a lawyer, a software engineer, a librarian, a teacher, an astronaut, or NASCAR mechanic.

And I can't help wondering at what point along the way in her short life thus far, had she convinced herself that any or all of these options were beyond her scope of reality.

Seems I've never really given much gray matter processor time to the old adage, "we can't all be brain surgeons," and how it may dictate the lives of so many people.

Enough for now. Gotta go online and look for a kiddie brain surgeon summer camp for the girl's to attend next month.


Mark said...

When we pass a college campus on vacation, we stop look around, and buy her a t-shirt from the student store, and say "you could go here when you go to college".
Not going is not an option offered.

OKDad said...

That was pretty much how my folks treated my Bro and I...not seeking some sort of higher ed wasn't even spoken of as an was a given.

However, as much as I cherished and completely enjoyed just about every second of my years pursuing the post-high school cap and gown, one of the things I did manage to learn is that college and the environs of the campus life aren't for everyone, and some of the brightest, highly successful, and decent folk in my life never set foot on or near the hallowed halls of an accredited university.

Still and all, I'd like to think some of the positive aspects of my college/grad school daze could be shared and experienced by my daughter's when their times come.

And, I'm not sure one can be a licensed brain surgeon without at least a few years of college...can they?