Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Doctor's Wife

It seems as though the theme of most of my posts is how insensitive and cruel people can be sometimes. Something that has happened in the past and seems to be happening more lately keeps rearing its ugly head. After being introduced to someone, or being around a group of ladies who do not know me, I am often made all too aware of what they are thinking. I have been told, several times lately, that I don't look like a doctor's wife. Someone, please tell me what that means exactly? I can't believe someone could even say that! Obviously they are not talking about the clothes I am wearing.

My husband has also shared with me an awkward situation for him. A few times while he has been discussing one of his patient's weight and health issues, they have actually turned to him and asked, "Well, what about your wife?". The fact that I am overweight in no way reflects on my husband's ability to be a good doctor. Do these people not realize that I am my own person and that my poor husband can't control me or force me to do something? We often bump into my husband's patients while we are out and about, and I am always so self conscious. I have stopped and talked with patients before at the grocery store, and I always feel like they are eye sweeping the food in my cart. The good thing is now they will only see healthier foods in my cart, so sweep away.

Now, if I could only somehow figure out the right words to say to someone who has just told me: "Oh, wow, I didn't know your husband was a doctor, you don't look like a doctor's wife".

On a great note, I am finally down 20 pounds this morning!


Allison said...

Congrats on the 20-lb. loss! That's great! And I'm sorry about those people commenting on your weight. That is quite insensitive! My response, if someone said I didn't look like a doctor's wife, would be to say, well, this is what a doctor's wife looks like. Or to ask them what they think a doctor's wife should look like.
I'm the wife of a chef, and I guess being overweight is to be expected. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, people are so ignorant sometimes--so annoying and hurtful! I don't know what I would say to someone like that--I'm not known for my tact anyway. I'm afraid I off on em a little? Your husband has the opportunity to use you as a good example. "What about my wife? Well, she's working on a healthy lifestyle and she's lost 20 pounds! Now, about you..." Excellent job with the weight loss. Keep the chin up and keep up the good work!

Joye said...

People are so awful! My response, if someone said I didn't look like a doctor's wife, would be to say, well, you don't look like a jerk but guess you are one-- or at least think it.

Big Girl said...

Congrats on the 20 pounds! that's totally awesome!

Not sure how I would handle the "you don't look like a doctor's wife" situation but maybe something like, "Indeed I am a doctors's wife but I'm also an individual."

Good luck!

Cristina said...

Congrats on the 20lb loss! You're doing great!
Gosh, I can't believe how insensitive and cruel people can be?!?! The nerve!

elife said...

Man, your town is making me mad! Some comebacks:
1) For your husband's patients, Bethany's advice is great. He should say, "Yes, isn't she a great example? She's down 20 pounds and getting healthier every day. I'd love to see you do the same."
2) For the not looking like a doctor's wife comment: Do not say anything for a moment. Stare at then with a confused expression and say, "I'm sorry?" as if you couldn't POSSIBLY have heard them correctly. If they repeat the question, repeat your question. Do this until they explain. If the explanation is rude, again pause and then say, "Wow." (in a tone of "you are a moron") and walk away and speak to someone else. If they dare to follow up, cut them off with, "I believe you've said enough."

Irish Mom said...

How frustrating for you!! People are so darn insensitive. Great job on the 20 pounds!!

As far as a reply.... yu could always try.... "Hmmm, and you don't LOOK like an a$$hole!!" or to be a little nicer, "Yeah, well was Brad Pitt was taken." How on earth would your husbands profession be in any way a reflection on you, good or bad??

Deb said...

I think you should sweetly and sincerely put it right back on them by, "Really? What does a doctor's wife look like?" Sometimes people say dumb stuff and deserve to be called out on it.

Congrats on reaching the 20 pound milestone. :-)

new*me said...

congrats on your loss!!! I can't believe how mean people can be! People who say things like that are obviously very insecure about something in their own life. You are doing great...keep it up!!

Amanda said...

What exactly does a Dr's wife look like? Maybe you should wear perfectly matched gym wear. You know from the hat, right down to the shoes. Monday is pink day, Tuesday is blue day, Wednesday is purple day. People are so sterotypical!!! UGH!!! PS, I LOVE THE DRESS that "YOU WILL WEAR ONE DAY". Can I borrow it? I have to warn, you I'm not a doctors wife. Does that change my chances? LOL!! Great job on your weight loss!!!

Anonymous said...

Just smile and put them on the spot by saying "Well what DO I look like??"

Congrats on the weight loss!

purplegirl said...

I totally empathize with the "you don't look like a doctor's wife" thing. My ex-fiance was in medical school, and I was always acutely aware that I didn't fit the image. I'm fat and not "high-maintenance" at all. I expected it, and it just the anticipation of it hurt me. (I ended up not experiencing it, not because I changed, but because we split up before he finished school.)

I like elife's suggestion. :)

Three Nuts In The Bluegrass said...

Let me preface my comment with : I am the wife of a medical doctor.

Now, there is no darn way to look as the wife of a doctor! I have never heard about this stigma until stumbling across your post.

Let me say, I feel awful for you that people are treating you this way!

Where we live, the medical wives come in all shapes and sizes. Tall, thin, short, heavy and in between.

Seriously, one girl is even anorexic looking, but no one would ever bring it up to her face (or even behind her back)... but we all think it.

So, you must be getting these comments from random snob-nobs who think we all must look like moviestars. Um - no.

I have given up on most of the general public understanding our lifestyles or situtations from about day one of Residency (I have been with my husband since day one of med school).

General public tend to make just that... generalizations. I can tell you my favorite gripe is that they think we all have tons of money. What a joke! Yeah, we may make a decent salary, but we have medical school debt up to the eyeballs!

I digress. I am not sure where you all are from, but here... looks like isn't our major gripe.

It's that they all automatically assume we must "act like" or "spend like" a certain way.

This is the primary reason I tend to seek out wives in similar situations.

Good luck with your weightloss journey! I hope you are happy with you & not what society thinks you should be!

MBSP said...

Congrats to you on your weight loss, for having the courage to have the surgery, and for taking control of your health in the best way you knew how. It's really paying off. My cousin had the surgery too and I had her start following your blog for inspiration.

BTW- when they say, "Really, you don't look like a doctor's wife?" Act very happy as if is a compliment,just smile nicely,and say, "I don't? Well, what do doctor's wives look like?" And, make them say it out loud. And if they even have the guts to say something as crass as what they imply, remind them that "it's a stereotype and we are allowed to be & look different from each other." Or be funny about it and say, "Oh, I thought you meant because I don't wear a lot of jewelry." And then tell them, "We doctor's wives don't roll off an assembly line for goodness sake." That should do it.

Carol said...

During my divorce for some reason my lawyer asked for my husbands diary, for some reason he turned it over. In it he has a list of resentments about me. Number one on the list......."She doesn't act like a doctors wife"

I'm quite sure this is true. Problem is I don't know what it is proper doctors wives do or say or act or don't do, say or act.

I'm going to start a blog so that someone can answer this for me. I can then start to fix myself.