Erica's piece circles around the words: "It must be nice" and how much she dislikes hearing those words. She disliked hearing people talk about her pastor father and using this phrase when discussing the flexibility of his schedule. My cousin Josh is a pastor, and his wife Sarah has often talked about how blessed they are by the flexibility of his schedule. But there is also SO much involved in the life and family of a minister that I is very far from "It must be nice." I would never couple a pastor's job with, "It must be nice."
And now Erica dislikes hearing those same words surrounding the fact that her husband is a doctor.
Erica's husband is an orthopedic surgeon. Erica writes:
"Physicians and physicians’ families are certainly not immune to this phrase or this attitude towards our lives. This is partly due to the fact that our life advantages are public knowledge; a quick internet search will provide an accurate salary average for any physician specialty. People know what our income will be even before we are close to making it. However, there is a larger disparity amongst, for example, business salaries and perks, which makes it a little more of a guessing game than for physicians. People see what they want to see, and for physicians’ families, it is often big houses, nice cars and fancy vacations. Nobody focuses on the years of training, the monstrous amounts of debt or the long hours that are continuously maintained even when you are “done” with training."
Since moving back to the USA, I have found myself keeping the fact that my husband is a doctor a secret. We both grew up as far away from a physician and this lifestyle as you can get, and I had preconceived notions about doctors. I am not a doctor's wife in the stereotypical sense. And my husband doesn't fit the doctor stereotype either. Goodness knows I don't want anyone to have those preconceived notions that I once had about doctors ... about me ... about my husband ... about us.
I have spoken with some friends who are or are married to a physician or lawyer, and I have realized that a lot of this is due to where you live in the country. In wealthier areas, I think it is much easier to blend. Here in Tennessee, especially in the city we live (and most likely the city we move to), I think bleeding is a bit tougher.
When we bought our farm, we did not disclose the fact that JB is a doctor. But it is a small town, and word travels fast. Already the neighbors are calling JB "Doc"! Word sure does travel fast.
Erica goes on to say:
I hope, as Erica reminds us in our piece, that we stop comparing ourselves to others and thinking "it might be nice" about anyone else. Everyone has their tough stuff to deal with. Money or prestige does not change that.