Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"My Real-Life Story"

This is an essay I submitted to a Glamour magazine contest last year. They were announcing the winners today and apparently I didn't win. I've decide that although it will not grace the glossy pages of a gossip read, it is the story that started this blog; the story that changed my life. And with my 1st wedding anniversary three (THREE) days away, I decided I would share it with you. In three parts.

Marrying a Medical Student: Part One

A mother’s words are to be treasured and serve as a baseline from which to follow or rebel. In my case, as I would assume happens most cases, I did a little bit of both. When I was a little girl my mother gave me lots of advice: don’t take your gum out of your mouth and wrap it around your forefinger, always try your best at everything, sing out, a handwritten note is always welcomed with a smile, and amongst other things, she told me to grow up and marry a rich doctor. In high school I grew into my breast buds and embraced the feminist ideals which drove a silent wedge between my mother’s life and what I hoped to be. She worked a full time job, yet always managed to have dinner on the table and my father’s starched shirts hanging on the brass door handle each night. I wanted more. Armed with a firm desire to shed any trace of this misogynistic phenotype, I rejected my mother’s marital advice and decided that instead, I would be the doctor my mother wanted me to marry. I denounced the antiquated notion of “marrying up” and vowed to build my own success with nothing but my brains, fiery red hair and determination.

I went away to college after breaking up with my high school sweetheart who made up for what he lacked in the brains department with muscles and charisma. With him I was aiming not for a doctor but more so for eye candy, if that’s a profession. I wanted to start this chapter of my single life as far away from my X-Y counterparts as possible. But for this to hold true, I should have gone to a convent because with college came delicious options and parent-free living. I took a carefree approach to my newfound independence and avoided settling down at all costs. I dated in the quintessential you’re-hot-and-I’m-single sort of way. And if an orange Jeep just happened to be parked outside my midwest bachelorette-pad, you might catch him blush as he strolled out just before the sun came up. After all, I needed my beauty rest and fembot booty calls or not, I was focused. Focused on achieving what very few people in my family had achieved – a bachelor’s degree and a mortgage-sized school loan payment.

I proudly reached that milestone and entered into graduate school maintaining my academic determination and unattached focus. But once the monotony of class and thesis work set in, I finally agreed to go out with a bouncer from a local piano bar. Although he didn’t drive an orange Jeep, I figured a “steady” might help me to connect with my 20-something femininity and liven up my social calendar. It was during this graduate school, bouncer-fling stage that I met my match. He sat next to me in population health class; a tall broad chested know-it-all who wore the same fleece pullover and Duke Basketball t-shirts every week. A guy that was so smart I wanted to punch him in the face but so glib that I’d never give him the satisfaction. Each day to class he brought with him, perfectly straight teeth, gorgeous blue eyes and an advanced and quick-witted vocabulary. Now this guy, I was attracted to.

One day my blue-devil-loving classmate passed me a piece of paper that read: Congratulations! You have been accepted into the Masters of Education Program. Are you dropping out of the public health program?” I fretted in the calmest voice I could muster.“No, I just thought teaching would be something solid to fall back on” he replied. Oh thank goodness, I thought. He’s not misdirected, he’s an overachiever.

Over the next two years I watched him sleep through class and kill me on tests, his brilliance ever so annoying but always a turn on. He worked at a swanky restaurant; fulfilled his student teaching requirements at a local elementary school and wrote not one, but two thesis papers. He applied to every high school science position in a 100-mile radius and every medical school in the state. He also eventually applied to be my boyfriend, my real life committed boyfriend. He was accepted with flying colors. With a humble determination that surpassed my own and an unyielding belief that everything in life was within reach, he slipped into my life and began to wedge himself into every thread of my being.

To be continued...

3 comments:

Jennie! said...

Did you see the one that won was about cancer? We never stood a chance.

Julie G. said...

Your blog is not boring. :-)

But I think the Glamour peeps probably couldn't make it past "misogynistic phenotype"

narfna said...

Ooh, a cliffhanger. I wonder how it ends?