Sometime after I graduated with my B.A. in psychology, I watched that Sandra Bullock movie, 28 Days.
The premise of the movie is that Bullock is a recovering alcoholic who is sent to rehab for yes, 28 days. When getting ready to be discharged from treatment, the therapist tells her that she will only be ready for a new relationship when she can first successfully keep a plant alive for a year and then keep a dog alive for a year--in that order. Only after she has succeeded at both will she know that she can handle a romantic relationship.
I thought this was funny, but brilliant.
I mean, at any given moment, the state of my apartment is reflective of the state of my life. When things are going well and I’m in control, the floors are clean, the bed is made is every day, and the laundry is done regularly. When I’m not in control (aka ever since I started medical school), laundry lays in unattractive mounds until a mass washing can be done at 10 p.m.- 2 a.m. Bathroom counters aren’t wiped down until there are toothpaste stains in the sink. And the plants? Save for roommates who take pity and keep them alive, they die.
Admittedly, my year off has been much better. The apartment is clean, there is real, healthy cooking done every day, and amazingly, there is a small dog who has survived four whole months with The Lawyer and me. (OK, full disclosure: We did totally forget to feed him one night. By “we,” I mean “The Lawyer,” because that’s who he lives with, but it doesn’t matter, because we're both responsible. Remi survived and it's not like he's never gotten a treat in his life.)
|He gets bones that are bigger than his body. He's FINE.|
Last night, though, I lost it. I was at The Lawyer’s condo trying to find an article of clothing on "my" side of a built-in unit in his bedroom. When I couldn’t, I literally started throwing things on the floor. Pants and shirts and neatly folded socks were angrily heaved into a pile on the floor as I ranted about how hard it is to find anything in the tiny city built-ins at his condo. When I was done, I unceremoniously picked the bundle of clothes up, shoved them into the closet, and forced the door shut.
It was not my proudest moment.
This weekend is, however, graduation weekend of the class that I started medical school with. In addition to the endless Facebook postings from these people, I turned on the TV this morning and ABC was freaking live broadcasting the damn graduation service.
Everywhere I turn, the reminders are taunting me.
The thing is, I’m genuinely happy for a lot of people. They are nice, hardworking, amazing people and they are going to make fabulous doctors. Others, though? Let’s just say that money, corruption, and power have gotten them to places in life that they don’t really deserve.
And I resent it.
It’s easy to point out liars, cheaters, and drug abusers, when you're on the same rung, and to think, “Well, it’s going to catch up with them in the end.” But THEN, when you—who refuse to lower your ethics and morality—end up humiliated, thrown into the dregs, and taking a leave of absence just to regain your sanity, turn on the TV to see them on stupid Sunday morning TV? I literally want to punch them in their cocaine snorting faces and make them bleed. (Sidenote: I'm sure this is healthy. Second sidenote: Yes, I just said that some of my medical school classmates have used cocaine. This is not libel if it's true, which it is. Third sidenote: Dating a lawyer has taught me something. Win!)
Also, there seems to be a marital virus spreading in the water of the current graduating class. I am not exaggerating when I say that every weekend, at least four members of the graduating class are getting married. If they’re not married, they’re getting engaged.
I want them to be happy, I really do. But, when I was engaged my first year of medical school and called it off, so many people threw it in my face like, “Well that’s what you get for not taking school seriously.” I know that a lot of girls were just mad because they're materialistic, snotty bitches and my similarly materialistic banker boyfriend, who is also the son of a jeweler, had given me a three carat engagement ring (that I didn't even want). Regardless, I was taking school seriously. And I was also taking my relationship seriously. I would have done everything in the exact same way again, because I still believe that choosing to attend medical school in a city where my fiancé was employed was the right decision.
Now that some of these same people are graduating, it seems like secret companions are crawling out of the woodwork to claim them. There are people who I’ve never heard mention a boyfriend posting wedding pictures. Others have been dating people long distance (sometimes in another country) for years and are suddenly getting married. And while I don’t want to be all, “You will be one of the 70% of marriages who fail” (Because really, who says things like that?), I really do think that they don’t know what they’re getting into. Suddenly, deciding to live with a spouse whom you’ve only known long distance, while you are a medical resident, makes choosing to attend a medical school in the same city as a fiance sound not so crazy. Am I right?
I don’t regret what happened with Rich, but I still do harbor resentment about being treated like everyone else knew better than me. I know that a lot of them are getting married right now, because that's the current "thing" to do, and they've been moving as a pack in their social behaviors for four years now. I was, however, older than many of them at the time that I made the decision to stay in DC for Rich, and I do think that life experience counts for something.
So, that’s where I am right now. I’m bitter, hurt, and throwing things on the ground in anger. But hey, the dog is still alive! So, there’s that.