Sometimes when people do things that you think are difficult, you start to generalize about them.
That guy won the Boston marathon? He must have a lot of discipline.
That lady is the president of her company? She must be very intelligent.
But it's very weird and unnverving when you start to realize that your generalizations aren't always true.
"That lady is old enough to have a baby? She must love that baby, and she must know how to be a mom, and surely she is willing to give up "clubbin'!!" for her new little one."
This is not always true.
"That guy has on a white coat? He went to medical school? He graduated from medical school? He is now a doctor at this doctor office building? He has a distinguished mustache? He must not be stupid."
And here is an awful story about one time two weeks ago when I found that out, and it hurt my heart.
I was sitting in this office, waiting for the doctor. He was going to be my second new doctor in a month. Because my old old doctor was super nice but far away (Old Town? More like TIMBUCTOO! ARIZONA HUMOR!) And then the first new doctor I met said to me, "My, you have gained a lot of weight!" And then said "What are you here for?" And I said "to talk about how sad my weight is making me" and then we both just stared at each other.
So anyway, this was going to be my new doctor and he held much promise. You know, the mustache.
So in he walked, and he said, Hi, what do you want.
Just like that. What do you want.
I said... a bicylce?
No, I didn't, because you don't joke with white coats and mustaches; you act ladylike and adult-like and smart-like.
I am feeling anxious, said I. My counselor suggests an uptick in crazy pills. Simply for a few weeks or so.
He asks for details.
I provide. Shakily. Embarrassedly.
I got rid of my scale. After 10 years, I got rid of my scale.
He says. "So, let me get this straight. You had a scale, you were fine. You got rid of your scale, you became anxious. (Slight smirk.) I think you need to buy a new scale."
And my jaw never closed.
People in white coats, or at professor's desks, or in the Oval Office, aren't made smart by where they ended up. Expect from them that they are narrow, that they know only the type of life that they've had, and that isn't they're fault, that you're that way too. But don't walk out of their office with your tail between your legs. Teach them what life is like for you and maybe we can all be a bit more compassionate.
And shave your fucking mustache. No one likes a mustache.