Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I'm always a little nervous about having dinner with all the docs and their wives. They're all MD's and PhD's (and most of them are both). My degree and experience pales in comparison to theirs. What do i wear? What should i talk about? Will I be able to hold my own in a heated political debate or in a deep discussion about global warming? So I will fret. I will analyze. And I will get there and discover what I discover every time that we get together. That they're all just human. That they have insecurities of their own. That there are some things they don't know and some things I can teach them.
This was a particularly extravagant meal on Saturday evening, with clams, muscles, shellfish soup, salmon, cod, and trout, and the guest list consisted of three docs, their wives, Winn, and then lil' ol’ me. Winn’s boss and his wife are from New Zealand and have lived in other countries as well. They both speak several languages. Not what you'd expect of a distinguished Mayo doctor, Stefan wears a long ponytail and often white socks with his black shoes. Ursula is an excellent cook, and we're always guaranteed a delicious and authentic menu when we're over there. She has short spiky hair, often colored red or purple, and wears funky red glasses and bright clothes. I've learned a lot from her about food, travel, and raising chickens (they have a chicken coop out back, right next to their in-ground pool). Their three children are all creative and well-behaved, and I promised to be a part of one of their school science projects (something involving asparagus and 15 people as guinea pigs).
At the end of the evening, I always go away having had a wonderful time and having learned something new from them (this time it was some interesting tidbits about Prague, Germany, and how mead is made--basically water and honey, fermented). And even though I talk about my small world and even though I disagree with them politically and even though I invite them to church functions and even though I don’t hold any patents or have any publications, they still want to be friends. I have something to give.