Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Child Behavioral Modification Therapist... Or Trophy Husband

The hospital where my wife works had a meet and greet for all the new doctors over some drinks and appetizers. When we showed up, there was only a handful of people standing in a group chatting so we got something to drink and went to an open high table. We had been there for only a few seconds when another younger couple walked in the door and walked right up to our table to introduce themselves.

The wife introduced herself as a doctor and the husband introduced himself as a child behavioral modification therapist. I was taking all that in and about to respond with something about his title being a mouthful when I must have taken a bit too long. He chuckled and said that he actually was just a trophy husband.

I have been conflicted on how to respond to people these days when they ask what 'I do'. My most common response has been that I'm an engineer in-between jobs. I have also tried telling people I'm retired but my wife doesn't really seem like she likes that when I say it. 'Stay at home dad' just doesn't seem quite right when I only have one daughter and she is at school all day. So when I heard this guy use two pretty good lines in one go, my attention was captured.

This fellow had been a stay at home dad for over 14 years for three kids, the youngest I believe a freshman in high school. While our wives chatted doctor stuff, we two dads chatted about our lives, him as a veteran stay at home dad and me a rank amateur. We ended up having a lot in common. We both liked the out doors. I was spending lots of time while the kid was at school fixing up our house. He had his house completely gutted down to the studs at the moment. We swapped house fixing tips and promised to help each other out when needed which might work well for me since he had an old truck that I can borrow from time to time. He also gave me the helpful tip of staging thing so that when his wife got home he was sweeping up the last little bit of carpet or washing the last dish. Shhhhh! Don't let my wife know this one.

Unfortunately other people kept stopping by and we were parted but not before swapping phone numbers. I did try out the trophy husband line later on in the evening and got a nice laugh out of several people but I still fell back on the engineer between jobs line after the laughter died down. Still, it just doesn't seem to cut it among a room full of doctors whose eyes glaze over immediately upon hearing the word engineer. Perhaps I just need to go with child behavioral modification therapist. Whatever I choose though, I am not alone anymore.


geri said...

Actually when I read the title I thought you were talking about yourself haha Always good to meet somebody who has something in common.

Ron said...

Redefining yourself, especially in terms that society undervalues, can be painful.

Ed said...

Geri - It was nice. Perhaps I need to start a group of stay at home dads in the area.

Ron - Fortunately for me I have pretty thick skin and am old enough to not care what others think of me one way or the other.

Vince said...

Why on earth are you giving a CV anyway. Stick out your hand and say I'm Ed, not a doctor. Those medics don't see you anyway.
If that are real people they will engage with you.
Think about it for a moment. If you land herself to Posh Nosh amongst an 'erection' of Engineers. They won't care either. But they will chat with her. So, expect a quid pro quo.

Woody said...

Unfortunately I have to tell people that I'm the choo choo type engineer. The response is usually something along the lines of "getting to see the country" or "I didn't know that the had those anymore."

Murf said...

How about Mole Hunter? :-) Funny...I thought of you yesterday. The mole that normally resides way back in the backyard has somehow made it to the front yard near the front porch/sidewalk area or perhaps we now have two moles. Big A doesn't think this will keep up in the front but if it does, I may have the misfortune of reading your mole story again for tips. *shiver* :-)

Ed said...

Vince - I never offer my CV but eventually I get asked directly. I'll have to remember the 'not a doctor' line!

Woody - I suppose every job has its stereotypes. Had you told me that in person, I probably would have said the 'getting to see the country' line myself.

Murf - Good luck with the mole. I have never seen a mole give up new territory in all my years. The mole we had ran two territories, one in the side yard and one up front separated by 40 yards or so. Despite having to get rid of him, it is super nice to have a lawn free of ankle twisting holes and mounds of dirt again.

Bone said...

You and Trophy Husband should have had a signal the rest of the party to get you out of a bad conversation. Like head-patting, as a totally random example.