February 26, 2006

The best thing about marrying a doctor is being able to reach him at all times, as he wears a pager.

I've decided that I want to marry a doctor. I bet I'd be happy. When we're in bed at night, I'd ask: "Honey? Is this a melanoma?" He'd roll over, take a look and say, "No, darling, it's a freckle," and I'd smile and snuggle up, reassured. What could be better?

I would even tolerate dinner parties because I'd invite his friends over - urologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists. I could interrogate them endlessly about my conditions, learn about illnesses I never knew existed and then check myself for the symptoms.
Imagine going on holiday. The only thing better than travelling with a husband would be travelling with my own personal physician.

But in order to meet a doctor, I'd have to get sick more. Maybe I should start hanging out at hospitals. But that can get depressing. Plus, they'd be preoccupied - it's hard to seduce someone when they're in the middle of heart surgery.The best thing about marrying a doctor is being able to reach him at all times - because he always wears a pager. And when he wasn't with me, I wouldn't be suspicious; I'd know what he was doing - saving lives. That's sexy. As long as he didn't spend too much time saving lives. Or working the night shift. Or holidays. Or weekends.

On my way back from vacation a few weeks ago I met an Italian at Bangkok airport and we started talking. At first, the Latin charm was a bit much and I tried to politely exit the conversation. But then he told me he was a doctor. Immediately, he became more attractive. When he told me his speciality was infectious diseases, I wanted to marry him on the spot.

I began asking questions and he responded. This is fantastic, I thought. He enjoys giving answers, and I enjoy getting answers: a perfect match. But the more I asked, the more the charm evaporated. I asked if he thought it would hurt if I took an antihistamine even though I was taking Lemsip. I showed him the tablets that I'd just purchased - my ears were clogged and I was concerned that my eardrums would explode on the flight. He looked at the tablets. "These instructions are written in Thai," he said. "I can't help you."

What kind of doctor is that? It's not like I was asking for a liver transplant. Sorry, but you can't tell someone you know how to dispense medical advice and then expect the conversation to move on. I asked one last question about bird flu, then switched to another section of the lounge.

The more I think about it, marrying an English doctor is the way to go.

English doctors are low-key. If I did have something fatal, he'd deliver the news with nonchalance. American doctors are more alarmist. I wouldn't want my doctor-husband to freak out if I was dying. I'd need him to be unemotional - at least until I was gone.

On the way home I decided to hold out for a neurosurgeon. Lately my brain has been hurting and he could tell me why. And for my birthday, I'd get free MRI scans. It doesn't get more romantic than that.