The sum total of people not in a long-term relationship that I have met in my new job is 2. Both female.
Doctors marry young. I suspect this is because they’ve seen so much horror by the time they’re 28, that they are essentially jaded old pensioners. I think it’s also something to do with knowing that they won’t have time to find another partner, as they are always at work. So they better snap up the one they’ve already got, quick, before they realise what’s going on and make a bolt for it. There’s also probably a bit of ‘gives us something else to talk about’ thrown in. Medicine is so all-consuming, that medics end up talking about medicine to each other. Which must be difficult if your partner is also a doctor. Pop the question and then you’ve got table settings and DJs to sort out. Pop out some kids, and you can talk about their potty training, not the old dear in bed 14 with a UTI.
The problem is, that if you wind up in this game as a single person, you feel like a social outcast. The lack of a wedding ring is like a modern-day form of leprosy. Without the stumps for hands and the bell. Sentences about life outside the hospital rarely start with a first person singular, and ‘my husband’, or ‘my wife’ is usually thrown into the conversation early on to let you know that they have not got marriage leprosy, and to back off if you do.
Not that I have anything against marriage, or married people in general (thank god or my social life would cease to exist entirely), its just that I feel a bit left out. I want to join in the fake moaning about my husband, instead of complaining about the dog hairs in my bed.
And I mostly blame Holby City/Grey’s Anatomy, for my friends perception that the hospital is peopled with capable and charming single male doctors, with flowing locks and popping biceps. The ‘Why haven’t you met someone at work?” question, can only be rebuffed by the rejoinder that they’re either ‘Married, autistic, or orthopaedic surgeons” Not that I have anything against orthopaedic surgeons – they wouldn’t let me get near enough to try.
It’s better for single male doctors – they’re surrounded by nurses – who are usually either female, or gay – so the boys win on both counts. If you don’t like nurses there are dieticians. If you don’t like dieticians there are speech and language therapists. Us ladies are left with a small proportion of the physios, and the porters. And most of them are with nurses. I’d start on the patients. But it’s unethical.