M---- successfully defended her dissertation last week, which means that she is now a Doctor of Psychology. She will henceforth be referred to on this here blog as "Dr. M".
Dr. M started graduate school in Fall 2001. In those days, America was not yet under siege by terr'ists, and the only connection I had to Dr. M was working nextdoor to her roommate. Over the course of the next five years Dr. M would have many adventures as she worked toward her degree. She would spend a great deal of time helping the Children and the parents of the Children with their mental health issues in various facilities. She would spend a year providing therapy to heroin addicts at a methadone clinic. She would grow consistently irritated with her Social Psychology class. She would encounter a professor who graded exams based entirely on the order in which they were handed in (the first exam got the lowest grade and so on). She befriended a strikingly handsome classmate with no social skills, and forsook him for an odd-shaped fellow with a penchant for vulgarity. Her school itself moved from one inconvenient location to another just as we moved to be closer to the first inconvenient location, with the administrative tasks appurtenant to securing her degree becoming more difficult with each passing year. And all the while becoming an expert on children's books, cystic fibrosis, and family systems therapy.
Now that Dr. M is a for-reals doctor, a few changes can be expected. When we're out socializing and someone yells "Is there a doctor in the house?", Dr. M will be obliged to reply, "Yes, but probably not the kind of doctor you're looking for." Any tolerance Dr. M may have ever had for my pretensions at doctorhood (my degree has the word "Doctor" right in it, after all) has now completely dissipated. When I make up temporary nicknames for her based on her momentarily objectionable behavior, I must remember to address her appropriately: "Don't throw your apple core out the window, Ms. Litterbug" will no longer do. When we have children, our children's friends will address her as "Dr. _________," whereas I will be front-named with an unceremonious "Mister" (though our children themselves, of course, will address me as Captain Awesome). I know it's only a matter of time before one of my ass-headed relatives sends us a Christmas card addressed "Dr. and Mrs." instead of "Mr. and Dr." (using each of our first names would be far too much to ask).
All things considered, I think I'll enjoy being married to a doctor. Here we are, a doctor and a lawyer. Like the Huxtables only black.