My husband is a fourth year medical student, he just submitted his residency applications, and the interviews are coming in. I helped him edit his personal statement and CV (not to brag, but I'm kind of a whiz at punctuation - check out my masterful use of semicolons); read, re-read, and re-re-read all of his application info; helped him pick out and get fitted for new suits; and helped him prep for interview questions. Now that everything has been submitted, I thought I was off-the-hook for the rest of the residency interview process. And then, I found out about the dinners...
A lot of Residency Programs invite applicants out to dinner either the night before or the night of their interviews. It allows the applicant to talk with the residents and attending physicians in a more informal environment, and it allows the doctors to make sure that the applicant is not a complete social reject. (If you spill an entire bowl of soup on your interviewer, talk with your mouth full, and publicly berate the waiter, you're probably out of the running for that residency program.) I knew all of this. What I DIDN'T know is that very often, the applicant's spouse is invited to the dinner, too.
Yikes! My husband wants me to come to all of the dinners to which I'm invited, which makes me feel good because he obviously thinks I'm an asset rather than socially awkward with the potential to embarrass him, but it also means that now I feel like my appearance and behavior could affect his chances at these programs.
Don't get me wrong - I'm reasonably attractive, I behave appropriately in public, and I tend to dress and groom myself pretty well, so it's not like I'm going to be a huge liability. But, how should I put this? I'm a klutz. I trip more often than your normal twenty-something. I drop food on myself a bit more than I care to admit. Those Starbucks coffee cups with the teeny, tiny, spill-proof hole in the lid? I spill on myself through them when I drink Starbucks coffee. So, now I'm nervous. I won't berate the waiter or talk with my mouth full, but I can't completely rule out spilling soup on someone. I guess the key is to not order soup...
Wish me luck, cross your fingers, and pass along any tips you may have on how to eat without wearing any of your dinner!
PS - Case in point: as soon as I published this post, I spilled Mt. Dew all down my front and onto my lap. Oh, I should add - it was Mt. Dew in a CAN. You know, with the little teeny hole that my mouth can and should completely cover? I'm talented.