Originally posted here on Tumblr.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard an uncle or aunt say, “Marry a doctor,” I’d have at least 50 bucks.
When I was in high school, I did something stupid: I told my parents I wanted to go to med school. Little did I know, I’d ignite a flame of false hope in their minds that would last long past junior year.
“But remember that time you worked at the Nursing Home? And you said that you’d become a doctor so that nurses couldn’t boss you around?”
Yes. I was also 17, taking 5 AP classes. I had no idea where I’d be in 5 years.
Soon college was filled with elderly advice like:
“Why don’t you become a Doctor. There are always jobs… No? Well then you should find a doctor to marry, so you’ll be stable.”
WAIT. When did marriage ever become an issue? I was just trying to finish undergrad and cop my bachelor’s degree. I had no idea a wedding veil was hovering over my head. Let’s back it up (like a U-haul truck, quote Jigga).
I’ve dated quite a few men. From all walks of life, all different races. And yes, one of them was a med-school student. (To all the homies: No, you don’t know him.) I’ll spare you (and him) any details that might take away from his anonymity.
He was pretty handsome with a gorgeous smile. He seemed nice and had a respectable family. I thought, “Wow, a man who has his sh*t together. Plus he’s med-school bound? Interesting.” So I gave him a shot.
Fast foward a couple weeks and we’re on our first date. Unfortunately, it also becomes our last.
Bad dates can teach you a thing or two about life. For instance: “Marrying a doctor” won’t do sh*t for you unless that person is more than just a “respectable” façade.
Sure, professions mean a lot in the real world. We’re taught that doctors, lawyers, accountants are all “respectable” careers. That they earn what they deserve because they go through the intense coursework to get there. I completely agree (and I’m still considering Law School).
But that’s a profession. That’s what you do. What you do will never define who you are. Even for me, writing does not make me who I am. Who I am makes me a writer.
Just because homeboy wanted to be a doctor didn’t make him “respectable.” It sure as hell didn’t make him respect me. In fact, I almost felt like he used that as an excuse to get fresh and use me. At which point I thought, “Motherf*cker I am NOT your anatomy project.”
Let’s get this straight. I know plenty of respectable men who just happen to be doctors, lawyers, etc. in the making. But they’re not good people because of their ambitions. They’re just good people.
I’m not naive. I know that one day, when I get married I’m going to want a man who can pull his own weight. I have no shame in becoming the bread-winner, but marrying someone without goals is a big hell no. This is not a manifesto for dead-beats.
If he has a passion for cooking, cleaning, inventing, playing ball, being a nanny, whatever, I’m okay with that. And I say that whole-heartedly without any fake doe-eyed sense of, “But I love him, Mama!” Just as long as he has passion to become somebody, we’ll be fine.
My mom once told me to use both my heart and my head when choosing a husband: “Marry someone who you love, but remember: stability.” Stability? If by stability she meant marrying someone who respects me, takes care of me, and understands the meaning of “you reap what you sow,” I’m all in. But if stability means marrying someone who’ll use their education and career as an excuse to f*ck around, I’m out.
Either way, I plan on making enough dough by myself. Stability? Done and done.