Monday, February 13, 2006

Never Ask a Pimp for Directions

I know I said I was all done with interviews, but this past weekend I went back for a “second-look” at a program that I’m very interested in. They were friendly, and I got a little bit better feeling as to how the residency program runs, and what sort of patient responsibilities I can expect as I continue on through the program. I actually only spent a few hours in the hospital, and the rest of the time driving around town. I had to reassure myself that relocating across the country wouldn’t be so bad, as long as there were bookstores, a gym, and a Starbucks—yes, I’m aware of how lame that is.

While I was there it snowed lightly—large, perfectly-formed flakes. I always get so distracted watching them swirl and dart out of the current created by my car that it’s a wonder I didn’t get into an accident. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera this time, so no pictures. It was warm enough that they melted as soon as they hit the ground--which I was thankful for, given my flight plans.

I wasn’t really looking forward to this trip, so although I did all the grunt work of printing out airline, hotel, and rental confirmation numbers, I had only printed out driving directions from the airport to the hospital, rather than from my hotel. I thought it would be easy enough to find my way back, but after driving the circumference of the airport and not seeing any hotels, I stopped at a gas station to ask for directions. The clerk gave me this completely blank stare, and then proceeded to ask every other customer in line if they knew where my hotel was. Finally, a tall man wearing quite a bit of sportswear and “bling” said, “Oh yeah, the Ramada? I know where that is… that’s where I put all of my employees.” Employees? Riiight. He then proceeded to give me directions that were completely inaccurate and I wound up on a dark, country road to nowhere.

That’s one of my pet peeves: why do people give you directions when they don’t know what they’re talking about? I won’t be disappointed if you just say “I don’t know.” Is it some instinct to be helpful that makes one spew out something completely incorrect or are they actually being malicious?


The next day I strategically had booked a four-hour layover so that I could go on a blind date with this guy I’ve been talking to quite a bit over the past few weeks. A mutual friend of ours gave him my contact info, so I had already ruled out him being a serial killer, but I was still nervous about meeting him. After a very messy lunch of BBQ ribs and all of the fixings, we drove around a bit and then he took me back to the airport. I think the date went well enough, but we barely had time to get over our nervous jitters before it was time for me to go. I don’t know that anything will come of it, and I’m not sure that I’m ready for anything serious yet, but it was nice to have someone be so attentive to me.

Lately, my social life has been far from normal. After having ended it with “the one” last year, I welcomed the opportunity to travel for clinical rotations and move from place to place every few weeks. But now, I’m just tired of the instability. I know that over the next couple of months things are going to change drastically. With the outcome of the Match meaning anything from moving out of my friend’s spare bedroom to just a few miles away or relocating completely across the country, the anticipation of those changes is daunting. I guess maybe it is a good thing to have some other distractions.

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