24 February 2008
This afternoon at the supermarket I ran into my daughter's pediatrician. We live in the same town so it is not that unusual, but every time I run into him outside of his office I am thrust into a feeling of incredible awkwardness and self-consciousness. It starts with what to call him. Should it be "Dr. Owens" or should I go with "Jeff" or try for a light-hearted "Dr. O?" I usually just say hello without mentioning his name. And that is just the first moment of awkwardness -- it only gets worse from there. What is it that makes me feel so insecure? I was sure he was examining the contents of my cart (even though I know deep down that couldn't possibly be true) and I was equally sure that I had babbled way too much by the time we said good-bye. The man is the same age as me, our children go to the same school, we go to the same gym, shop in the same supermarket. That should make us peers. And the fact that I pay him to do his job, should make him less of an authority figure in my eyes. And yet it doesn't.