In every medical school class, there are a few love stories. In my class, none of them belonged to me. But I can still totally steal other people’s stories. I've been hesitant to tell this story, but I've changed a few details to make things less identifiable.
In my class, there was a girl named Beth. Beth was a really beautiful brunette, and was also really smart. She got the top grades in the class, made even more impressive by the fact that she was also a mom. She had married very young and had a son at a very young age.
One of Beth’s closest friends in the class was a guy named Brian. Like Beth, Brian was a non-traditional student, a couple of years older than she was. Beth and Brian started studying together, which worked out pretty well because both of them were crazy competitive. (Beth matched in derm, Brian in ortho.)
Brian was single and out looking for the right person. I wasn’t friends with him, but on several occasions, I’d heard him spout out some not-so-flattering theories about women. For example, he’d talk about how he’d send emails to women he’d met to keep them on the hook, even though he wasn’t that interested. Also, he said that women are out to have a good time until they turn 27. At age 27, women become all about marriage and it’s freaking annoying. (How dare he generalize us all that way?!)
As first year went on, it became obvious to all of us that Brian was in love with Beth.
We all thought, “Well, too bad for Brian. Beth is married.” Except not so much.
Brian was, apparently, much more attractive than Beth’s husband. Beth’s husband was bald, for one thing. And he wasn’t going to be an orthopedic surgeon either. So Beth got a divorce so that she and Brian could be together. And then Beth turned 27 and Brian dumped her because she was too eager to get married.
(I’m joking. They got married.)
As a child of divorce who had one parent leave the other for a third party, it was hard not to watch Beth and Brian’s relationship with a little bit of resentment. Why couldn’t Beth have made it work with her husband for the sake of her child? Was Brian honestly that much better? He was kind of a jerk, actually.