Wednesday, November 07, 2007
The Strangest Catalog Ever...
The back story: DH has a PhD in Electrical Engineering, and he used to be a college professor. He uses the designation "Dr. DH" so seldom that I am always surprised when someone addresses him as Doctor. But, he encounters a few professional situations where the title is needed, and he receives some mail addressed this way.
This has led to some funny mix-ups. The one we laugh about the most is this: A research study in another state briefly confused him with another Dr., a bona fide medical doctor, who is, of all things, a gynecologist. DH is about as far from being a gynecologist as he can be, and he'd like to keep it that way, despite the fact that he was wonderful during the births of our children. He's more at home with computers and satellites in geosynchronous orbits and artificial intelligence and such.
The current story: The other day, we received a catalog addressed to "The Spouse of Dr. DH". Normally, if I receive a new and unsolicited catalog, it is about fashion or home decorating. But, this one was different. Its pages were filled with pictures of those plastic body parts that internists and specialists have in their offices.
Now, these are the models I try hard not to notice when I am sitting on a cold and hard table, attired only in a flimsy paper robe, and waiting for a medical doctor to examine me. At such vulnerable times, I prefer not to look at replicas of human organs split open to demonstrate how they work. I would rather that my real organs just perk along inside of me, as they were designed to, without calling undue attention to themselves or to their plastic cousins. In those long moments of waiting, I wish to see comforting little statues of children or kittens or puppies instead of gall bladders and the chambers of the heart.
In the comfort of my own couch, however, this catalog of fake human organs was weirdly interesting. It was all the more so because I don't have a clue why it was addressed to "The Spouse of Dr. DH". Whoever sent the catalog to me seems to think that I have no name of my own, other than The Spouse of. This person also seems to be under the delusion that I have a desire to decorate some space -- presumably my husband's office -- using the motif of plastic flesh.
The pages of the catalog screamed:
"Meet your spleen!"
"Need a plastic eye? How about one with plastic nerves and garishly colored blood vessels already attached?!"
"Have you ever taken a good look -- a really good look -- at your intestines?"
The models of legs, opened to reveal the way the bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles work together, made me think of the "leg lamp" in the movie, "A Christmas Story". I imagined sticking a plastic leg in the corner of our living room, with a bulb and a decorative shade on the top of it.
Along with these offerings of plastic livers and plastic foot bones and such were lovely charts of things like the entire digestive system and how to uses trigger points to diagnose fibromyalgia. There were healing potions and tables for chiropractic patients to lie on, as well.
My DH works hard in his real field, and the stuff of his work fills our home office and his dresser. So, I've learned to clean around wires and gadgets and pages filled with complicated designs and the guts (bad pun intended) of computers without complaining -- at least not very often.
This catalog has opened my eyes, however. It could be worse! Much worse!
The Spouse of Dr. DH.