I went to the cemetery today and talked to the lady at the funeral home about the headstone we want to order.
“What does your husband do?” she asked.
“He is a statistician.”
“Oh,” she said with a disgusted look I wouldn’t expect from somebody who works at a funeral home. “That is so boring. He must really like statistics.”
“Well, he got a PhD in it, so he must like it,” I explained to make N.’s choice of profession sound less repellent.
“A PhD!” the woman exclaimed. “It must be intimidating to live with somebody so smart!”
It took everything I got not to yell, “I have a PhD, too! From Yale! And 4 other degrees, too! And I studied Latin! And I have a book accepted for publication!” But it felt ridiculous to try to impress somebody while choosing a headstone.
“So where do you work?” the woman asked at the end of the meeting, and I finally didn’t have to hold it in any longer.
“I’m a professor! Of Spanish literature!” I shouted.
“Oh, so you are smart, too,” the woman concluded.