In the spirit of celebrating our sig Os, I came across this text file that missus chritter submitted to her med school award committee when she was graduating a good many years ago, and it made my heart sing. I'm not sure anyone's ever said nicer things about me. :)
She had this elaborate ruse to get me to her award ceremony because she thought I might win, which was a little lost on oblivious me. I just showed up where and when I was told to. I didn't win the award, but I didn't have to. The testimonial is winning enough for one lifetime.
Dear Dr. [IMPORTANT PERSON] and Members of the Nominating Committee,
Dr. [IMPORTANT PERSON] is quite right in his choice of endowment. There is no doubt that any spouse that supports their husband or wife through such a trying endeavor as medical school deserves an award. There really should be enough to go around.
However, given the opportunity, I'd still like to make the case for my husband, [CHRITTER IS A NOCTURNAL FEMINIST MANCATFISH], to whom I have been married for ten and a half years that seem like a heartbeat. As incredible as it is for anyone to work to support someone else's dream, it takes a special kind of dedication to believe that a thirty-five-year-old ex-actress can make it as a doctor.
As pleased and awed as I was that [MED SCHOOL] bought into that dream, [CIANFM] believed in it first. He scoffed at my doubts about being able to handle undergraduate physics, remained cool and calm in the hours before I found out my MCAT score, steadfastly refused to believe that anyone could possibly decline to interview me even when faced with the evidence, and was actually coherent within seconds when woken up at a ridiculous hour of the day (for someone who was working nights at the time, at a job that he didn't particularly care for) to be told that I had received an acceptance to medical school.
[CIANFM] has never been surprised by any success I have had in medical school, because he appears to be honestly convinced that there's nothing I can't do, even when I haven't necessarily agreed with him. (I have to concede that so far, he's been right. I'm not being conceited, it's just that that's all he asks in return—the admission that he was right!). He doesn't just want me to do well, he doesn't just expect me to do well—when he tells me that he knows I'll do well, it's gotten to the point where I believe him too.
He has also been there, regardless of hours worked, nights of sleep lost, or personal stress levels, during the sudden loss of my father during first year, during the nights I spent on call, during my panicked belief that I was about to fail out of med school after failing a test in neurology, during the challenges of Steps One and Two, during my residency interviews and… well… every minute of every day and night. It may be a cliché to say that I never could have done this without him, and maybe I would have found a way, but I can tell you this—no human being could have done more, with greater good will and joy, for any other person in the world as he has done. I am truly humbled to the extent of his belief in me, and if in anything I have achieved I can honor him in return, it is not half as much as he deserves.
It is with great pleasure that I nominate [CIANFM] for the [FANCY] Award. I thank you for your attention and for the opportunity to sing his praises. The spouses who support us should be commended more publicly and more often. I salute all of them.
[doctor missus chritter]