“He’s an ophthalmologist,” she told me.
“Oh, he’s an eye doctor!” I exclaimed.
“No, an oph-thal-MOL-o-gist,” she reiterated, as though I were five years-old and didn’t understand big words.
I shook my head. I guess to her, it sounded better if there were five syllables in his job title instead of three.
I politely excused myself to find someone less pretentious to talk to. So then I started to chat with a woman who said her husband was a meteorologist.
“Wow, that’s very cool,” I said. “It must be very helpful to be married to a weatherman!”
“He’s not a weatherman,” she corrected me. “He’s a mee-tee-er-OL-o-gist.”
“What’s the difference?” I asked.
“Not all weathermen are meteorologists,” she explained. “Meterologists have a degree in meterological science.”
“Well, they both have a 50/50 chance of getting the forecast correct, right?” I laughed. She didn’t.
I decided to leave the party before I encountered a psy-CHOL-o-gist who would want to know why I had issues with professions that end in “-ologist.”
When I got home, I thought about this whole snobby job title thing. Nowadays, it seemed everyone wanted a fancy name for their jobs. I remember being at a snooty restaurant once and asking for the bartender and being told he was actually a “Mixologist.”
“Really,” I said to the host wryly. “What’s the difference?”
“A mixologist doesn’t just POUR drinks,” she clarified. “He CREATES them; like a chef.”
“What if the drinks he creates are really gross?” I asked her. “Does he still get to be called a mixologist or does he get demoted back to plain old bartender?” She glared at me and then seated me at a lousy table in the back.
I was beginning to understand that if you go to school for something special, or you invent things, or you are just really, really good at what you do, you get to add “-ologist” to your job title. Realizing this, I decided that maybe I had been doing myself a disservice by not coming up with a more impressive title for myself. Why should I just be a Stay-at-Home Mom when I could be a “Mommyologist?” As the person who makes the lunches everyday, I could be the official “Peanut-Butter-and-Jellyologist” in our family. And with all the clothes I wash every week, I certainly think I have earned the title “Laundryologist.”
I also thought the other members of my family should have titles too. Why should my dog just be a dog, when he could be the “Barkologist.” My son is so proficient on his cellphone, I think he should be called a “Textologist.” And my daughter, the social media queen can be a “Facebookologist.”
My husband, of course, would simply be called a “Saint” for putting up with all my ridiculous rants.