Is There a Doctor in the House?

(Wearing: vintage dress from, Vivienne Westwood army belt, Pierre Hardy shoes, Steven Harkin clutch)

This was a rather impromptu outfit since all of a sudden today summer decided to hit up north! The first thing I did was reach for these shoes – cream suede in Manchester not really a wise move – figuring it was going to be dry enough not to ruin them. After another conversation via twitter with the ever wise @mrsbossa (come join our rambellings @pearlwestwood), we decided I needed to enter into a bit more self promotion for my online vintage shop ( in case you missed that). Whilst I couldn’t convince Mrs B to walk around in a sandwich board I figured the next best thing would be to walk around in some of the vintage dresses myself. I have to admit I have been very good at not snaffling all the merchandise for myself. Actually I get much more joy out of seeing others wearing my dresses than I do wearing them myself, I like putting a smile on peoples faces. But I do get a lot of people asking where I get my vintage from and whipping a business card out of my pocket is some good advertising! I finally managed to get some more photos taken of some of the new stock so they will be going up next week.

In other news I have been very ill again, so apologies for the unanswered emails and such. The disease modifying medication I had been taking for my rheumatoid arthritis started having terrible side effects. I ended up in hospital last weekend but am OK now, just back to square one on the medication front. Actually further back then square one as I can’t even get an appointment to start a new medication for a few weeks. So I have to suffer in silence again as the RA pain came back with a vengeance once I stopped the medication. I am very angry that I ended up so ill due to the incompetency of a locum GP I saw who when I asked if she thought my symptoms were related to my medication, simply shrugged. I will be making a formal complaint.

Speaking of doctors I have made some observations in the last week. At my GPs surgery they called out ‘Mrs Suchandsuch’, a ‘Mr Soandso’ then when it came to me it was simply ‘Pearl’. In the pharmacy I was waiting for a prescription, it was a new pharmacist who I had not seen before she was around my age. She called out ‘Dr Westwood’, I was sat right in front of her yet she looked to a gentleman in his 50s first, an old lady, all around the shop before looking at me. I raised my eye brows and gave her a smile, which was not returned as she snapped ‘full address please’ as if she did not believe who I was. I have to say I do find all this kind of thing rather amusing. It is almost as if some people are embarrassed by my title, don’t think I deserve it or think I have obviously made it up.
Are you not allowed to be fashionably dressed and in your twenties and be educated? I was wearing the outfit in these photos. People are so quick to make judgements and stereotype. I find that most people have a deeper story to tell, so that making judgements on first impressions are never a good thing. I was talking to a security guard today, he was doing that job because he cannot get a job in quantity surveying in which he has a PhD. My PhD is in Biochemistry, if I do not look like a scientist then what do I look like? I am intrigued to know? Imagine if we we’re all given our jobs based on what we looked like, what would I be and what would you be? Do you look like your job?

35 thoughts on “Is There a Doctor in the House?

  1. I am sorry to hear about you medical situation. I can imagen how ill you must have felt. I have to take antiinflamatories from time to time for my operated knee, and they make me feel so sick.
    About the business, you are doing well to wear your own dresses, who would be a better model???
    And in reation with people thinking I stop caring many years ago: life is too short to worry about what people think about you or to wear boring clothes.
    Mil besos, dear Pearl.

  2. Those shoes are fab!

    Don't get me started on not looking like your job. I've been asked how I 'help Mr ________' … err, I'm his manager. Harrumph.

  3. Hell no, I don't look like my job! I look like a woman who has time to put together her well chosen classic look for the day complete with nice shoes and bag. But in reality I'm a harassed mum of 3 with no time to do my nails! lol! Just kidding.

    It is so true, sadly, what you've described about people making quick judgements. I used to get it all the time. Because I'm so petite it made me appear really young so if my 'Mrs' title was ever called out anywhere, they used to get a shock when I made myself known with 3 kids hanging off me! Also at the school gate, I know I confuse a lot of the stay at home mums with very young kids and/or babies because I dress like I'm a working mum but I'm not and still not sure how to resolve that one – if indeed it should be resolved?

    Interesting post and I'm really sorry the meds didn't work out. I've all but given up on GPs personally.

  4. First off, I LOVE your shoes!! You look so pretty in them and your vintage dress – just gorgeous!
    I have to admit, at first glance, I would not take you for a scientist. Stereotypes exist and personally, I get a kick out of breaking them. I work onboard a ship – traditionally a very male occupation. For years (I've been there 6 yrs) I have been looked upon as a silly little girl 'playing' at her job. Sure, I don't totter up to work in high heels – that just wouldn't be practical, but I always 'do' my hair and makeup, wear my jewellery and generally always make sure I never lose myself just to fit in. In two weeks time, I'll be completing on a project which I've managed single-handedly with a 6 figure budget, bringing it in on time and UNDER budget. I love being asked questions which I know have been designed to trip me up and snap back with the correct answer. Some members of staff (male and female) address our Director as Mr xxx. Why??? I am more qualified than he and therefore refuse to address him as anything other than his first name.

    I definitely don't look like my job, but I choose to revel in it.

    So sorry your GP and medication have failed you. Keep your chin up doll xxx

  5. Oh love, I'm so sorry you've been ill again and I hope you get your medication back on track really quickly.

    Those shoes are KILLER and your bag is FABULOUS.

    Get better soon, Sarah xxx

  6. Great post! You look fabulous!
    Sorry you've been ill! I hope they can get everything worked out for you! My nephew is always having issues trying to get his meds figured out because he's a teenager and still growing and it's not always pretty! Good luck!

  7. It must be a frustrating situation for you being in pain again and again. I wish you well & hope you will find a solution to your pain soon. Alas, it is true some people are 'blind' or make assumptions about others. It is ignorance – don't let it get at you…. love the outfit & espec the shoes….Nice!

  8. I'm sorry to hear about you being ill and that the medication hasn't worked. Sending lots of postive thoughts your way.
    You wear your stock beautifully and those shoes are gorgeous impractical or not. xxx

  9. Not especially – I work for a very middle/upper class, posh, tweedy, country sort of charity. Much as I love all of those things, I'm not really any of them myself. Doesn't really bother me though as it's a surprisingly accepting sort of place and I can't say I've ever been looked down on because of my age/gender/style of dress etc.

    So sorry to hear you've been so ill. Get that complain in quick sharp – that stupid locum needs pulling up before they do the same to someone else.

  10. This is why it is feminist to wear what you like, when you like. Because women are still being judged on their professional competence/intelligence by how they look. Oooooh it makes me mad. Anyway, you look fab and I love that dress on you xx

  11. Your shoes are so amazing! I seriously love them:)

    I'm sorry to hear that you have to suffer through without any sort of relief, and I have to say that GP's really are the worst sometimes; it's like they're not even interested in their own jobs. If you must see one, the first thing out of your mouth should be to request a referal to a specialist! Rant over:)

    As for people making assumptions based on appearance, how absurd is that? Especially now when women get higher education in droves, and fully qualified people have to immigrate to a new country and work at another job until they're ready(and requalify) to enter the workforce in their new country. It's odd and I'm always a little bit embarrassed at these attitudes. xx

  12. Wow what a story! I can't believe this is still happening. I used to live in Italy where they called me "Professoressa" (big title for a teacher)because I was a French teacher (no degree though). Here in Essex and London I find that generally they call you by your name, which is great. I love it.
    I hope they'll find you a good medication soon. Have a friend (in Italy) who suffers from RA, says loads of dry sun is good…

    LOVE the shoes Pearl and the red bag of course! x

  13. You always looks soo fabulous and definitely the right spokesperson for your shop. So sorry to hear you've been unwell, hope you get the treatment you deserve soon. I hate people's attitudes on how we look and the jobs we have. I was overlooked for promotion despite being more qualified than colleagues. To make me 'feel better' I was told to look on the bright side and that at least I wore nice shoes! That memory still sticks with me now. Take care xx

  14. awww Pearl i am sorry to read your post tonight and hear how much pain you are in. I can just imagine how you are feeling in fact i know how much pain you are in. Bloody doctor's (not you of course )are a real pain in the bum. If they took time to listen etc it is very frustrating. You should be very proud of your title and stuff the people that look down their nose at you to me that is ignorance hold your head up and smile ;-)) You look gorgeous in your dress and i love the shoes. Good luck with your shop it sounds great. I hope you manage to get the pain relief you need ASAP..Big hugs dee xx

  15. Thank you so much for you lovely comment on my blog, I really appreciate your support.

    I really laughed at the Titles cock up at the surgery, it is so typical! lol! Loving those shoes Dr Strangelove!

    love Annie

  16. Wow that's such a pretty outfit!
    UGH I hate it when people assume things based on looks – like that I'm around 13 years old when, really, I'm 19 *sigh*. I can only imagine people thinking I'm about to go into undergrad when I get my graduate degree *sigh*. Though, I'll appreciate the look on their faces when, maybe a few years later, I can flip my hair and say "that museum exhibition you went to? I CURATED IT. If you think a 13 yr-old can plan that, tell your lazy and spoiled 13 yr-old child to come volunteer! ;)" Revenge will be sweet, I'm telling you.
    I hope you feel better really soon!
    – Laura

  17. I didn't have you down as a Doctor, but how fab. I don't look like I do my job either. Love your outfit! Sorry to hear you've been ill :s

  18. Love your dress and nail polish! I am a social worker and tend to over-dress for my job. My coworkers wear jeans, t shirts and even sweats. I say, who cares? Dress for yourself and no one else.

  19. I have added you to my Twitter followings! The shoes are lovely. Sorry to hear about the physical difficulties. As for the pharmacist: the confusion there says more about that clerk than it does about you.

  20. Pearl, hope the meds get sorted asap-makes me mad that the locum was so lax! In answer to your question, no one ever guesses what I do for a living which actually works in my favour, especially in the line of work I want to specialise in-theres no reason though why I should be stereotypical as I was a windowdresser for donkeys years prior to my career change so some of that has stayed with me!

  21. *Chuckle* some people have such set ideas! I used to work in the centre of town and was often stopped by market researchers but when I used to say that I was actually on my way back to work, they would give me a 'yeah, right' sort of look because I was wearing casual clothes. As a designer I wear what I like to work, I could wear my PJ's and no one would bat an eyelid…
    Hope you get your medication sorted soon… I can not believe the reaction of the locum GP – talk about not giving damn!
    Love the shoes BTW 🙂

  22. Oh dear, I definitely do not look like a scientist most days. I think that quite a few people consider it an affront to the laws of nature when we appear in public without labcoats on! Maybe we should all get buttons that say "Young, stylish AND PhD smart" :).

    I'm really sorry to hear that you've not been well recently, my thoughts are with you and I hope that you find the right medication and can start to get better. Best wishes. xxx

  23. Thank you for following. I love your blog, it's refreshing to read a blog where someone actually has something to say 🙂

    I think that as a future architect I don't have to be afraid of stereotypes (it there are any) and judgemental people so much. But I can see where you're coming from. But people just can't help themselves – it makes life so much easier for them if they can just label and pocket people based on… nothing, really.

    I hope you get well soon!



  24. gah, so much for equality, eh?!
    Hope you're well on the road to recovery now, at least 🙂

    My boyfriend is an astrophysicist, I just hope he doesn't look like one, ha!! He really doesn't care how he looks, but his casual style isn't altogether unfashionable, so it's not too bad. He just doesn't really give a crap about shopping and only shops to replace items, rather than enhance what he already has. But hey, that means more shopping for me!
    As for whether I look like my profession? Well I work in an office…so Mon-Fri I guess I do look like my profession, boo.

  25. Pearl, I'm so saddened to hear about everything that has been happening to you health wise. It sounds absolutely miserable and I only wish that I (like the sun) could pop up North to give you a big hug. On the subject of misconceptions and judgments made on the base of stereotypical assumptions, all I can say is – it's grim, but at least you are challenging those shallow assumptions and I'm sure you will continue to do so, again and again, with elegance and dignity.

  26. Oh Pearl I'm so sorry to hear of your recent health developments. Side-effects are a truly nasty business indeed. It's not fair that you should have to wait so long to get your meds reviewed. I'm fulltime carer to my partner who's health is in serious decline and it's a lucky patient who can get the right pain relief. Even when GPs get it right I do wonder where one goes from there in six months – more pain blockers or a weaning off them? Stay strong Pearl xoxoxo

  27. Hang in there – I hope you get some relief soon!

    I experience similar judgments but opposite end of the pendulum. When I used to help people humanely trap cats for rescue or fixing, etc. I would get "YOU'RE the cat lady? I thought you'd be…something else." Nope! Sorry I didn't show up in a bathrobe with a can of tuna in my pocket and kittens crawling out of my unkempt hair.

  28. "Are you not allowed to be fashionably dressed and in your twenties and be educated?" You've hit a nail on the head there, sista! Unfortunately as a lover of 50s vintage and pencil skirts I do look like someone who works in a library…though the clothing came first and the job was an accident! I think that's one of the reasons I find it so hard to dress outside of work now, because it has become tainted by association. I wish I had an occupation where I could dress up more… Anyway, you're one fabulous-looking doc, Doc! xx

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