Some of you may wonder, What exactly does the spouse of a dentist do at a dental conference? I actually wondered the same thing, but I have always been able to keep myself pretty occupied, so I didn't spend too much time fretting over it.
It turns out that we attend session just like everyone else. I was surprised and excited to see many other people with yellow name badges (they color-code you based on your position, ie. dentist, hygienist, assistant, office staff, and spouse). Immediately, I knew we had a bond. We were in the same position - supporting our husband (or wife) and their career, their practice, their team.
Most attendees are there to get credit for their continuing education (CE). Although we should definitely keep up on what is going on in the dental world for the ability to have a conversation with our spouse about his day, it is not mandatory for our job. We signed up for 4 sessions, however, and I was delighted to see that 3 classes were on health and nutrition!
The routine was as so: Take the shuttle to the convention center, get a latte, go to the first session. Eat lunch and bask in the sunlight for 2 hours. Go to the second session, take the shuttle back to the hotel. Eat supper. Two days of this = great information (which will be shared in later posts), a reboost in my excitement to go back to school and learn, and a very tired bottom.
But what does all this have to do with retail therapy?
At these conferences there is usually one more day of sessions. I learned that this is the day that dental spouses, and others who have enough CE, go to retail therapy. I had not heard of this before, but I found that it is a definite highlight of the trip.
It goes as so: Find the best mall in the area. Take the subway to it. Divide and conquer the mall. Meet for lunch and find out where the best deals are. Take off again for round 2. That's retail therapy.
The particular mall we went to was ginormous. I was not able to even experience half of it, but I did take in the 2 story versions of Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel.
I had a great time shopping, but even more so, getting to know the people that Hubs will be working with. They were so fun to hang out with.
I find myself looking forward to the next dental convention (and the retail therapy).