Haleh, Lydia, and Abby

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Okay, maybe this is a dumb question, but I was confused by the exchange between Haleh, Lydia and Abby in "Such Sweet Sorrow." Were the nurses just giving Abby a hard time, or teasing her, when they said they hated her, or do they really hate her? If they weren't kidding, it was a pretty harsh thing to say, even though I don't like her, either. Conceivably they could be angry that she is trying to make the switch from nursing to being a doctor, but I think that is so petty. Anyway, she sucks as a med student, so they have no reason to hate her because of jealousy. As for her being skinny, okay, she's smaller than Haleh, but Lydia looks fairly svelte to me, and it is a huge stretch of the imagination for me to consider Abby "pretty." Maybe if she washed her hair . . . Anyway, I would love to read some thoughts on this. Thanks!

-- Annie (GoldenLaur@aol.com), May 16, 2000


I definately think that they are teasing her. My best friend says she hates me but I know she's teasing because of the tone she uses. I think that was the same case for the nurses and Abby. They were just teasing her a bit. I don't know if they're jealous or not, but they seem to like being nurses, and it seems like they've become nurses by choice, like Carol, because I think almost all of them could've become doctors if they really wanted to. Oh yeah, Lydia looks really petite-- not fat at all. Actually, she may even be skinnier than Abby, since she's shorter than her. As for pretty, I think all of them are pretty in their own way, and I'm not just saying that. I'm glad ER doesn't Cast stunning vixens as cast members, because that would just be too unreal.

-- Samira (matb_west@chickmail.com), May 16, 2000.

I think for the most part they were just teasing Abby. But I do think there is some underlying resentment there... whether there is some sort of "nurses bond" that they feel she is breaking or they just don't like her because she messes up all the time. As far as her looks, I think Maura Tierney is very attractive although she doesn't look as nice on ER as she has on News Radio and in movies that I've seen her in. But I think they do that on purpose to make them look haggard and tired. Being a doctor is not a glamorous occupation!

-- amanda (amanda.rehm@home.com), May 16, 2000.

My problem with this exchange is that it is one wherein the women are comparing themselves to each other based on purely superficial reasons. Having seen Haleh (who possesses so many talents apart from her nursing abilities) and Lydia (who is one of the more compassionate and interesting nurses in the ER) say something like "you're younger....we hate you...." was completely out of character. It's not uncommon for the nurses to joke around and poke fun, but I really can't see two happy, confident and accomplished women (which I believe Haleh and Lydia to be) fretting about some medical student (who, like them I should hope, creates a positive self-identity from her accomplishments (leaving a bad marriage and going to medical school are major things to value).

And, please, why must women on TV be portrayed as somehow competing with each other? Why must even the best characters be shown worrying about their appearances, who's skinnier, whatever?

-- jackie (one_madjack@yahoo.com), May 16, 2000.

I totally agree, Jackie. Naomi Wolf's book "The Beauty Myth" talks about this ... like wouldn't it be great if women smiled at one another instead of looking each other up and down? But I digress ... I think Lydia and Haleh WERE joking, but remember how they gave Carol a hard time and sort of froze her out when she was thinking of going to med school? It's like they think you've crossed over to the dark side if you become a doctor. I wonder if it's really like that in medicine!

-- Cindy (tailchasers51@hotmail.com), May 16, 2000.

I too was confused by that, but for the most part I think it was teasing. My sister was an LPN and when she decided to go back to school to become an RN she got a good dose from the LPN's where she worked. Just a bit of "you think you're better than us now!" They eventually let it go. I agree with the comment about Maura Tierney not looking as pretty as she has on other things. The first thing I noticed when I saw her on this show was how much older and tired she looked.

-- Danielle (dns6127@garnet.acns.fsu.edu), May 16, 2000.

Yeah, Jackie! Though I think they were teasing to some degree, underneath there was some deeper resentment or they'd have not said anything like they did. So to use superficial comments like they did says a lot about how some women think about themselves and how society in a whole does. I'll have to get that book. BTW, when Julianna was on Today last week (I think this is where I heard her say it), she said that she hoped to get some more glamorous parts because they'd slap a little makeup on, look at your hair and say, "okay, you're ready." The point is that they are doctors and have long schedules and wouldn't be glam queens. A few years ago a headhunter sent me on a job interview for a caddy dealership because they wanted someone who "looked good." I almost didn't go and finally did because he'd already set up the appointment, but I didn't take the job. No one can "look good" 100% of the time and I was looking for an accounting position, not modeling! Thought I'd throw that in to show how prevalent the importance of appearance has become...even CPA's have to "look good" in some industries! :)

-- Diana (dilynne@juno.com), May 16, 2000.

It is common for nurses to do some hazing of doctors...I know someone who was in nursing school who worked as a nursing assistant. She said all of the nurses hated the doctors because they were not grateful to all the work nurses do. I think this is a universal tradition of nurses, to resent doctors. And since Abby WAS a nurse, it is even worse. Although Abby does not treat them disrespectfully, so I think that it was 75% teasing. SHe took it good naturedly. Plus I didn't really understand Abby's first comment..all they did was wake her up to get ready for a trauma, they weren't really hazing her. They were much worse (and funnier!) to Carter, and he never really did anything to them either. Plus, I think Abby is pretty, she reminds me of an older Lucy. Everyone on the show is basically good-looking.

-- Elaine (mrsclooney78@hotmail.com), May 16, 2000.

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