My daughter is a modest child. I cannot conceive of where she gets this trait. Even as a kid, I would whip off my clothes to swim or run through the sprinkler. My mother caught me showing off my parts to the little boy next door and I was summarily sent to the “switch” tree to choose a limb with which I would be whacked. There was lots of skinny-dipping as a teen and, in those college years came the advent of the hot tub.
Today, at my ripe old age, I would need at least two weeks of prep time before I can even begin to think about getting into a hot tub with others. No carbs can be consumed, there needs to be a good bit of epilation and it would have to coincide with a “good booby day.” In other words, it might not occur except during a comet.
It occurs to me that I require a lot of prep in general now. I have scheduled these two weeks as my doctor weeks for the year. Doctors? Yes, plural.
I was married eight years before my first child came along. In those years, our insurance company was laughing all the way to the bank as neither I nor the Goose made one doctor visit. Upon having a baby, I was gobsmacked to learn all that’s involved with body maintenance. After my babies, I again drifted into no man’s land for years with no medical upkeep. When my mother died, I figured out that she had not visited a doctor in 43 years. She fully believed that once you let ‘em in, you never get away and I’m beginning to find this is true.
Monday, I went to an allergist because, for the first time in my life, I’m having hives. Not in a small way. Hives that make me unrecognizable. Think Marty Feldman at his worst. His conclusion? Lots of things cause hives, take a pill.
Today I’m at the breast doctor. This is a three-hour ordeal where lots of woman sit around in blue robes and wait to be called for a squeeze and a picture. Not as fun as it sounds. There is a drink machine, but not the right kind to make it okay for a stranger to wrestle with me while feeling me up.
Tomorrow is the dermatologist, who will remove a small part of my facial expression for a lot of money.
Next comes the gynecologist who does things to me that any other man would need to give me at least two drinks and a bracelet to try. Then the hormone specialist, to keep me from committing homicide. Let me tell you ladies that of everyone out there, this is the woman who changed my life. If you have gotten to a place where life seems dull and not sparkly, do not hesitate to get your hormones checked. Do NOT trust your doctor to do this. They say they know what they’re doing, but not the way a specialist will. Believe me, it’s life altering.
Lastly, my hairdresser will remove the last vestiges of old age and I will be me again.
My point, ladies, is that it takes a village to just stay even now. As I sit in the waiting room, looking around, I see we are divided into groups. Even in matching robes one can see the types emerge. In my room there are women in cute shoes and bald women in fabulous hats. They are reading magazines that make their houses prettier, typing on their phones or just reading smut. These are the women who talk and giggle and make friends with the person sharing their sofa. There are two larger black woman, one with rockin’ pink lipstick, who look like they could both cook and kick butt and they look like fun as well. Lastly, there are the ones who have just given up. They look like they are here only because the conveyer belt of life brought them here. Their hair is mousy, their shoes are ones that should be illegal to sell (think sensible navy wedge) and they never look up from the recipe page of Woman’s Day.
This is when I look around and swear to myself that I will never be a woman who misses out on the fun, even at the breast care specialist, in order to look at recipes and will up my maintenance, even if a plastic surgeon has to install a twist knob on top of my head.