I’m not afraid of scars. Truly. They don’t bother me, and if pressed, I’ll tell you that they’re rather sexy. I have a big one on my left bicep from a spider bite that had to be excised. One on the back of my left knee from same. I have chicken pox scars everywhere (matching ones between my thighs where I put my thighs together and…squish). I have many, many scars. And my fair share of moles.
So on this blisteringly hot Baltimore day, while still waiting to hear any kind of word on my Grandmother’s state, I had a first appointment with a new doctor for a head to toe skin exam.
First of all, any new doctor torques me up. Doctor’s appointments tend to torque me up in general. And being a moley motherfucker [though my other grandmother called them ‘beauty marks‘], I was very torqued up.
It started okay. They were SUPER nice and her assistant came in and said, “You are not thirty-nine.”
Which flustered me at first so I brilliantly stammered, “Yes, I am. Why…what did I write?”
“No you wrote that, but you really do not look it at all.”
Oh! Blossoming, blooming happy smile. Thank you, thank you! Good stuff.
So then the doctor comes in to see me and chat with me while I sit there in my undies and the worlds largest cocktail napkin. Then she starts the exam. Me standing, giant napkin gown technically off but clutched to my chest as she checks me.
She asks me what I do and I say writer. Then she asks me what I write and I report “Romance” but without air quotes(!) because basically that is what I do. I write romances that tend to have tons of boffing. But ya know, we don’t need to go there with me naked wrapped in a napkin now do we?
And she checks me.
And she is constantly moving the napkin this way and that way but I am holding the napkin which in an extreme moment of flustered anxiety and annoyance just seemed so STUPID. I mean, I am an adult. Hell, I am almost forty. And they are only tits. And she is a doctor. And I mean really…how much more of me is there to look at? I mean, right?
So I say: “Can I just drop this thing?”
“Whatever you are comfortable with.”
So feeling very liberated and brave and forward thinking, I slap my paper napkin on the table and stand there starkers but for some bright yellow Victoria Secret panties.
Because surely she is almost done this part of me!
She checks me and checks me and checks me and thank you baby Jesus I am not a larger person because I’d still probably be there.
Then she says, “Get up on the table on your belly.”
Hmph. Because now I have to maneuver in front of very very very small scant slight tiny Asian woman who looks like some gorgeous figure from a painting…naked.
I felt like Gulliver streaking past the Lilliputians.
And I get up there and she checks…and checks…Jesus, between my toes too!
And I am saying to myself, this…this is how I write those goofy, flighty heroines that people always ask me how I write. Because I am them. So I say to self, it is okay because this will be really good in a story and it doesn’t even matter if I look like a moron…Om…
And she says, “Now on your back.“
And then I have to roll over so I do a floppy awkward I am naked but now I refuse to drop this fucking napkin gown now that I have retrieved it--which might I add--is suddenly the MOST LOVELY piece of clothing ever roll. And…gasp…finally she is done.
And I have to have two moles removed and I will have two more sexy scars but they will be nothing compared to the scars I will carry inside for having done the “I am so fucking clever let me just be naked in your presence” panty dance.
And that’s how you NOT to have a dermatological exam.
p.s. I think I need to buy my new shiny doctor that awesome Steth0scope ID Tag