I don’t know about you, but when I’m given the command to “relax”, it causes me to do just the opposite. Nothing relaxes me less than having someone tell me to do so. That being said let me tell you about the day of the year I hear it the most.
It’s the day my sister (older by 3 years, 9 months) and I have our annual visit to our gynecologist for a checkup and our radiologist for a mammogram. The reason we go together every year is because they are both in Manhattan, and I don’t do Manhattan- not alone anyway. The offices are on chic Park Ave, so we powder and puff, put on our best shoes and handbags and off we go.
The drive into the city is an adventure in and of itself. My sister drives her giant SUV like a bull in a china shop- she just plows right through. Now, if I was ever in a war, I’d want my sister driving my tank, but not so much on the FDR Drive. Every trip, we have at least 3 brushes with death. “Relax” she says. Relax? I’d rather be getting my pap smear than be in that car.
Our first appointment is at the radiologist. You ladies know the drill. My sister and I are escorted to small rooms to put on the blue gown, opening in the front. The rooms are a calming pale blue with magazines, so we can “relax” and forget that our breasts are about to be pressed into tortillas. The doctor comes in (who happens to be a stunning woman) to give me a quick look. As she examines me, she always asks me where my sister and I are going for lunch. I tell her we’re going to the small café down the block, but the truth is we’re going to the Jackson Hole and getting the biggest burger known to man, with double cheese, sautéed mushroom and onions, french fries and extra pickles. No bun of course, we’re not pigs.
One year, I had the dreaded “We just need one more picture”. Usually that’s code for “The doctor sees something suspicious and wants to get a better look”. With sheer panic and fear I set out to find my sister in the maze of small, blue rooms. After barging into two wrong rooms, I finally found my sister. I slammed the door open and wailed”THEY WANT ONE MORE PICTURE” and quickly continued on to meet my fate. But in that second, I stopped thinking about my impending doom. I couldn’t get the vision of my sister out of my head. Why is it that her blue gown looked like a designer dress from Bloomingdales while mine made me look like a Holocaust victim? Only my sister could have it wrapped and tied so perfectly she could wear it for a night out on the town. She was even accessorized.
Next we go to the gynecologist. It’s just down the block. We walk hand in hand; the reason being I’m afraid we’ll get separated and I won’t be able to find my way. (Yes, down the block, but it’s the city!) My gynecologist is the kindest, most gentle, elderly man with a South African accent that could melt your heart… except when my legs are in stirrups and he’s coming at me with a contraption that resembles the jaws of a triceratops. Yes, I know; I must”relax”.
Well, this year’s visit ended with a kicker. We were walking back to the car discussing our exams when my sister told me the most upsetting thing I had ever heard. The doctor told her he could tell she wasn’t in menopause because she had the vagina of 23 year old! WHAT????? I mean, my podiatrist told me I had the feet of a woman half my age, but that still makes my feet older than her vagina, and who really cares about feet anyway? This meant she had me beat! No matter how good I try to look, no matter how thin I try to get, she’s won. She has the younger vagina.
So now I have to wait an entire year until our next visit and I will not”relax” until I find out the age of my vagina. And it better be 22!