Going to the doctor gives me hives. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dentist, dermatologist or the family physician, I have that condition called white coat syndrome. But it was time for the annual trip to the gynecologist. After a dozen of those cute little cards arrived in the mail reminding me that it was well past time for my annual visit, I finally called and made the appointment.
So there I was with my blood pressure inching its way up to the stoke level because those rude scales had already lied about how much I weigh. Bless that little nurse’s heart, she did quickly write that abominable number down and shielded it with her hand so no one could see it. If she’d said it out loud, things would have gone past the hives and I would have heard the trumpet blow and the final curtain would have fallen right there. Carolyn Brown would have been standing at the Pearly Gates trying to explain how in the devil ten extra pounds on her mid-section had caused her early demise.
Then the nurse told me to get undressed and put on the gown and sheet. I looked for the gown under the sheet after I moved the dinner napkin to the side. They’d forgotten to give me a gown but no problem. I look horrible in that shade of green anyway so I cracked the door and hollered for someone to bring me a gown, preferably a white one.
Someone yelled back that the gown was there right with the sheet. Good Lord! That dinner napkin surely couldn’t be “the gown”. What I dry dishes on is twice as big as that thing.
But it was.
Well, if that’s the way things were done these days then I would adjust. After all it was just a once-a-year check-up. And there was a sheet to finish the job that the dinner napkin couldn’t accomplish.
It was almost as big as a bath towel and when I got all done with the “gown” and the “sheet” there was more of me uncovered than covered. But I finally got it wrapped around the important parts and picked up a magazine from the rack beside the exam table.
There was an article about the celebrity mothers which caught my eye. It was a big name movie star who had a child and twenty minutes later she’d rushed out to the beach for a modeling shoot for Vogue.
I wondered if celebrities lose their dignity and modesty just like the rest of us. All y’all who’ve had children know exactly what I’m talking about.
Before the baby is born everyone in the hospital who can fit into a pair of green scrubs comes into the room to check the progress. If they wear green and a pair of those booties on their shoes they sashay through the room.
I remember one time I came within a blink of an eye of throwing back the covers so an electrician could check my progress before I realized that he was wearing overalls instead of scrubs.
Suddenly, that silly bib I was wearing in the name of a gown and the sheet which barely covered my varicose veins didn’t seem so terrible. The last shreds of my dignity had been gone for more forty years and I was not alone…celebrities, First Ladies, poets, even romance writers…wear those gowns. Like the old saying goes, “We all put on our britches one leg at a time.” Well, us women folks all put on the “gown” the exact same way and try to cover all of our bodies with the “sheet.”