photo by tsee
I stood naked, except for a pair of ridiculous Christmas socks, in front of the the dermatologist. I hadn't planned on this nakedness. I had scheduled the appointment because I had developed a tenacious rash on my face that I couldn't get rid of with cortisone. The rash, as my theory goes, is due to stress.
So I scheduled the appointment. When I was ushered back into the sterile little exam room the nurse asked if this was my first visit. When I responded that, yes, in fact it was, she said very matter of factually, "Oh then we should do a general examination. Please remove all your clothing and put on this gown."
Uh. Hello? I'm here for this red stuff on my face. What do you need with all the rest?
But I didn't say this out loud, because when you are the patient, you know your place, and your place is to let the doctor do their job and keep quiet. Yours is not to ask why.
Or so that is how you are made to feel.
So I stripped down to my birthday with the exception of the Christmas socks. And although I was really embarrassed to be wearing such an absurd item of clothing, my feet were really cold in that sterile little room.
After I had sat there on the hygienic paper sheath for a good half hour or so, in she came.
Beautiful. Tall. Arabic. Dark flawless skin. Shiny black hair. Eyelashes that reach to Mexico.
And there I was with my rash face and merry socks.
Oh and she was professional. "How long... make-up... sunscreen...medications?"
And then she proceeded with the exam.
This is how on a Friday afternoon I found myself standing naked in front of a stranger trying ever so hard to suck it in and roll my shoulders back for a little lift to the chest area.
She looked me over and asked me to remove my socks so she could see my feet.
"Mrs. Meeker, your skin looks healthy. You do have a mole on your backside that looks absolutely fine right now but let's just make sure to watch it. You can have your husband look at it every now and then."
Okay. A: backside? Backside as in my butt or my back or my thigh? B: why on God's green earth would I invite my husband to check out my mole? Nothing says sexy like a mole.
These thoughts must have been written all over my face because she quickly corrected herself and said, "Buttocks. The mole is on your buttocks. Sorry, my daughter says "backside" and it's become a habit for me."
And right then and there things changed. She was a mother! She wasn't a sophisticated person after all!
We ended up chatting and laughing over kids and their antics. I felt a whole lot better knowing that she was familiar with a post-natal body. Chances are she had a little sag of her own going on.
When a woman becomes a mother she is gifted with several supernatural powers. Among them are the ability to hear your own child cry when no one else can, super smell to sniff out a poopy diaper, eyes in the back of your head and last but not least, the power to become instant friends with other mothers you meet.
It's really quite a powerful thing this bond between mothers. We keep each other sane. Or at least we legitimize our insanity.
The bad news is I still have the rash and the mole on my backside. The good news is I've been practicing in front of the mirror and I think I've perfected a naked stance that makes me look the skinniest and the perkiest.