Looking over my upcoming calendar of events, I see the big, red, looming circle of death, which can only mean one thing: it is time for my yearly gynecological exam. As imperative as it is to make sure I am keeping my plumbing in tip-top shape, it is still a very uncomfortable visit. During my most recent visit, the most uncomfortable by far, the doctor decided to have a conversation — with my vagina.
There is a time and a place for everything. This was neither.
It all began innocently enough. I was sitting in my gown on the table when, after a 20 minute wait, the doctor sauntered in with a friendly grin on her face. She started making small talk as we went through the general medical questions.
Through conversation, I discovered she was a reader of my column — begin awkwardness here. At the time, I was a single girl navigating through the dating jungles of Northeast PA. I was writing quite graphically about my failed attempts to meet a great guy at the time (thank God I finally found one — I was ready to give up) and certainly some stories were not mom & dad — or doctor — approved.
It was finally time for the exam. Lying back with my feet in the stirrups, I held my breath as I awaited the cold, piercing invasion of the PAP tool. Instead, my doctor told me she would dig in herself, ensuring everything was in good shape.
Elbow deep in my treasure chest, her head peaked over the white sheet and she smiled at me. Returning to her work, she blurts out “I don’t understand why you are single; you are such a pretty girl.”
How does one respond to this? She had her face in my junk, telling me I am pretty. Was she referring to me in general, or at what stared her in the face? Awkwardly, I thanked her, staring at the clock, waiting for the exam to be over.
Finally she tells me everything is in perfect condition and my lady parts are pristine, allowing me to dress and leave. Even though I’ve routinely seen a gynecologist since I was 14 years old, this was the first time I ever left feeling a little shy and sheepish.
As my next exam nears, I am really hoping that, if the doctor still reads Girl Talk, she takes advice from the person at the other end of the stirrups and saves the small talk for the beginning of the appointment, conducting the rest of the proceedings as business-as-usual.