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Meet the Queen

This is our cat, Autumn.

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Uh, what?

Autumn is the queen of our household. We joke that if the house caught fire, Dave would grab Autumn and leave me to fend for myself. It’s really not even a joke, but a fact I’ve come to terms with.

Autumn was rescued from the streets of Springfield, Ma, along with her daughter Reeses. My brother Kris and his then-girlfriend adopted them both from an animal shelter. From the beginning, Autumn and Reeses did not get along. It was so bad that Autumn stopped eating because she was so stressed. The vet said that if she didn’t start eating again they would have to put her down.

Luckily, she rallied and ate a couple of bites of food just hours before the deadline. Kris decided it would probably help Autumn to be away from Reeses for a while, so that’s when she came to live with us.

Dave had never had a pet cat before, and he was a little reluctant. I told him it was just temporary, so if he didn’t like her, we could send her back to Kris at the end of the summer. That was 11 years ago.

 

 

DaveLovesHer

I’m the third wheel in this relationship…

After we’d had Autumn for a few years, she began having some issues. The vet did an x-ray to check for a bowel obstruction. There was no obstruction, but they found an airgun pellet lodged at the base of her tail. They performed surgery to remove it, just in case it was causing her pain. She looked so funny with the bald spot on her tail. But my heart ached to think of how much pain she must have been in, and how scared she must have been when she’d been shot!

When Gram died at the end of 2012, I inherited her black cat, Ebony. We felt awkward calling her Ebony, so we renamed her Sophie. Autumn was pissed that we brought a younger, slimmer cat into the household. For months we had to keep them physically separated so they wouldn’t fight. Even today, the occasionally lash out at each other, although very recently they’ve come to share the couch – as long as they are at opposite ends. Progress!

SophandAutumn

It’s a jungle in here.

Today, Autumn spends much of her day sleeping. Additional hobbies include eating, pooping, and torturing Sophie.

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Autumn has the terribly annoying habit of waking Dave up multiple times in the night (this is where I’m grateful for being deaf in one ear), and waking me up about 10 minutes before my alarm goes off. She wakes us up in one of two ways.

Most commonly, she will sit in the doorway of the bedroom and make a variety of noises, ranging from huffy little grunts and chirps to operatic crescendos. Sometimes she accompanies her vocal stylings by picking at the baseboard moulding with her claws.

Her second wake-up method is to sit on the pillow and gently, yet threateningly drag her claws across delicate areas of skin, like the forehead, eyelids, and lately, the throat. Of course this wakes me up right away, and not pleasantly.

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I will cut you.

I usually wrestle her off the pillow and get her to cuddle with me for a few minutes, but inevitably she will pop up moments later, claws extended, to try again. Sometimes, if she’s not up for wrestle-cuddling, she’ll get back on the floor and belt out some more tunes.

Living with Autumn isn’t all poop-scooping and fitful sleeps. She is a champion purrer. She purrs louder than any other cat I’ve ever known. She will purr for just about anything, whether you’re simply talking to her, petting her, preparing food for her, or just lying in bed snuggling.

Some of my favorite moments with her are when we are lying in bed, about to go to sleep at night. She will nestle down in between Dave and I, purring gently. Sometimes she’ll lie on my chest, and I will pet her with both hands and she’ll give me little kisses with her cold, wet nose.

Having a cat is a lot of work. It can be tough on the allergies (thank God for Zyrtec), tough on the sleep, and tough planning a vacation. (Our cats are very spoiled, okay?) With that responsibility comes reward, though. The eager greeting upon arriving home (even though that’s mostly about food), the wet-nose kisses, and the soft, soft fur… it all makes every 5am wakeup meow worth it.

CouchCats

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Accidental Adrenaline Rush

A few weeks before Christmas, I treated myself to a little personal shopping spree at Marshalls. Since my purse was big and heavy, I decided to leave it in the car, and just bring in my wallet and my phone.

Upon entering the store, I grabbed a shopping cart and placed my wallet and my phone on the seat. (My wallet is too big to fit in my coat pocket… I don’t know why everything I have in this story was too big, but that’s just how it was.)

So I had my wallet and phone on the seat, and I was being hyper alert because I felt like my wallet was very exposed and someone could just snatch it right out of there. I kept the cart close as I turned slightly to look at a sweater on display.

Just then, two big teenage boys walked past me, really quickly. I had a brief flash of worry about them somehow snatching my phone and my wallet while I was turned away.  I glanced at my valuables, but was startled to see neither my wallet or my phone!

I was immediately struck with panic. I looked at the backs of the tall boys walking briskly away and wondered how this would go down. My head buzzed like a swarm of angry insects. My heart seized in my chest. If I’d been wearing pearls, I would have clutched them. I opened my mouth to call out, but my body was flooding with feelings – burning, tingling, fight/flight/freeze feelings.

My body frozen, I turned my eyes down to the cart once again and realized that the plastic flap that had been pushed up to close the leg holes had fallen down. I shakily reached down and lifted the flap, and there behind it was my wallet and my phone.

I breathed a sigh of relief and fought back a wave of nausea. All of this happened within a 30-second period, but I felt like I’d just done some intense cardio. I calmly pulled the sweater off the rack and placed it over my wallet and phone to protect them from further potential robberies during the rest of my night, and continued casually strolling through the store, not wanting anyone to see me looking flustered.

I was so glad I hadn’t yelled “Those boys took my wallet!”

Lesson learned: I’m too delicate to take these kind of risks, so from now on I need to keep my wallet in my bag. Or get a smaller wallet. Or maybe a chain.

Pre-Birthday Thoughts

Tomorrow is my 36th birthday.

Thirty-six. Damn. I don’t feel 36, although is it an age anyone really feels? What does any age feel like?

The other day a younger co-worker asked me how old I was going to be on my birthday. When I said 36, her face grew somber. “Wow, that is so old!” Luckily she followed up with, “You don’t look that old!”

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*Snapchat filter = not what I actually look like

Ah yes. In my younger days I would have said 36 was middle aged. When my mom was 36, she had four kids, the oldest of whom (me!) was 15. I don’t even know where I’d be if I had a 15-year-old child in my life right now. I guess it’d be a lot different.

In some ways I feel like I should be more grown up by now. I still feel like a kid (or at least a 20-something) most days. I don’t even feel like my body is all that womanly. When I travel for work, I don’t even wear business clothes on the plane (unless I have to), and people assume I’m a college kid. I don’t really mind this… it kind of lets me fly under the radar.

In all honesty, I feel like I’ve fallen into a bit of a rut lately. Maybe I’m just used to switching it up every couple of years, and here I am going on year five of working at the same company. I’ve let slip some of my ambitions, and being reminded of my age is a swift kick in the pants. Oh yeah, I wanted to be an artist. What the hell am I waiting for?

The good news about my job is that recently we’ve started using WordPress to host some of our content. So I’ve been learning how to build a website. I’m really excited about that, because basically since I started this blog I have had the idea that I would upgrade to a paid account and put my art on here and have a little storefront to sell some of my art and tchotchkes. Now that I’ve finished my competent communicator manual, I can devote more time to this page.

Woo hoo!

Well, that’s enough for now. I gotta rest up, now that I’m getting on in years.

Throwback Thursday – Scarface

It’s long been a joke in my family that if I am in an area where objects are airborne, I am going to get hit in the face. I’ve been hit with basketballs, volleyballs, Frisbees… you name it.

Most people get injured at least a few times on this rocky road of life. And nobody makes it out alive. But when you’re born with pre-existing “injuries,” it can seem even more offensive to hurt yourself in some additional way. I’ve had a couple of doozies over the years. Luckily none of them have been life-threatening, but just kind of stupid, and at the end of the day I’d ask myself, “Why me?”

The first time was when I was about 5 years old. It was a sunny summer morning and Kris and I were running around the house. We lived in a contemporary split-level house with an open floor plan that allowed us to run wild from the front door through the foyer and into the living room without obstacle. That day we were running back and forth, leaping onto the couch at one end and then back to the front door. Since it was a warm day, the wooden door was open, leaving only the plate glass storm door between us and the great outdoors. After hurtling off the couch, I ran full-tilt towards the storm door, hands outstretched and ready to bounce off the door.

Except I didn’t bounce. As my hands made contact with the glass, it shattered, and my little body shot through head first. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t even comprehend what was happening, just that one moment I was running and the next I was lying on the slate patio out front, looking up at the eaves of the house. Mom was soon by my side in a panic, lifting up my shirt to check for cuts.

Somehow, the only part of me that had major cuts was my cheek and my lower lip. My arms were scratched but not enough to require stitches. We went to the emergency room and they stitched up the cuts on my face. The doctor said I was lucky I hadn’t severed my head.

The next insult to my face happened at school, when I was in 7th grade. I was one of the herd trampling through the hall on the way to my next class, which was Chemistry, where I was looking forward to doodling in my notebook and gazing out the window for 45 minutes. Just as I strode into the stairwell, a boy ran in front of me, his long legs flying. Somehow my own legs got caught up in his and I fell forward. My arms were full of my books, so I could hardly catch myself as I fell. My forehead hit the first step. A concrete step with a metal edge.

I was so embarrassed to have fallen in front of everyone, so I quickly pushed myself into a sitting position and tried to gather my books. When I reached up to adjust my glasses, I realized that my forehead was burning. I was bleeding. Someone ran to get the nurse and moments later I was being whisked away in a wheelchair, holding a wad of gauze to my head.

Once again, I was lucky. If I had fallen a few inches further forward, it’s likely I would have broken my nose, or worse yet, fractured bones in my face. Instead, I obtained a lovely inch-long scar on my upper forehead.

In the years since then I have also hosted countless poison ivy rashes on my face, two separate incidences of scratched cornea requiring the use of an eye bandage, a weird phase in my teen years where I kept getting sores in my nostrils (which I lovingly called nostrilitis whenever it showed up) and of course the jaw surgery which was probably the worst planned assault on my face ever, but the results were totally worth it.

In conclusion… be careful with your face, as it’s the only one you’ve got. I’ve certainly learned to be careful with mine, after those tumultuous early years. If you’re ever around me and you see me wince and duck in the presence of flying objects, or wonder why I refuse to try certain risky activities involving speed and/or force, perhaps you’ll remember my tales of blood and stitches and you’ll understand.

What about you? Is there a particular body part you’ve repeatedly injured?

Edit: here’s a pic of the above mentioned scars, plus sun damage from my years of lounging in the pool all summer. 

 
Purple= born this way (well, ok, there was some surgery involved.) Dark blue= plate glass window. Green= school steps incident. Yellow= cornea scratches, and the last one, which I forgot to mention in the blog post: Light blue= sun damage. Luckily this pic is not detailed enough that you can see all my wrinkles too. 😅

I Can’t Want To!

When my brother Kris was little and our mom would ask him why he wasn’t doing something that she had asked him to do, his response was, “I can’t want to!” 

It became a joke in our family because even though it may sound like improper grammar, it actually makes sense. When you’re apathetic about something, it makes it very hard to summon the energy to deal with it. 

I’ve had many a moment in my life that I just couldn’t want to do a thing. The majority of my freshman year of high school, for example. Or the year I worked at an insurance company. 

 

Lately I’m feeling a lot of can’t want to. I actually had a steering-wheel-pounding moment this morning because I was feeling so frustrated about everything that’s going on that I feel like I have no control over. It was a gorgeous autumn morning, the yellow and orange leaves were glowing brightly in the early morning sun. My heart ached because I wanted so badly to stop the car and immerse myself in the forest. (Forest bathing– it’s a thing!) 
Of course I could just quit my job and go live in the woods. That would certainly free up a lot of my time. But I am trying to be a grown up here. I’m trying. But sometimes I just can’t want to be a responsible adult. I can’t want to! 

I managed to squeeze in a little forest bathing during lunch.

 

On the bright side, I am not so busy that I couldn’t take my forest bathing lunch break. And this weekend I will get to visit with some very special people.

I’ll try and pick up again with my life influences posts next week. I’ve got a few partly written already!

Magnificent Mammaries

While searching for imagery to use in this post, I came across some unique jewelry.

Today I’m going to talk about breasts. Boobies, melons, sweater-stretchers. Snuggle-pups or sweater kittens. Whatever you call them, there’s no denying that people spend a lot of time thinking about these glorious glands.

In my growing-up years, my friends and I gleefully anticipated growing ample bosoms in our teen years. We practiced by stuffing all manner of padding into our bathing suit tops and strutting around in front of each other. Balled-up socks, balloons, crumpled up paper. We could only imagine the weight and density of the luscious lumps we would surely develop.

When I was about 10 years old, the magic started to happen. Or, as my mom said cheerfully one night as I was getting ready for bed, “The pumpkin seeds are sprouting!” I blushed and acted like I was embarrassed, but inside I was delighted. My Marylin Monroes would be taking the stage before I knew it!

Actual pumpkin seeds sprouting!

In those early days of breast development, I oscillated between feeling proud of my growing girls and feeling unhappy with their lack of size. At first I wore sports bras under large t-shirts (mostly because it was 1990 and that’s what all the girls my age did), but this did nothing to enhance my feminine look. I also worried that the sports bras were actually hindering my development because they were so tight.

In some cruel twist of fate, neither I nor my two best friends got to feel the weight of womanhood on our chests in the way that we had imagined. My two friends were naturally very petite (so much so that I often felt obese in comparison – which, if you’ve seen me in real life you might think is hilarious). In my case, I can probably thank ectodermal dysplasias in some part for my lack of humongous hooters.

Ectodermal dysplasias can affect breast development in some girls and women because it affects glands, and as we all learned early on, breasts contain mammary glands. I consider myself fortunate because I do have natural breasts, albeit little ones. Some forms of ectodermal dysplasias prevent ANY breast development and often the affected women will get breast implants in order to attain a more feminine look.

Throughout my teenage years I always kept some shred of hope that I would hit a growth spurt that would only affect my chest area. I looked at ads for supplements in magazines (though I never actually bought any). I tried exercises, (I must, I must, I must increase my bust!) and the power of positive thinking. I eventually learned that sports bras were not the answer, and switched to bras that actually defined and enhanced my shape.

I never seriously considered breast implants for myself. I won’t say I didn’t think about it, but it was not something I really wanted. The idea of having more surgery was unappealing to me, plus I was always finding other ways to spend my money.

It took me a while, but once I got into my mid-20’s or so, I was pretty happy with my queen jewels, and the rest of my body for that matter. I found out that not all guys want women with enormous eggplants. Plus, as my friend’s mom used to tell us “You’ve got more than he does!” (Though in some situations this is actually not true.)

All joking aside, having small breasts is really pretty great. You can exercise without needing to restrain them. You don’t get under-boob sweat. You never have back pain due to heavy breasts, or get dents in your shoulders from your bra straps. You can sleep on your stomach. You can walk around without people staring at your chest.

According to internet sources, small breasts make you look younger (maybe that’s why everyone thinks I’m 25…) and they are more sensitive than larger breasts. Also, you don’t have to worry about them sagging over time the way larger breasts do.fried-eggs-1

So let’s hear it for our magnificent mammaries, whether they be small or large, perky or droopy, plump or flat. Love what you have, and if you don’t, there’s always surgery!

PS. None of the imagery here is representative of my actual breasts, just in case you were wondering.

A Mouse in the House

Yesterday was a gorgeous spring day and literally the first day of 2015 that we could leave the house in short-sleeved shirts. Of course we spent most of the day outside, cleaning up all of the sticks that fell through the winter and raking up all of the leaves that had been plastered to the ground beneath all the snow.

Spring is really here!

Spring is really here!

One of our spring cleaning projects was to clean up our sunroom (or Florida room, as my Dad calls it). Throughout the winter, this room acts as our catch-all for anything that we don’t have room for in the house. After the long, dark months of winter, it can get pretty scary out there.

So yesterday, Dave spent several hours cleaning the room and getting it ready for warm weather. His ultimate goal is not that he and I should have a nice place to relax and put our feet up, but that the cats will have somewhere new to sun themselves.

I'm going to touch you!

I’m going to touch you!

In the late afternoon, after we had completed our yard work and various projects, I went into the kitchen to begin making dinner. Dave left the sunroom door open so the cats could explore this room that they hadn’t seen since last fall.

As I laid the cutting board on the counter and prepared to cut vegetables, I saw Sophie (the black cat) walk into the kitchen in my peripheral vision. Absentmindedly, I greeted her. I turned to look at her and saw that she was holding something in her mouth. Something brown and plump, with shining, beady black eyes. My first thought was “Wow, that’s a realistic looking mouse toy! I wonder where she found that?”

Then, unconsciously, I began to scream. The screams rose up out of my chest like they had a life of their own. I couldn’t stop myself. Sophie dropped the mouse on the floor and began batting it around like a toy. I screamed louder and pranced around like I was barefoot on hot coals.

Dave, meanwhile, was in the shower and could only hear a hint of my screaming. I imagined that he would come running out in a towel, dripping wet, to rescue me, but he did not. (Good thing I wasn’t actually being attacked!)

Finally, I came to my senses and grabbed Sophie from behind. She struggled and fought, but I was able to get her away from the mouse. I threw her into the living room and returned to see the mouse escaping beneath a cabinet.

I have always thought (quite proudly) that I was not one of those women who would scream and make an exaggerated fuss when exposed to a flying insect or spider. I’ve taken entomology classes. I know insects can be beneficial and harmless. In fact, we have a spider that lives in our bathroom, and I let her reside there because I’m cool like that.

But somehow, a cute little mouse in my house will cause me to lose my mind.

Tribute to the Cavalier

I participate in my local Toastmaster’s club. Toastmasters is an international organization that helps people develop speaking and leadership skills. Here is the latest speech I gave, shortly after I bought my new car.

poopreventers

Recently, I bought a new car and while this is a good thing, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad in saying goodbye to my old car. And so, here is a tribute to the Cavalier.

I was so young and naïve when we first met. I was only 21 years old and had little experience making financial decisions, much less in the art of negotiation. After a few awkward visits to dealerships to test drive cars, I asked my Dad to help me.

I decided I wanted you pretty quickly. The price was right, and I liked how you looked, with your shiny alloy wheels and sparkling forest green paint. The fact that you came with a moon roof pretty much sealed the deal for me. Your cute coupe body, with the little spoiler on the back seemed young and sporty and cool. I would later lament your lack of back doors, and the absolute enormity of your front doors, which made climbing in and out nearly impossible at times.

Despite some of those minor complaints, I think that you and I had a good long run. We were together nearly 13 years. And what a difference that time has made.

In the course of 13 years I have lost friends and loved ones, and made many new friendships along the way. Your passenger seat held many special people in my life, from former boyfriends to the current boyfriend, all of my family members and nearly every friend I’ve had. You’ve even put up with a few dogs and cats scratching up your seats over the years!

Together, we drove far and wide. Early on, we took some lengthy trips – the longest being a trek up to Niagara Falls (the Canadian side). We also drove up to Maine and through New Hampshire. We visited Cape Cod, and of course innumerable trips to Vermont. You even climbed Mt. Washington! We took a few trips down south too – to visit Gram in New Jersey, and even to the Jersey shore.

Of course we shared lots of less exciting times together, like the all years of commuting to and from UConn, where crumbs collected around your driver’s seat from all the times I ate breakfast on the way. We’ve endured many a traffic jam together, and you really impressed me with your ability to forge through snowy, icy weather, even as I clutched at your steering wheel with white knuckles.

I’ve worked at multiple jobs, all of which you sat patiently through all kinds of weather until I emerged from the building at the end of the day. Seeing your familiar shape in the parking lot was like seeing a friend waiting for me. I could relax once I was in the seat with the door closed and my music playing.

You patiently tolerated my mood swings. Your steering wheel withstood blows from my fists during moments of anger or frustration, and your windows remained intact despite my loud, off-key singing in moments of happiness.

You did not make it through 13 years unscathed. I scraped your rims against curbs while attempting to parallel park in many a city. The lower part of your front bumper was scuffed and eventually cracked and broken, thanks to repeatedly being parked to close to the curb. There were plenty of scratches and small dents from other car doors and grocery carts in parking lots.

Towards the end, your paint job really showed it’s age. I sometimes joked that you had eczema because of the dull, white circular patches that covered your hood and roof.

Once, we lost control while driving on a snowy road and rammed headfirst into a guard rail. I tensed myself and waited for the airbag to inflate in front of me, but it didn’t. Instead, we came to a stop and I pulled to the side of the road to inspect the damage. There was a slight dent, and one headlight had popped out, but otherwise we were unscathed. Or so I thought. The next weekend, you overheated while I was driving home from a weekend in Vermont. I later found out that you had a cracked cylinder head.

Normally that would be a death sentence for a car, and it was then that I first seriously considered saying goodbye. But I wasn’t ready to part with you just yet. Instead, I paid the mechanic a lot of money to fix your engine, and soon you were up and running again. You ran nearly perfectly for the next 5 years. Of course there were occasional issues and repairs, but nothing that broke the bank.

In the end, you had over 160,000 miles on your odometer. The CD player no longer functioned, thanks to my drink spilling into it the day we hit the guardrail. The lower edge of the driver’s side was terribly rusted, due to a careless moment when I scraped you against something and wore your paint right off.

Despite all of that, your seats were comfortably worn, and the various stickers in your windows were reminders of places I’d been and experienced I’d had. You fit me like a glove, and were as familiar as a family member.

You taught me many lessons, such as that I should be more diligent about cleaning the road salt and snow from a car so that the bottom doesn’t rust out, and that routine maintenance and preventative care will keep a car happy for a very long time.

And so, as I drove away from the dealership in my new car, I glanced over at your familiar form sitting alone in the customer parking area. I know that most likely you will be sold to a junkyard, where you will be taken apart piece by piece, or worse yet, crushed into a giant cube of metal and plastic and sent to a recycler.

Of course I don’t like to think about that. What I will think about is all the good times I had with you, and how you gave me the best years of your life and more. If you could speak, I hope you would agree that our time together was well spent and that we’d had a good long run together.

Throwback Friday – It’s Potty Time

Due to technical difficulties, I was unable to complete yesterday’s Throwback Thursday (look for it next Thursday…)

So I hereby present a special Throwback Friday, to 1981, where a one-year-old me was already learning to multitask.

1981 Potty Training

Just looking at a book on the pot, nothing to see here…

I found this picture in one of Gram’s photo albums shortly after she died. It brought back a flood of memories. It’s not often that you have a picture of your childhood toilet, or that you’d really think much about your childhood toilet, but really, a lot happened in that room.

Across from that toilet was the medicine cabinet/linen closet. It always had a strong smell of cough syrup or antiseptic, combined with the more gentle hint of fabric softener. When Kris and I were older, we would hide the Fisher Price tape recorder in there to try to catch each other talking to ourselves in the bathroom or better yet, making bodily function noises. Hilarious!

Use a hair tie to hold down the microphone button and you've got yourself a spy tool.

Use a hair tie to hold down the microphone button and you’ve got yourself a (not very discreet) spy tool.

To the left of the toilet was the sink. Oh, we had a lot of fun in that sink. We would play scientist by taking all manner of items from the medicine cabinet and mixing them together with q-tips in paper cups. A favorite ingredient was baby powder because it would make wonderfully thick concoctions. (Highly viscous, as a scientist might actually say.)

The sink was part of a long counter, which we would use when playing doctor.  A towel was laid on the tile and and the patient would lie there while the doctor used various implements, bottles and bandages found in the medicine cabinet.

We also played hair dresser, which was yet another exercise in imagination that combined  water and various ingredients from the bathroom.  The bathtub served as the waiting room, with a few little plastic chairs for the next customers.

These chairs!

The bathtub. Oh boy. I’m sure I could find pictures of the tub, but I will spare you. The tub was another source of fun and adventure. On more than one occasion I would get a little too excited and create tidal waves, which would then spill over the edge of the tub and soak through the floor and down into the family room below.

A lot of reading went on in that bathroom too, especially as I got older and was more and more obsessed with books. I distinctly remember sitting on that toilet and crying as I read about Laura Ingall’s dog Jack getting swept downstream when they crossed a river and Pa wouldn’t let Jack ride in the wagon. What the hell, Pa?

So yes, that little picture of baby Heather learning to use the potty can certainly stir up a lot of memories. It also explains why I still prefer to have some reading material when I head to the bathroom.

Throwback Thursday – Bonus Edition!

Hi there! So I was going through some of my journals looking for future Throwback Thursday posts (because it’s easier than creating new content) and I came across this one from just two years ago. I hope it gives you a chuckle.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Well, today confirmed what I’d always suspected was true: a GYN exam performed by a male doctor is more awkward than one by a female doctor. Perhaps it was the moment when, as I lay with breast exposed, he began rubbing his hands together vigorously like he was about to dive into a good meal. I realize he was merely trying to ensure that he wouldn’t give me a chill with cold hands, but the movement was so awkward that I almost burst out laughing right then and there.

Also, when approaching my vag, he would run the back of his hand down my inner thigh. I guess it was to alert me to his presence, but it was SO WEIRD. I mean it was vaguely stimulating! Maybe that was the idea – if the vag is happy, it won’t mind accepting a speculum? Ew!

The rest of the exam was fine, I suppose. I tried not to feel awkward, but he was younger than I had expected. At least he wasn’t my age, because that would have made it 1,000 times worse.

– – – – –

Editor’s note: I did not return to that doctor. He was a general practitioner and I thought it would be easy to just throw in a GYN exam with my regular physical, instead of going to two different appointments. But no. I later found a male GYN who was not awkward, and I actually like him better than my previous female GYN because he doesn’t ask me when my boyfriend is going to propose or when I plan to have children. (Judgy much?)

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