I haven't been to a gynecologist in probably eight years, maybe more. I can't remember when the year of my last appointment, that's how long it's been. There are myriad reasons for my absence from the office of pap smears: I didn't have health care, I didn't have time, I didn't love myself enough to make the time. I could go on, but why? The important thing to know is that while I don't necessarily enjoy pap smears, I didn't stop going because I hate them so much, like some people I know. Needles I hate, yes, but speculums? Eh.
So I was not afraid when I walked into my appointment with Dr. Jackie Brown (I swear to god that's her real name) yesterday afternoon. I was mostly relieved, if anything. It's not good to wait that long in between visits. I was happy I finally sucked it up and bought healthcare after two years without. (I am seriously becoming a grownup over here.) Simply, I was glad to be there.
But first, the weigh in:
Nurse: Wow. You don't look like you weigh that much.
Me: Yea, I get that a lot. It's all in my breasts.
Nurse: Well the boys must really like that.
Me: Yes. Yes they do.
Then Dr. Jackie Brown came around to talk to me for a bit. She was short, well-manicured (her eyebrows were fucking perfect), and had long brown hair. She also wore boots with three inch heels, which made me think she was really short. They also helped me to identify whenever she was approaching (she walked in and out of the room several times which kind of freaked me out), because I could hear her clomping down the hall.
I could tell she wanted to yell at me because I had waited so long in between visits, but she just sighed and said, "Well you're here now..." She also seemed dissatisfied that I wasn't on the pill, which I thought was weird. She told me to take off my clothes, put on the open front robe, and get ready for some hot girl on girl action.
OK, she didn't say that last part.
By the time she came back, and I had had a chance to check out the stirrups, I was starting to feel a little nervous. I don't know. I know nothing bad was going to happen - Dr. Jackie Brown was clearly competent - but I suddenly remembered how much pap smears sucked. It's going to be ok, I kept telling myself. Dr. Brown is in charge.
After about a minute between my legs, Dr. Brown stopped. "I'm going to need to switch speculums."
"Because you have a tall vagina."
"A tall vagina?"
"Yes. You're tall, right? So is your vagina."
"Hm. Good to know."
The whole time she was unclenching or unwinding or unscrewing or whatever it is she needs to do to free my vagina from the speculum, and then trying to find the special "tall vagina" speculum in the drawer beneath my stirruped legs.
I just start talking a lot. I have no idea what else to do.
"Hey Dr. Brown, have you ever heard of the Big Vagina Monologues?"
"I've heard of the Vagina Monologues. Is it a parody?"
"I think just the name is a play on it. It's a one-woman comedy show, though."
She inserted the new speculum.
"Anyway, I just read an article about it today in the Observer. There's some legal action so she might have to change the name."
At this point, I start to get really uncomfortable.
"Yea, you're going to feel this a little bit," she said.
"So the point of the name is that the woman in the show, her father had some mail order bride from the Phillipines, and when she went to the gynecologist for the first time, he told her that her vagina was small and she was upset. And this woman's father said, 'You should be happy, American women all have big vaginas.'"
Dr. Brown laughed out loud, and then remembered she was all business.
"I don't even know what that means," she said. "Big vaginas."
And I'm just thinking, you know what a tall vagina is, but you don't know what a big vagina is?
Anyway, it was fine after that. I just kept talking until it was over and she kept ignoring me. Then I got a blood test for every STD imaginable from my friendly nurse from before. She ruled. I didn't feel a thing. I told her so.
Me: Wow. You're amazing. That's the most pain-free needle experience I've ever had.
Nurse (proudly): Not every phlebotomist has a gentle touch like I do.
Later on I had dinner with Fred at Diner and I told him my tall vagina stories. For some, this might not be appropriate dinner conversation. Not for this delicate flower. And we wonder why I'm single.
Fred had a whole theory that when I go to Costa Rica on vacation I will be worshipped as a goddess there because of my tall vagina.
"We heard you were coming," they'll say when I get off the plane. "We've been waiting for you and your tall vagina."
And then they'll whisk me off to a rainforest somewhere, where people will come from all over to worship at my tall vagina. I'll have a pet monkey who will sit on my shoulder, someone will feed me fresh mangoes whenever I like, and I'll never have to touch a computer again. It will be good to be queen.