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Social Lubrication

Yesterday I went to Kaiser for my lube and filter. (Sorry if that’s too much information. You can stop reading now if you like, but it’s not going to be particularly gory or anything.) I’m sure I’m not alone among women in putting off the experience. There’s not much to like. They weigh you, right there in public, first thing. Then, when you happen to feel depressed about the state of your body, you get to take off all your clothes and cover up with fetching paper facsimiles of clothing. There is poking and prodding and mashing of various parts of the body. Because I have crossed the magic age threshold, I now have an appointment for further mashing of my breasts, which I understand the importance of particularly well now that my mom is dealing with cancer (although her cancer does not increase my risk since we have no DNA in common. Just a handy life reminder that cancer does happen to people.).

The thing is, it wasn’t that bad. The nurse practitioner who is my designated OB/GYN is a lovely person. She spent plenty of time making sure that I understood my options for birth control and listened to what I didn’t like about the last method she prescribed. She gave me a helpful pamphlet on ensuring that I get enough calcium and vitamin D. And we talked about kids and books and summer reading all through the most unpleasant parts of the experience, so I felt a lot less like a piece of meat than I could have.

(Her son has to read The Grapes of Wrath this summer. Syd has to read Their Eyes Were Watching God, All the Pretty Horses, Ragtime, and some book I can’t remember right now. Personally, I like Syd’s list better.)

At the end of the visit, she said, “Don’t be a stranger.” And she laughed when I said that while the conversation had been fun, I just never wake up in the morning thinking, “Oh, hooray! Today I get a Pap smear!”

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