The hospital and weddings.
You know what’s even worse? Doing both on the same day.
It was two Fridays ago. I had to be up at the ass crack of dawn because I had a doctor’s appointment…in Massachusetts.
(Even though I’ve had an apartment in NYC for five years, I never did quite get around to becoming a New York resident. What? MA was the pilot program for Obamacare and I get free poor people’s insurance there. Pretty much the only benefit of being, quite literally, a starving artist. [Side bar: Obamacare is pretty awesome if you’re poor, even if it is bankrupting the state, which I’m not sure it is. That’s just something I heard on the radio.] Anyway, according to the IRS and the DMV I live in MA, but mostly I’ve been living out of my car, traveling from gig to gig. The dream is over though. My stupid new awesome job takes taxes out so now the IRS can track me, and it pays enough so that I’m not technically poor anymore, which blows because my new insurance is going to suck. Plus I hate going to the DMV.)
Wow, I probably shouldn’t have put any of that in writing.
Anyway, when I got to the doctor, a smiling, pudgy, middle-aged receptionist spent a good five minutes interrogating me:
Her: Can you spell that?
Me: 🙂 S-a-r-a-h ……
(Oh come on, I had the first appointment of the day and was literally the only person in the waiting room. Even though it was 7am, I couldn’t resist having a little fun with her. Luckily, she had a sense of humor.)
Then she asked me to confirm my address, phone number, insurance information, etc…
Her: Are you married or single?
Her: (furiously clicking her computer mouse) I don’t know how to work this stupid computer. How come it didn’t save anything?
[This is where I fiercely fought back the urge to ask if she’d hit save. She hadn’t.]
So we went through it all again. I re-spelled my last name. Confirmed my birthday and address and phone number and insurance info and…
Her: You said single, right?
Me: sigh Yep.
Her: The doctor will be with you in a moment.
And she was. I was escorted to the exam room where I sat on that horrible white paper-covered table and got poked and prodded for a few minutes.
It was a regular checkup, but because of some pain I’d been experiencing in my legs and certain risk factors on my chart, my doctor wanted to make sure I didn’t have a blood clot. Apparently blood clots are serious business, so she sent me directly to the hospital for an ultrasound.
Well, first I had to have a blood test, then I went to the hospital.
Luckily, the lab is in the same building as my doctor so it was terribly convenient.
The phlebotomist was very nice. Blonde, tan, mid-fifties and she had the raspy voice of a life-long smoker. [Note to self: explore potential novel idea about vampire phlebotomists.]
As she looked over my chart, she read each line aloud.
Her: You’re thirty-two?
Her: And you take [insert certain generic prescriptions here]?
Me: Not anymore.
Her: Ok. It says here you’re single?
‘What the fuck does that have to do with a friggin’ blood test?’ I wanted to ask, but didn’t, because even though I was a little bit irritated with the question, I couldn’t stay mad at the blonde phlebotomist for long. She was really nice and, as we say in Massachusetts, wicked funny.
She drew some blood, chatting all the while. It was quick and painless. She was a total pro. Then she sent me on my way.
Because the hospital is only five minutes away from my doctor’s office and because it was now only 7:30 in the morning and my appointment wasn’t until 9:30, I decided to be über productive and get my car inspected.
I should probably mention that getting my car inspected is somewhat of an ordeal – mostly because my check engine light has been on for going on three years now. So far I’ve been able to jerry-rig it just long enough to pass inspection. Because it’s an emissions rather than a safety issue I have absolutely no guilt in this regard – even if it does make me a little bit of an eco-terrorist.
(I was recently informed that I have been mis-using the term ‘eco-terrorist.’ I argue that anyone who refuses to recycle or litters or allows ozone-depleting gases to flow freely from their car’s exhaust system is, in fact, terrorizing the environment and thus my usage is perfectly valid.)
Perhaps it was karmic payback for years of thoughtless eco-terrorism or maybe I just really need a new catalytic converter, but I could not jerry-rig my way to a passed inspection this time around. I got a big, fat rejection sticker yet again. I have sixty days to remedy the issue, but there is no way in hell that I’m putting three-thousand dollars worth of work (the cost of a new catalytic converter, plus labor – at least according to one shyster mechanic on Cape Cod) into a 2003 Toyota Corolla that has over two-hundred and six thousand miles on it.
So unless I can find a crooked mechanic that’ll give me a sticker (unlikely), it looks like I’m going to be out of a car come October. Which is probably okay. Having to move my car every night to accommodate alternate side parking regulations is becoming a real pain in the ass. Either that or I’ll try living on the edge for a while and hope I don’t get a ticket. I feel certain that no ticket is going to come close to the cost of those repairs.
Rejection in hand, I made my way to Panera Bread for a giant iced green tea. That made me feel a bit better.
When I arrived at the hospital later that morning I had to check in with another receptionist. Fortunately, she did not seem to be a member of the Spanish Inquisition and merely checked my name on her clipboard and told me to sit down.
Five minutes later, another receptionist type woman led me into a small room off the main waiting area. Ah, so this is where the interrogation was going to take place.
This was, by far, the most invasive line of questioning I’d faced all day. She asked all of the things, from basic contact info and insurance stuff to the start of my last menstrual cycle. Then came the dreaded…
Her: Are you still single?
Me: (Still?) Yes. I am still single.
Her: And your emergency contact…?
Me: …is my mother.
Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is to be a thirty-two year old woman who still has to list her mother as her emergency contact? Maybe I’m just over-sensitive to it because I’m so sick to death of being single, but (even though I love my mother so very, very much) I cringe every time I think about it. Maybe I should start putting my best friend’s name down instead. At least then they might think I’m a lesbian.
Then it was time to drop trow and find out what was causing my incessant leg pain. Honestly, the inquisition was more embarrassing.
It turned out I was fine and the leg pain was probably caused by sitting in the same position at my desk for ten hours a day and could probably be cured with some yoga.
Happy diagnosis notwithstanding, I wasn’t feeling great about life so I went home and took a nap because I had a big event to go to that night – my high school best friend’s wedding.
I was actually really looking forward to it. I don’t get to see this friend nearly as often as I’d like, and the fact that she was marrying a chef meant that the food was bound to be amazing. (It was.)
The other nice thing is that my friends know me well enough not to ‘and guest’ me on their wedding invitations anymore. The only thing worse than going to a wedding by yourself is going to a wedding by yourself when you’re expected to bring a date.
(Wanna hear something sad? I’ve been to dozens of weddings over the years and have only had a date once. One time! And it was for a non-traditional wedding on the top of a mountain in the Berkshires where no one would have noticed during the hike to the ‘altar’ whether I had a date or not.)
This wedding was super fun. They had a vintage carnival theme with whoopie pies instead of wedding cake, paper pinwheels instead of flowers and a caricaturist! I also ate my weight in salt water taffy.
The bride and groom had two goals for the evening – to eat well and dance their faces off. Mission accomplished. There was no slow dance nonsense; no stupid table games; the bride did toss the bouquet, but I avoided that with a well-timed trip to the loo. I got to hang with some high school friends I hadn’t seen in ages and we had a blast.
Despite being smacked in the face with my perpetual singlehood all day long, there was one other thing that re-inflated my ego a bit.
One of the bride’s cousins, (one of the coolest, most popular guys in high school) was in attendance. Back then I was too much of a nerd for him to even be aware of my existence. He noticed me now though. Okay, so he still didn’t know my name and kept calling me Jessica, but he followed me around like a lost drunken puppy all night. Though I was not in the least bit interested in his attention (the years have not been kind to him), it was nice to have it all the same.
AND I got new headshots – FOR FREE. Check it out…
Look at that face! I look like Madonna on crack and I still can’t find a boyfriend? There is clearly something wrong with America. I bet if we had a conservative republican president I wouldn’t be single. Stupid Obama.
Ok, I’m gonna go ahead and stop before this post turns into a nonsensical political rant. Since I started writing, I moved from the quaint little coffee shop I frequent to the new pub down the block and I’ve clearly been drinking. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since starting this blogging adventure is that you should never drink and blog. It doesn’t end well for anyone.
With that, I bid you adieu for now…
(Like I said…drunk blogging…no good.)