I’ll be doing a version of this story Monday at Dean Street You should come because I’ve been reading The Four Hour Work Week and this time next year I’ll be performing strictly in Kauai, once a month, if I feel like it!
Last week I had a gynecologist appointment and spent the whole subway ride thinking about how happy I am that I am not a gynecologist, imagining what their life would be like day in and day out. I hate to sound superficial but the only life I get truly jealous of is the rich. Not the rich and famous. Just the rich. Every once in a while I read an article about some entrepreneur who works remotely from all over the world, and I tear up.
The receptionist at the Dr.’s office was fanatical about her customer service prowess. Suspiciously fanatical.
I announced myself.
“Oh Kendra Cunningham right- yes- here you are. Now Kendra, I left you a voicemail. Dr Takamaya had to go to Hawaii for a ( pause) family emergency. Dr. Howard will see you, how do you feel about that? “
I wanted to say “Bored. I feel bored about that.” But instead I said “That’s fine” and sat.
The pause in her delivery made me think Dr. Takamaya frequently had obligations that took her to colorful locations. Last month a lecture in Bora Bora, the month before that a research project in the British Virgin Islands, now an emergency in Molokai. Dr. Takamaya – The Bond Girl of Gynos.
Dr. Howard was ready for me. She introduced me to Christine. “ This is Christine. She is a student at Columbia. She’ll be sitting in.”
This was a first for me. “ So she’s training?”
“I guess you could say that” Dr. Howard said dismissively.
I immediately wondered if they chose me on purpose and, if so, why? Was I a perfect specimen or were they like “ Holy Shit, Kendra Cunningham has an appointment on Tuesday, you gotta come for this one. If you want to see a patient lie about everything- drug and alcohol consumption, smoking, number of sex partners, - everything. Lies, lies, lies. SHE’LL let you stay in the room. She’ll think it means she’s special or something, can you make it?”
They were right. I didn’t ask any questions. I never even asked for credentials.
Half way through I stumped the trainee. I asked how they give breast exams to people with breast implants. The trainee turned to Dr. Howard who assured us both its possible to get an accurate read on a patient with breast “ augmentation” . She must have said “augmentation” with perfect diction, seven times. It’s amazing how something as simple as perfect diction can sound patronizing and ostentatious.
Then she said “ I hope you’re not thinking about augmentation. You have great, natural breasts”
Suddenly it sounded savvy and authoritative. The diction thing. “Great” sounds so powerful when you really pronounce that T.
“Thanks” I smiled playing with my paper robe.
Dr. Takamaya never says things like that to me.
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.