Thank God I’m A Man

Indeed, good for you doctor, good for you.  I had emailed because I was having trouble with “vaginal dryness”.  Ugh, vaginal dryness sounds so barren, but that’s what I am now, barren.  Jules had said that there were hormones for this and Dr. J, had concurred but he said it was time for me to come in for a checkup so why didn’t I book an appointment and he’d prescribe the meds then.

There was something else that I had been wanting to discuss with Dr. Jones and this would be a good time to do that.  When I was going through pre-menopause, or perimenopause I had quite a time with being cranky.  I had to end conference calls early, before we had addressed all of the action items because the men were just too infuriating.  I’d hang up and say to myself, was John Pryor being more annoying than usual?  No, he was his usual self.  Was Walt Bingham more “knowing” than usual?  Nope.  Was Cass more pompous?  Not at all, he was his usual charmingly pompous self.  So why?  why? Were they getting on my nerves?  The best I could come up with was hormonal changes.  My period had started to become inconsistent and I was having a bit of an issue getting enough sleep and I WAS CRANKY.  I mentioned this to my next door neighbor and she had been having these issues as well, but her doctor had given her something for it.  I went in to Dr. Jones and asked him to do something for me.  He had me take a blood test and since I was not in *the range* for menopause he had nothing but prozac to give me.  I was already on prozac so it was suggested that I up my dose.  Although I did do this, it wasn’t really the solution.  Anyhow, I’m through menopause now, for the most part, the moods have evened out and I wanted to let Dr. Jones know what had transpired in the hope that he, as “one who caters to the health of women” could use this information to help other patients who had experienced the same thing. 

Dr. Jones  is my age? maybe a few years older.  He’s done quite a bit of volunteer work in the community with abused women.  He owns a halfway house for recovering women.  I had mentored one of the women who had gone there.  A friend of mine had been going to him for years.  I’ve been going to him for years.  He’s usually pretty jolly and goes up and down with being a bit fat.  Sometimes his pants need hemming, sometimes his lab coat has a coffee stain.  He’s one of those comfortable looking people.

Anyhow, I’m in the stirrups, set position for a pap smear if you will, and I start to tell Dr. Jones about how I felt I should have had some  treatment for my menopause symptoms when I was having trouble, something for him to think about with his other patients.  I was matter of fact, not mean, not sarcastic.  I think he had made a bad call and needed to know it. He taps my knee and says “hold on just a second”  he turns towards the window, which I am just now noticing, has the blinds up.  Oh, but the windows must be tinted.  Did that person walking across the street just look up into this window and spill his Starbucks all over himself?  I think he did.  Dr. Jones turns towards the window, arms up over his head and says, “Thank God I was born a man!”  

Oh.

He then turns back to me and says that all of the gynecologists coming up behind him, “I am a dinosaur”, are women and that they should be able to figure this out.  And yes, “Menopause is hell.”

Well.

He then proceeded to tell me what he was doing for Thanksgiving and  asked me about my holiday plans while he continued with the exam.

Time for a new OBGYN.

Tom, my husband, has found this so hilarious that he has taken to spontaneously throwing his arms over his head and exclaiming “Thank God I’m a man!”  on his way to the bathroom, or getting coffee, even tying his shoelaces…

Little Red Riding Hood

Fairy tales are… horrifying.  About five years ago, my Mom sent me a print of little red riding hood facing off with the big bad wolf.

In the print, little red is about ten years old.  She has on a dark red peacoat and a dark red knit cap with a little white pom pom on it.  She has dark hair.  She is wearing ankle high hiking boots with red socks.  She is wearing an expression on her face, not of anger, not of fear and not of defiance but merely of acceptance as she looks over her shoulder at the wolf.  She is holding an AK47.  

When I opened the print I laughed out loud.  Hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.  Don’t be mad if the wolf threatens you, that’s what wolves do.  Just be prepared.

When I called Mom to thank her she said,  “Well, it is your color, that red.”

I ordered a t-shirt with the print on it and gave it to a friend of mine who was working at Homeland Security at the time.  She loved it, of course.

I showed the print to an engineer I was working with.  He is a right wing and he lives in North Carolina and in spite of our differences we had always worked very, very well together.

When he saw the print he said,  “Martha that is so you and did you notice she has a secondary?”

“What”?  

“A secondary in her basket.  She has a Glock in her basket.”

“Oh my GOD I missed that! Thanks Chris for pointing that out.”

“Well, thank you for sharing the picture with me Martha, it made my day.  Really, always a pleasure.”

“You as well Chris, you as well.”

This year, I couldn’t believe that Mom actually sent up a Christmas box.  There’s an awful lot of crap in the box, always, and a few Christmas decorations. The usual assortment of paperbacks that she’s already read, my favorite, and this year there was an extension on the little red riding hood theme.  One was a pen and ink print of a baby red riding hood sleeping safely in the tail of the wolf as the wolf howls at the moon.  The red cap is the only thing in the print with color.  There was a pair of fun red riding hood socks as well.  The capper was a refrigerator magnet that had little red riding hood and the wolf enjoying a picnic tea on a blanket.  There is a rose in a bud vase and they are drinking tea from a cup and saucer.  Red riding hood has a little bottle of poison off to the side, out of sight of the wolf, just in case…

I know that there have been theses written on the symbolism of Little Red Riding Hood.  The loss of innocence, the dangers that young girls face.  I delight in the depiction of little red taking her power.  The AK47 and the Glock, the little bottle of poison.  But I still miss, in my heart, that the loss of innocence has to come so early for so many.