WARNING: this post may contain Too Much Information for some readers. Especially the guys. You may want to skip it and wait for my next post, which will probably be about the Canadian citizenship test, with hilarious examples of really easy questions. Or maybe I'll remember to charge my camera batteries and get a couple of shots of amusing things I see on my ride to work every day. I think I've now typed enough waffle to fill the truncated post you see in Google Reader; keep reading at your own risk!
One of my distinguishing characteristics is that I always go for the laugh. In awkward situations, that goes double. I'm sure a psychologist would have a field day with that, but hey, it makes for good blog posts.
However, I really need to learn that there are times when I don't need to make someone giggle. Take my pap/smear test yesterday, for example.
While my doctor was in the middle of the exam, she asked whether I'm in a monogamous relationship. When I said yes, she said "oh, that's right, you got married, didn't you? I remember you changing your name. How long ago is that now?"
"Two years - today, actually!"
"Oh, congratulations! Are you doing anything fun?"
Now, this is where I really should have stifled that instinct. But the words were out of my mouth before I even consciously knew what I was going to say:
"What, you mean even more fun than this?"
This situation wouldn't be at the absolute top of my list of times you don't want to hear the words "I'm sorry, I'm going to have to wait to continue until my hands stop shaking". But it's pretty close.
At least this was with a doctor I actually like. Until a few years ago I was seeing a male doctor who, although a good physician, did not have the most warm and welcoming personality. While preparing for a similar exam, he squeezed the bottle of lube a bit too hard, and a great big glob shot across the room, hit the wall, and gradually slimed its way down to the floor. If he'd just laughed it off, I would have chuckled and moved on. But he was known for being formal and uptight, and actually got incredibly embarrassed. Like, completely mortified, and apologising profusely.
You know how the urge to laugh gets stronger in situations where laughter would be inappropriate? Yeah. I really felt like I couldn't laugh out loud. So when he tried to start the exam, my entire body was shaking with suppressed laughter, and he had to leave the room and come back five minutes later when I'd calmed down.
Cancer screening is no laughing matter, really*, but it's good to know it can occasionally involve a good chuckle.
*the Test of the Flying Lube Glob actually came back abnormal, and I had to go for a colposcopy. Luckily the results came back normal, as did all subsequent pap tests. If yesterday's is clear, I'll be moved back from annual to biennial check-ups from now on (all free - yay, socialised healthcare). This is part of my reason for (over)sharing these stories - I'm quite evangelical about getting my friends and family to keep up their regular testing schedules. And it's amazing how many of my friends have also had an abnormal result and colposcopy - but never told me about it until I recounted my own experiences. We need to get the word out there!