Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Laundry Day

About a month into 2010, I managed to make good on one my New Year's resolutions- to book all necessary doctors appointments I had been putting off for the last couple years. As a freckled, relatively fair-skinned Florida girl, first on my list was a skin cancer screening at the dermatologist...something I decided to do after finding a funny looking new mole on my back.

Day of the appointment, I didn't really think twice before heading over to the doctor's office after work. I had a pencil skirt and top on and figured the doctor would just roll up the shirt and take a quick gander. No sweat.

Clearly, this was my first skin screening. Not 3 minutes after the doc walked in to greet me was I handed a paper hospital gown and asked to drop trou. Only bra and panties. Open flap of the gown to the front, please.

Now, I'm not a particularly modest person. With two sisters and four years at an all-girls catholic high school, I have no problem changing in front of friends or using the communal fitting rooms at Loheman's. So why, Vanessa, were you panicking?

Thing is, it was laundry day in my world. Who am I kidding? It had been laundry day all week, and that fateful morning I was down to very slim clean pickins. Under that thin paper vest I was now wearing, by far, the smallest bra I own: a black lacey thing with little red and blue flowers, the kind of bra a promiscuous 16-year-old hides from her mom. I never wear it, but of course I squeezed into it that morning. As for the underwear, it covered me up OK...where the elastic was still in tact and the fabric hadn't been washed thin. These holey drawers had seen better days.

And, of course, there's the miserable fact that my new Manhattan dermatologist is in his early thirties and, with long slick back hair and Guido-groomed eyebrows, looks like he belongs on some medical reality show.

When he came back in with the nurse I was beyond awkward. Lucky for me, a skin cancer screening is about as thorough as it gets. He scanned every last inch of me before stopping for what felt like 45 minutes on my tattered behind.

"There's something here I don't like. How long have you had this?" he asked, pointing at the center of my right butt cheek.
I cranked my neck around as far as it goes.
"Uh, not really sure," I responded. It's not exactly a high visibility area.
"Should I grab a mirror so you can see it better?"

Yes, he really asked this. And, no, I don't want you to hold a mirror to my booty in fluorescent lighting.

Long story short, the mole on my right cheek was the wrong shape and color. After the inspection, I was asked to lay down, butt up, so they could scrape a skin sample for a biopsy. After the first numbing shot made me jump a little, I attempted a nervous joke.

"Didn't think I'd feel anything with all the padding down there."

Nothing. No giggles from Dr. 90210. He was busy giving me a formal wedgie to clear his work space.

He took the sample and I survived, though very close to death by embarrassment.

A few weeks later, the biopsy results came back a little abnormal so Tuesday I went back in for some more butt work- this time wearing my unskankiest under garments. According to the doc, I'll probably be OK. He just wants to see my butt about every six months for a follow up.

Moral of the story: Mom was right. Always, always wear nice underwear.


  1. Reading this was just as hilarious as when you told me the first time when you were freaking out cause it had just happened. haha This is a great story my friend.

  2. ooooo my god!!! I just died laughing!!!!!
    mascara is going down my cheek.

  3. Nana!!! I am dying laughing at this right now. I had a very similar experience with a hot, Clooney type derm in his mid 50's with an Italian accent. I had worn a tiny, lace, totally see through bra that barely covered my nipple and stripper like panties in zebra print that barely covered my chucha (it was also laundry day for me) I totally forgot when I was getting dressed that morning that Dr. Derm would be looking everywhere!