Tuesday, June 23, 2009


So I went to the dermatologist today. I haven't been since I was in junior high so I figured I was due for a visit. The nurse came in and asked me what all I needed done so I told her. She took down the notes and then asked "Do you want an upper body check-up today, too?" almost as if she was asking "Would you like fries with that?" I said sure - why the heck not?

Before she left the room, she gave me a paper top to put on. She told me that the doctor was running behind so I didn't need to put the top on just yet and that she'd come back to let me know when it was time to put it on. So I sat in the room and waited for her to come back with the heads up. But, instead, the doctor walked in. I explained to him that I had been waiting for the nurse to tell me when to put the paper top on but that he beat her to me. He said no problem, he'd step out and let me put it on real quick.

And thus began my adventures with the paper top. Have you ever had to use one of these? It's folded up and has the thickness of two-ply toilet paper. Well, maybe a little thicker, but not much. I briefly considered walking out and taking my chances with skin cancer. But, instead, I took my shirt off and went to unfold the paper top. That's when I discovered that you have to tear it apart at the folds - like you would tear a piece of paper at a perforation. But when you're standing in an exam room with no top on, knowing the doctor will be in any second, this is not easily done. Plus, you have to be sure that you're not tearing an actual seam because that would render the top useless and would provide no privacy. The problem is, until the shirt is completely unfolded, you can't make out the shape so you don't know where the seams are. So you just shoot nervous glances toward the door, pull frantically at the paper, and hope that you have an intact top when it all comes undone. It's all very nerve-racking.

Finally I get it on - with the opening in the back, of course. I stand in front of the little mirror that they so graciously provide and I am horrified. The little paper top is a stinkin' crop top. Like circa 1989. All I'm missing is a pair of shoulder pads and a pair of pleated pants. And it does NOT cover my stomach. It's like a bad Britney Spears video. I try to slump over to make the crop top meet the top of my pants and that seems to work. I walk, slumped over, to the exam table and sit down. I'm relieved that when I sit AND slump, everything is covered and I don't have to come up with clever things to say to the doctor like "guess I shouldn't have had that Mexican food for the last 33 years!" or "do I see YOU or my GP about excessive bloating?" Things of this nature. I breathe a sigh of relief.

The doctor comes in to do the upper body check-up and immediately takes the paper top off of me.

Ummmmm . . . what the heck just happened?

But I'm mature. I sit there - just me, my bra, and every flaw I've ever tried to hide - and converse about what I do for a living while the doctor, an inch away from my skin, scans my upper body from behind his jeweler's glasses. I break out my very best posture and try to suck in everything that I can - this is damage control at its best, my friends.

Finally, the exam is over and I get to put my shirt back on. Not that it matters anymore - the doctor knows my deep, dark secret . . .

I do NOT have Hip Hop abs.


Alana said...

totally laughing OUT loud right now!! hehehe

Emma said...

Cat, that is sooo funny! Not really.....think I will cancel my appointment! Oh, did I forget to tell you? Erin and I signed the three of us up for a jazz class!!!!!! Now we can have jazz abs:)

Phyllis Eddings said...

If you had your bra on, what was the point of the paper top anyway?

Deborah said...

Oh my goodness! you make me laugh so much :-)

Anonymous said...

I think I have Catherine Chronicles Abs from laughing so hard, all by myself!!!