Every time I have to go to the OB/gyn I am plagued with a sense of dread. Not because of the chair, or the metal stirrups, or that damned speculum. No, I’m pretty fine with all that. I've read enough Essence to know to tell my doctor the truth even if I lie to everyone else and myself, and to ask questions about my health and point out any problems. I never freak out over the OB/gyn topics that are discussed in all the articles about The Visit. Too wax or not to wax? To shape up? Line-up? Go bare? These are the questions that distract me in the days leading up to my trip.
This is the issue– my gyno and I are kinda like friends. Not in the circle I hang out in all the time (she's always working), but we're close enough in age and met through a relative (my father) a long time ago. We often end up vacationing in the same places at the same time and attending the same events whenever I toy with the idea of going corporate. We party together in resorts and islands and we chat enough in the city that when I go to my yearly appointment, she doesn't need an update on my sex life because she already know who and when, but not where. I also text her to make appointments and ask questions. She's not my Ace but she's my girl.
My mother insists that doctors don't care what vaginas look like, ("if you've seen one, you've seen 'em all," she says). But I know my doctor well. And well, I care about what her impression is. I'm concerned even if mother is not.
I ask an elder friend (everyone 30+ is elder to me) what she thinks. "Um, D, as long as you don't look like Wolf Man Jack, I don't think she cares," Penelope says.
I agree. I am a firm believer that though the hair on my head is wild, the hair elsewhere should be tamed. The natural look should be reserved for your crown of glory, not the crown decorating your glory. By personal preference, I'm never looking like Mother Nature would intend. But this isn't about what I prefer to see, this is about making an impression on someone I have to see at social functions.
"Go Bare," says Anita when I ask her what should be done. "I always go bare. I want her to get a good look at everything."
Bare? I thought that was reserved for pop stars, porn stars and pre-teens. However, I humor this thought for a moment longer than I usually would. The last time I went to my doctor, I was trying to point out something. She said she didn't see what I was describing. I tried to tell her again, but it's hard to give Map Quest worthy directions to that location. She pulled out a mirror.
"Show me!" she says and holds up the looking glass so that it reflects my glory. I sit up the best I can in that sloped chair with my feet still in the stirrups and her head way too uncomfortably close between my eagle-spread limbs. I prod and point until she finally sees my concern.
"Oh that?" she inquires, poking with me with a gloved index finger. I bite my lip to keep from laughing hysterically at the lunacy of this situation. "Uh-uh. It happens. Nothing to be concerned about. Trust me." She then offers an explanation full of technical words and blah, blah, blah. All I care about is that it's "nothing to be concerned about."
I suppose that whole experience could have gone a lot smoother if there was nothing in the way. Maybe I could have saved myself from that moment of sheer embarassment. Maybe bare is best.
Anita's given me the number to her waxer, who she promises doesn't hurt.... that much. I make an appointment to remove all the grass from the lawn.
I mention my prep-work to my ISO (insignificant other, def. a male companion with whom you are emotionally entangled who fulfills boyfriend-like duties, but has no benefits... yet.) He's appalled at the idea. "That's gross," ISO says, scrunching up his face. "You'll look like a little girl. I don't wanna see it like that."
I give him the fool-please look.
"I'm serious, D. I'll wait till it grows back."
I'll admit, I'm not all that thrilled with the bare idea either. Though it seems like a good option, I keep thinking of all the pain. The shape up hurts bad enough. I want to look nice for The Visit, but I don't want to be tortured.
I cancel the appointment at the spa, decide I'll go to my regular lady for the job. I tell her that The Visit is coming up and I want to look nice. She looks at me a little crazy at first, then nods like she understands. I think she's pacifying me.
She gives me the usual with a twist– a nice trim, sorta- like a fade this time– and a crisp shape-up. She leaves the room so I can get dressed and I look at myself in the mirror. It looks... nice. Not too flashy, but definitely shows that some thought went into the look. I think this is just the impression I hoped to make.
Now I'm looking forward to my appointment.