Yesterday, I had an appointment with a neurologist. So I didn’t shave my legs. Why would I? I was having my head examined, so he would have no reason to pay attention to my limbs. Except, yes he did, to check all my reflexes, and I found myself apologising profusely for my lack of sharp blade usage!
Don’t get me wrong! I live in a hot climate where exposure of body is a normal state of affairs. So they were only at the *day three, just rough enough to file that annoying catch nail* stage, and not the *oh my god, for a moment I thought you were wearing mohair tights* stage. Which may have been better, because he may just have assumed that I was of the Julia Roberts/Madonna ilk, and not simply too lazy to care!
Given the inordinate amount of time I seem to have spent in hospitals, you would assume that I had finely honed my dress etiquette skills. Not so!! I never quite manage to get the damn thing right! Take the first time I had my varicose veins stripped (yes, you read that right, the FIRST time. There are hundreds of veins in my legs with a deep longing to be varicose, who knew?!). I thought legs. Not knickers. Big mistake. Prior to the operation, I was taken to a side ward by the surgeon and his trusty sidekick, where they made me lie down on a bed and raise both legs in the air. They then proceeded to massage a leg each vigorously from ankle to groin, and, once satisfied with their labours, strapped a rubber garter around the top of each thigh.
All of which was surreal enough, but they then asked me to stand in front of them. It transpires the reason behind this exercise was to establish where the vein had ceased to work efficiently. So. I am wearing a nightdress and two rubber garters. And a THONG. I was in my thirties, they were fashionable okay?!
“Raise your nightdress, please.”
I did, to a demure mid-thigh.
“No, right up, we need to see all of your legs.”
There then followed an excruciatingly embarrassing three minutes while I posed in front of them, from every angle. All it required was some corny music, and a bearded man entering the room to fix the photocopier, and it would have passed quite easily for a low budget porn movie!! I coped in the way I always do in these situations. I giggled. Hysterically!
(Incidentally,the etiquette thing doesn’t always work the other way either. Sometimes the medical professionals get it wrong, too. After the birth of my first son, I required stitches, due to a nifty bit of scalpel work by the attending midwife. Enter surgeon, who, on taking a seat opposite the area to be attended, uttered these ne’er to be forgotten words. “Good God!! Who got you? ZORRO?!!)