I went to the doctor today. I was talking to some friends once about visiting the doctor, and one of them made a joke about how you always lie when the doctor asks how much you drink. I asked if people actually do this, and it subsequently became clear that most people significantly underestimate the extent to which they indulge in various vices in their intake questions.
I never have! I’ve gone through periods of drinking way too much, and I always just…said how much I was drinking. I did the same when I smoked, and I’m also honest about my (completely shitty) diet. It never even occurred to me to lie about it; they’re the doctor so they should know what bad behaviors of mine they need to be adjusting for in screening for whatever I’m doing to myself or whatever. And I’ve never felt embarrassed about it because it’s a clinical setting.
I’ve also mostly seen male gynecologists. Again, it simply never occurred to me to be embarrassed or weirded out by this. But all my girlfriends think this is bonkers.
It’s not that I’m hard to embarrass generally; I wish that were the case! I’ve spent most of my life in a fog of utter humiliation, and I feel great shame about any number of things. But it’s never occurred to me to be embarrassed about anything that happens at the doctor — it’s not like I have an ongoing relationship with my medical providers or encounter them in social settings. You go into a sterile office once a year and sure, they look at your bits, but they don’t register them. It’s like taking a dump in front of a dog — there’s just no meaning attached to it that would cause it to be embarrassing.
There are so many of these things where I’m just out of step with what everyone else is doing without even realizing it. Like, I had no idea that other people peed in the shower until I was like 30 and a group of girlfriends started talking about it and they all did. It blew my mind! Why would anyone do this? Why is it semi-acceptable to people to just randomly stop being continent in only this one setting? It was like suddenly finding out that everyone but you actually wears a diaper on the bus and just pees in it. Do you all? Maybe you do, I wouldn’t know! I know Sonja Morgan does.