Musings near Valentine’s Day, now that it’s far from timely

Friday, February 12, 2016. 10:35 a.m.

The planets aligned: Not only did I have health insurance again, but I finally got off my ass and scheduled a doctor’s appointment. My last lady exam was over a year and a half ago, so I decided to get the ol’ cash n prizes inspected; ya know, make sure the last visitor didn’t make a mess of the place. (Isn’t my gentility becoming?)

The nurse practitioner was a nice middle-aged woman named Lynn. She wore a yellow gold wedding band, and her natural nails matched her wispy hair in a brittle but appealing way that reminded me of my mother. She had a daughter about my age. We talked about my medical history, what the heck I was doing in central PA, and anodyne topics such as the weather and… the differences between the weather in PA and FLA.

As always happens (at least with me), the conversation took a slightly forced, slightly awkward turn when she began her examination. I know, I know, I’m an adult. Breaching the nethers is just part of the gig, like a toll you pay for having sex. I suppose I’ve become a bit prudish as my twenties fade from view.

You’d think that I’d blush at the breast examination, the pap smear, or when she shoved half a hand up there to check my ovaries. Nope… I wasn’t exactly elated at the intrusions, but I projected demur stoicism as best I could. Instead, I was caught off guard at the very beginning, during the innocuous hunt for anomalies in my lymph nodes.

She placed her hands on my neck and started massaging, gently poking around. Despite myself, I closed my eyes, leaned into it, and nearly let out an audible sigh. Funny how electric touch can be, how instantaneously it elicits a response, whether positive, negative, or just murkily confusing.

I had not been touched in such a familiar way in a while. I guess I was craving contact. Any contact, to keep the northeastern winter’s chill at bay. Perhaps the intimate doctor-patient relationship, bolstered by the sharing of an occasionally dubious medical history, encouraged honesty, in all its manifestations…

Whatever the reason, my visceral, unabashed reaction startled me. I hid my… discomfort? Confusion? Shame? As best I could, folding it into the accepted embarrassment accompanying a gynecological exam. The nurse didn’t seem to notice; if she did, her medical professionalism held sway. Kudos, Lynn.

When she finished, I was deemed rose-cheeked and healthy. I started to giggle as I walked to my car, joking to myself that that was the most action I’d see for Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, November 7, 2016, 1:51 p.m.

I turned 30 in March, a couple weeks after this interaction and the birth of the post attempting to document it. The time period that followed wrought the healthiest romantic relationship I have ever experienced, untold professional development and success, and the slaying of a chunk of financial debt.

I look back at this unfinished post, review this blog I abandoned for nearly a year, and as I start typing again I see comforting stasis, and necessary change. I still treat this as a place to foster creativity, to explore the nuances of my daily interactions, and to clear the clutter of my mind. I no longer treat this place as a dumping grounds for my negativity. I’m trying for something more productive.

I don’t know how often I will write. Likely only when the mood strikes. For now, I just wanted to share that story with you, to reminisce on the absurd amusement I occasionally get out of commonplace exchange.

Current Jam: “Send my love (to your new lover)” Adele