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I went to the dermatologist (keep wanting to say "gynecologist") Wednesday and had him look me over. Had been meaning to go forever but as so often happens to me, by the time I'm actually standing in front of the man I can't remember what I was so worried about. So I stood there and stammered out something about moles, and how my parents both had things cut off and/or dug out. It's so hard to find my dignified self when I'm standing in front of someone I've never met wearing my underwear and a worn cotton hospital gown. (Well, they call it a "gown," but on me it's more like an apron.)
He shines an enormous ceiling light in my face and scans it for three seconds, then says, "Nah, you have good skin for a sunbather." I almost protest that I am not now nor have I ever been a sunbather, but I hold back. I would rather not explain that I get too much sun simply because I am too addled to think ahead.
The doctor has smooth and unblemished skin himself but also the sort of high-riding spare tire that suggests pastry-induced diabetes. Still, he is well-spoken and doesn't patronize me, even though on my information sheet I have listed my occupation as "Mom."
He spins me around and looks at my back and shoulders. "Ah, you're a freckler!" he announces with what sounds like delight. I suppose when you're a dermatologist, frecklers are good for business. Still, I find myself wondering how he failed to suss this out while looking at my face.
None of my moles are interesting enough to linger over, so we decide that all I need done is to have the annoying skin tags on my neck removed. "You can do that today?" I ask. No problem, he tells me. All he needs to do is snip them off. Everyone thinks freezing's the way to go, he explains, but it just takes too long. It'll be much easier to just cut them off. You'll see. And that is precisely what he commences to do. Snip, snip, snip, and it feels just exactly like what you would expect it to feel like, having someone cut off a bunch of moles with a pair of scissors. Yowp! Yowp! And all the while I'm thinking, I could have done this myself, at home! I wonder how much he's going to charge the insurance for this!
Worst of all is the minute cyst just below the inside corner of my eye, which he pops and drains with a tiny incision. You have to understand that I am the sort of person who flinches and jerks whenever Duff tries to take a splinter out of my foot or, heaven forbid, the kids attempt to cut my toenails. I let my friend Kiki wax my eyebrows about once a year because that's how often I can stand to have it done. Having Dr. Diabetes slice up my face sans anesthesia is just no fun at all, even if it is also, at the same time, really no big deal. Afterward I have all these little bloody spots everywhere, as if I have cut myself shaving. Shaving my neck, that is. And everything stings like kitten scratches.
In other news, my butt itches. Not the whole butt, mind you, just the bull's eye. I'm too refined to actually scratch it, so instead I find myself sitting down with unusual vigor and scooching around in my chair when nobody's looking. That makes me think of my old dog John Henry, who was afflicted, really, with an itchy butt. He was a boxer crossed with who-knows-what and he had that gorgeous boxer face, brown on brown, and every so often he'd get a wild look, where you could see the whites of his eyes, and he'd tear around the house or the yard in low-butt mode. It was hysterically funny.