Oh god, I've become the sort of person who gives her blog posts titles from TS Eliot poems, have I? Apparently I have. I do apologize, but every time I've had to lie on one of those crinkly paper-covered chairs in a doctor's office, that line from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock has popped, unbidden, into my head. Blame the in-depth critical analysis of it I had to write for a foppish professor in 1999, if you must, but don't blame me. Well, you can blame me a little bit, but if you too are an English major, I hope you can at least have a little sympathy for this peculiar habit of spontaneously quoting poetry out of context. (Incidentally, it's also why I cannot eat a peach without reflexively questioning whether I can eat a peach. Amirite, English majors? Represent!)
I spent some time lying on a crinkly paper-covered chair in a doctor's office yesterday, in fact, having my earlobe sewn up. (I wasn't etherized, fortunately. Or maybe unfortunately? Is ether one of the fun drugs?) If you have been reading this website since the dark ages, you may be having some deja vu right now because one of the very first posts I ever wrote was about having my earlobe sewn up, which I'm pretty sure goes against all the advice they give in those blogging workshops about how to build an online readership. (Include gory pictures of your dismembered body parts! Watch your traffic go through the roof!)
Unfortunately, the hole I had re-punched through my ear in 2009—after having it sewn up in 2006; I took the six weeks they told me to wait before re-piercing it and turned it into three years, which wasn't so much restraint as it was laziness and procrastination—was starting to get a little stretched out. And when I say "a little stretched out" I actually mean that I almost had a nervous breakdown a few months ago when one of the diamond studs Sean had bought me for Christmas SLIPPED THROUGH THE HOLE, earring back still attached, and fell out of my ear. (To save you the full-on panic attack that may be starting in your chest right now—because it's certainly starting in mine—I'll tell you that I found the earring eventually, and all was fine. Well, all was fine apart from the fact that I had a big stretched-out hole in my ear that was threatening to rip again if I even looked at another earring.)
So I made an appointment with a dermatologist—FYI, if you're thinking of having this done yourself, the estimates I got from dermatologists were all about 40% cheaper than the estimates I got from plastic surgeons—and headed over to get it done. Here's the thing about being an adult that never ceases to amaze me: you just have to get shit done. I mean, do you even remember the point at which your mother stopped making—and accompanying you to—your doctor's appointments? Because that's the real hallmark of adulthood, I think, suddenly realizing that you're sitting in a doctor's waiting room by yourself.
Now, a very strange thing happened during my appointment, and it was this: the doctor seemed to think that I wasn't in the room. He talked constantly about me in the third person, even while he was two inches from my face, sewing up my ear with a little headlamp on his head. "She may have a nickel allergy," he said contemplatively at one point, and—a little later—"She'll need to make an appointment in six weeks to have it re-pierced."
Is that weird? It's kind of weird, right? I mean, I didn't want a hug from him or anything, and I get that everybody's bedside manner is a little different, but it would have been nice to have felt like more than just a body being sewn up on a table. Come on, at least give me some ether, dude!
(Still, it was better than last time, I guess. At least this doctor was actually conscious.)
Anyway, now I have a bandage on my ear, a purse full of tiny moisturizer samples—there was a bowl of them in the waiting room, so sue me—and a few hours before work tomorrow to come up with a cool story about why I have these awesome stitches in my ear. Dog bite? Baby bite? Van Gogh admiration gone horribly awry? I don't have stitches to show off very often, so I need to make these count.