Working at the bar was an amazing way to have crazy conversations with strangers. The other day at the doctor’s office gave me a little taste of what I’ve been missing.
Baby Bop’s doctor tells me,
“I’ve called in some labs. You can come in anytime. You can go to Weymouth or Braintree.”
“We’ll go to Weymouth, that’s closer.”
“Ok. Weymouth has one phlebotomist and Braintree has several.”
“We don’t mind waiting.”
“Well Braintree is great with kids and shouldn’t be too traumatizing.”
Ok. I get it. Baby Bop’s doctor is telling me in the most diplomatic way: DO NOT get Baby Bop’s blood drawn by the phlebotomist in Weymouth because whoever it is will stab her multiple times and scar her for life.
We head to Braintree. We toddle around the waiting room splitting our time between tapping on the fish tank and trying to tear up Golf Magazine. A woman with curly hair approaches us, points at Baby Bop and asks,
“Is her hair naturally curly or do you curl it?”
Who has time to curl a toddler’s hair? And what toddler would stand for that? “It’s natural.”
“She’s so lucky.”
“Your curls look great.”
“No. They’re not soft like hers.”
“She’s a baby.”
“I didn’t always have curly hair.”
“It started growing in curly when my period stopped a few years ago.”
What? Considering the social taboo about talking about periods in a normal voice, in public, with a stranger, I’m caught off guard. I’m about tell her my hair was straight until I got my period. She continues,
“All of a sudden it grew in short and curly. I got a few more periods, but then they stopped. You must still be getting yours.”
“It’s no good when it stops.”
I’ve sat through enough Winter car rides with my mom and the windows open to know it’s not comfortable for anyone.
The woman’s name is called or else we’d still be talking about her menopause transition.
A few minutes later Baby Bop is called. We walk past our new friend getting her blood drawn. Her moans are so loud that Baby Bop starts to whimper before the basket of stickers has a chance to emerge.
Baby Bop’s stranger anxiety is at its peak and she reaches full-throttle screaming long before the needle is inserted. The phlebotomist is great and we’re done before Baby Bop can catch her breath to resume screaming. I recommend going to Braintree.
On our way to the car two older women are taking tiny steps across the parking lot. One says to us,
“We’ll get there eventually.”
The other chimes in,
“Don’t get old!”
“I don’t like the alternative!” If only so I can see what happens to my hair when I stop getting my period.