Let’s Get A Pap Smear!
I’m ambivalent towards my vagina. It has its pros and cons, its ups and downs. It’s like Black Friday shopping in that way.
I don’t like periods, but I do like the sex stuff. I don’t like how high maintenance the ol’ fleshbag is, but I do like that I’ll never have to deal with the sensation of testicles swinging around down there (because mine would be ginormous, obviously). I give it a shrug on a scale of 1–10.
I started taking birth control pills when I was 18. I was two thirds of a virgin but struggled with periods through all my teenage years. They were erratic; I’d get one in February, then in May, then for fifteen days in June, then not until September for two days, then for another two weeks in January. My mom was the one who suggested I go to a gynecologist and sort that shit out since my uterus was on the fritz.
The gynecologist put me on Microgestin, a birth control pill, and it was pretty much smooth sailing from there. The only hassle since then is the regular gynecological exams.
I had one of them today, and this is exactly how it’s gone for the past six years. It’s a well rehearsed song and dance, and it is annoying. Then again, cervical cancer would be wayyyy more annoying.
I park at Kaiser and walk my ass over to the department. I text my boyfriend that I’m about to “show Kaiser I can put both legs behind my head.” This is a lie, and he knows it. I pat myself on the back for being a good girl and getting a regular checkup. Also I know my gyno will hold my pills if I don’t do it soooooo I’ve got no choice here.
I sign in at the desk. I resist the urge to say “I’m about to have my baby maker upgraded” and instead say “I’m here for an exam.” They take my money.
I sit in a waiting area with some nervous teens and preggo ladies. I catch someone squinting at my belly intently. I resist the urge to rub it and say “Little Mauricio and I are almost 17 months along.” I look down at my food baby and yawn.
Bitch, Is You Pregnant?
A nurse hands me a pee cup and asks if there’s a chance I could be pregnant. I smile and say no, I’m on the pill and just had my period a couple weeks ago. Also, my only partner is in Northern California and might as well be on the freakin’ moon.
I pee in it the cup anyway. I wonder what will happen to my pee after they test it. I like to think that instead of dumping it, they’ll harvest my DNA from it and make an Ellie cyborg. A robot who learns how to love…
Medical history time
My name is called. I follow a nurse to the back and she hands me a gown and puts me in a room. I take selfies with the educational vagina figurine and posters before the doctor comes in.
The doctor tells me my pee was negative for pregnancy. I resist the urge to blurt out “duh doi!”. Then she starts asking me the fun questions.
“How many sex partners do you have?”
There’s a pause and she looks up from the keyboard to give me this face:
She presses on. “For all kinds of sex, vaginal, oral-”
“Just the one.” I give her a pained grin, and realize the only way she might believe me (not that it matters) is if I launch into my wide-eyed eternal love spiel. “You see, my boyfriend and I have been together for a very long time, we’re high school sweethearts, and yes we’ve had our ups and downs, most recently a few months ago but long distance is hard you know, and it’s not like I went and boinked anyone when we were broken up, because I have this fun thing where I’m basically super emotionally unavailable, which I believe stems from growing up witnessing parents who stayed together for the kids, and I guess I’m a bit of an Aries sometimes, and-”
“Okay! One. One partner,” she writes, and I give scooch my butt lower on the seat so she can peek at my nethers.
Get all up in there
The doctor gets on up in there. The speculum is cold. I feel like I’m being handled with a pair of tongs, like a little piece of chicken. I start thinking about how odd the human body is. I’m really just a tube within a tube, a lil notochord drifting on a space rock toward an eternal abyss. Also I’m hungry.
Ow! She just swabbed some cells from my cervix and it hurt. Is this what a kick in the nuts is like? Oh my god, if that hurt, how will I ever handle a having a baby? Oh no, I’m freaking out. Shhh. I’m a notochord. I’m a notochord. I have bilateral symmetry. I have a dorsal hollow nerve chord!
Get on outta here kid
The doctor hands me a vaginal wipe and says something along the lines of “I’m outtie 5000” and leaves. I put my clothes back on, my cervix throbbing in like a not sexy way, and I go on down to the bathroom and wipe all the goddamn jelly off my snatch.
I go to the parking garage. Parking will be 12 dollars??!?!?! What the FUCK?
I go to the drive thru Burger King and order an obscene amount of french fries. I shovel them into my mouth on the way home. I’m a notochord.