Sunday, September 13, 2009
So this morning, I went to my usual Saturday acupuncture appointment. On this day, the owner was covering for the acupuncturist that normally works.
I should explain that I go to a community acupuncture clinic. This means that instead of having individual treatment rooms, clients are treated in common rooms using distal points. This requires that you remove your shoes and socks, roll up your sleeves past your elbows, and your pant legs above your knees. Occasionally, if I'm having an LH surge, they will have me discreetly unbutton my pants and put a series of needles in my abdomen. In an effort to maintain privacy/dignity/(and in my case self respect), those needles are then covered with a light silk scarf. Today, my appointment went as usual and did not contain any points in my abdomen.
A short time after I settled in, another client came in and joined me in my room. This particular room can accommodate 4 patients since it has 4 recliner chairs. So, Cris is talking with the newest person to join the room and working on putting her needles in. The wispy new age naturey music is playing in the background. The white nosie machine is whirring quitely behind me. Suddenly (and rather abruptley, I dare say) someone enters the office kramer style. She walks past the curtain, then back to the door, and back past the curtain again into the check in room and says rather loudly "excuse me". So, I'm thinking this lady is clearly new or she is in not in the right place. Most people enter the office slowly and quietly, taking care to close the door softly behind them. Her entrance was none of these things.
A few minutes go by and I sort of forget about her. I continue to look at the framed photographs on the walls and try to give the illusion of privacy to the other woman being treated next to me. Due to the fact that I snore like a 747 at take off, I refuse to take a nap during my treatments. Too risky. Too embarrassing. So, I try to be respectful (and not creepily gawk at others) if there are other people in the room with me. So, Kramer Lady exits the check in area and is headed straight for my treatment area. I notice something about her is kind of... off.. but I'm trying not to look (although at this point I kind of can't help it). She appears, out of the corner of my straining eye, to be sort of I dunno, lumbering? Her head is kind of... forward, shoulders hunched... kind of reminds of me of the hyenas from the Lion King. She was definitely looking kind of wild eyed. Mostly when I think back, I remember her eyes... and also her nostrils were prominent.
So, she REALLY looks at each of us as she comes in the room. She inspects the chair directly across from me, pauses, and decides to pass it over for the one diagonally from me. She, I notice, is carrying a purse, keys, and what appears to be a white t-shirt. She places these items on the floor next to her chosen recliner. What happens next, I swear on my father's grave, is the Goddess' honest truth. She turns to face me and takes off her sweat shirt. For a moment, I'm like "oops, her other shirt is stuck inside the sweat shirt. Wow, she mustn't have any feeling on her back... HOLY SWEET JESUS SHE'S NAKED." For just a moment longer, I'm thinking that this poor woman is suddenly going to be living one of those naked-on-the-first-day-of-school dreams -- that is... until she just sits down. Bold as ever, with her SHEER white lace bra, she sits. She does not cover herself self consciously with her arms. She does not casually fold her arms in front of her. She just places her arms on the armrest of the chairs and sits casually. Meanwhile, Cris and the receptionist are in the process of leaving the room. I was unable to determine if either one of them noticed this happening as it was taking place. Just before I slammed my eyes closed, I did notice that her nipples were in fact visible.
By this point, I'm am desperately trying to think of anything else because I'M ABOUT TO LOSE MY FUCKING SHIT. I'm biting my lip as hard as I can and grinning, I'm sure from ear to ear. Inside my brain, I start reciting the alphabet as quickly as I can BACKWARDS to msyelf. I say this about 6 times and it just keeps getting easier. I'm still barely keeping the bursts of laughter from escaping my lips. My eyes are closed, but i am certain that there is nothing relaxed looking about them. They are clenched so tightly that I'm surprised I didn't pop my eyeballs. So, I'm like "shit! this alphabet shit is not working. Think sad thoughts. Dad! Dad dying... trying to picture the horrible last few days of his illness, oddly this makes things worse because I can't stay focused. My brain rushes forward with the thought that if my dad WERE here he'd be fucking busting a nut laughing. This makes me start tearing from witheld laughter. " Dudes, I was so dying. For 20 minutes I sat like this. As soon as the last needle was out, I threw my socks and shoes on and I rocketed out the door. I finally reached the car and I did not stop laughing for the 20 minutes that it took me to drive home. I called H and I cried through telling her the story. I was in the kind of laughter hysteria that normally is reserved for 3am. It was a bad scene.
The several people that I have relayed this story to, have tried to sort of come up wtih an excuse for why this might have happened. I cannot imagine how this could happen... unless it was on purpose. It was all very surreal. Like, I was thinking, "maybe I should open my eyes and look for the camera. Maybe I'm on candid camera (thank god today is not a belly needle day!)" My mom offered that perhaps "she wasn't really sure what to do?" H suggested that maybe she had shoulder trouble and maybe didn't own a tank top. To this I say, if you're in a new situation and you're not sure what you should be doing? Do you just whip your shirt off? It'd be like walking into an allergist office for the first time, not knowing what to expect, and taking your shirt off, then calmly sitting amongst the other people in the waiting room. I'm sorry, but when in an unknown situation, my first instinct is to leave my clothes on. ALL OF THEM. Also. Everyone else in the room was clothed. Aside from shirt sleeves, everything was fully buttoned. I cannot imagine what about that room (or the people in it) said NAKED to her.
After what seemed like an eternity, the owner came back into the room. I still had my eyes clenched tightly closed, and I hear her say "Can you put your shirt back on?" I'm still not sure how I survived that. Nor am I sure how Cris managed to say that with a straight face and how she managed to not laugh. I do applaud her professionalism. I'm not sure that I could've pulled it off. I do wish however, that I could've seen her face when she first noticed that the lady was nekkid.
The second best part... while I was sitting there after the Nekkid Kramer Lady had her needles in, I felt someone staring at me. So, I open my eyes and she was STARING AT ME. And I actually kind of jumped because I totally met her eye when I opened mine. How unnerving. Did someone pay her to come in there and do that?
Maybe I was just giddy, but this lady just seemed WEIRD. I could see maybe if the rooms were private or if there was no one else in there to start with that MAYBE it would seem the right thing to do? Or even maybe if she was getting that cleansing back treatment thingy, that would actually make sense. But I'm thinking... at least wear an opaque bra. Would she have done the same thing if there were men in the room? I dunno. The whole thing just really struck my funny bone. Is it me? I'm not bashful, but I also wouldn't take my clothes off in a room full of strangers.