Shoe leather is an acquired taste. I think I started acquiring it long before my brain had developed, and frankly, there is ample evidence to prove my brain has not fully developed even now at the tender age of "middle."
I realized I was tasting shoe leather again today at my post-op visit to the GYN. I love him dearly, I do. Best doctor I've ever had, and I've had my share. And one thing I dearly love is that he is the teaching type, which means that he doesn't mind answering questions. Lots of them. Borderline stupid ones. But it also means he always has a team of students there, too. In tight quarters. Wearing tight faces.
Well, when some folks are nervous, they wear no expression. Or they turn red. Others get the shakes. Some giggle, pass gas, or pass out.
Me? I put my foot in my mouth. I deal with nerves with comedy, and some things you just have to laugh at when life gets uncomfortable. Stand-up comedy is impossible at certain venues, like the ones where you're asked to please lie back. So the exam table was my stage for a few minutes of fame. Or infamy.
Unfortunately, I was absent during comedy class the day they taught "Consider Your Audience." I don't always consider every member in the "crowd" when I'm "on stage" like I was today as I scoochied on down for the doc. In a room the size of my minivan were: the good doctor himself, his RN/assistant, a resident (woman with the last name of Jacobs...I say this because it's part of the shoe-leather thing I'm about to tell you), and an Indian fellow whose last name unfortunately rhymes with a GYN instrument. (I knew I had to stop that image STAT before I made a complete fool of myself.)
So as I got into position I kept running my mouth. "This is kind of awkward," I said musically, looking my doctor squarely in the face, blocking out the others and speaking of them in third person. "I mean, I am so not used to having an audience for this type of thing. But...I guess if they hadn't wanted to see the show, they wouldn't have bought a ticket!"
They all laughed, too--Instrument Name Dude, assistant, and the gal named Jacobs whose name didn't register anywhere in my underdeveloped brain as possibly being Jewish-- because she was a tall bottle blonde. (I was, after all, at a Jewish hospital, but my doctor is Asian, the RN black, the med student Indian, and the patient--me!-- Protestant by choice.) So I kept on blabbing as a means of distracting myself from what was really the point of being there.
"I've got to thank you, Doctor, for the mean sedative you gave me before the real anesthesia. It was powerful good! I don't remember the O.R. at all. No bright lights, nothing. The last thing I remember is being wheeled down the hall on the gurney and seeing this Jewish man in a black jogging outfit, smiling down at me. I think he said "you'll be fine" or "you're mine" or something reassuring like that. Do you remember seeing him?"
The doctor chuckled and said, "No, I missed him."
"Well, you probably weren't the only one. I mean, I thought at the time he must be the Messiah-- and was I the only one in this Jewish hospital to recognize Him? Or maybe he was just my personal guardian angel."
The room busted up.
"Maybe so, maybe so," said the doctor, eyebrows raised, chuckling nervously. Then he answered my serious question related to my altered anatomy, told me he'd see me in a month, and they all left the room.
Then it hit me as I put my boots on. Oh. my. word, Zo. Did you just claim to have seen the Messiah at this hospital? In front of the medical student named Jacobs? Hello?? Well, maybe her name just sounds Jewish, and like my friend, Beth, she's really not Jewish and won't be offended. But why? Why couldn't you have just kept your mouth shut except to say something intelligent?