Mammogram Machines

I forgot to bring the form from my doctor to the lab.

They say I can’t put my boobs inside the machine without the form. So now I have to wait. Ugh. Too many things to remember in the 21st Century. Why can’t I download the form from my brain? Isn’t my mobile phone my outsourced memory?

So annoying! But I don’t get as annoyed as usual. I sit. I wait. I keep my chi.

I call. Calmly.

“Hello. You have reached Every Woman Wellness. We are at lunch from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.”

Dang. The whole office is at lunch for 90 minutes? Maybe they’re all doing hot yoga. I guess I have to wait.

1:31pm: I call. I call 12 times. No answer. What kind of doctor’s office doesn’t answer the phone? I should have known they weren’t professionals when I heard them talking about turds in the toilet – very loudly – at the front desk. So unprofessional. But who am I to judge? I’m sleeping on a mattress on a floor in my early 40s. I am GenX. The generation that didn’t sell out. Pft.

2:00pm: The whole doctor’s office has been at lunch for two hours? For real? OMG. My forehead is folding itself into a permanent crease. My chi is diminishing. Femmebot 3.0 is rising up from my belly into a hot spot in between my eyes.

EXPLOSION. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKkkkkkkk!!!! Fuck the healthcare system. Fuck breast cancer and lumps and aging. Fuck these stupid forms. Fuck this stupid doctor who doesn’t answer her pinche phone in the middle of the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fuck life and these stupid boring moments. Life is stupid and boring. Mother fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck —

“Femmebot? Femmebot 8.0? You can go to the back now.”


“Go,” she winks from behind the desk. “I put in a verbal confirmation. Go.”

Oh. Um. OK.

They tell me to take everything off on top and wrap a robe around my waist. Why am I so stressed? It’s my first mammogram. It’s all linked to breast cancer and lumps and aging. I’m so depressed. I would like to watch that second to last episode of unReal again. The one where the director Quinn has the most epic tantrum after she finds out she can’t have babies. Why do I relate so much to her tantrum? Is she showing me who I am? Will I be 47 and successfully running The Femmebots and regretting not having actually real babies with my precious DNA?

OMG, nipple stickers? No one ever told me about nipple stickers. This is so the doctor can tell which part of my boob is nipple. Ow. This machine is flattening my boob into a pancake. My boob does not go that way. Who the fuck invented this stupid machine??? My sister told me it would be like this. With all the women working in healthcare, we haven’t come up with a more female friendly way to check boobs for lumps? Seriously? Fuck men and their stupid inventions and their – OW!

“Sorry. So sorry,” says the nurse. She’s actually quite empathetic. Usually these people are not empathetic. You are just another body. Another robot. Another Femmebot.

“It’s not that bad,” I say. It really isn’t. If my boobs were bigger or smaller, though, I imagine this whole process would be excrutiating.

She sends me back to the waiting room where me  and a Caribbean lady watch Harry Connick Jr make an egregiously sugary sundae.

“I don’t eat sweets,” she says with a Caribbean bounce in her accent. “I love salty. I can eat a whole box of crackers.”

“Well, Americans can eat two of those sundaes and blame everyone else for being fat.”

We both laugh.

Another lady calls my name for a boobie ultrasound. I’ve never had an ultrasound. Because I’ve never been pregnant. She squeezes warm gel onto my boobs.

“Woah. Very dense,” she says.

“If they’re not dense, do they sag? Mine stand up on their own.”

“Well, I don’t know anything about them standing up – some are dense. Some are fatty.”

“But mine are still standing,” I say proudly. Why am I proud of this? Who cares? Oh yeah, men care. Men like firm boobies. If they’re still standing, they’re still desirable. OMG, I’m so pathetic.

She pushes the machine thingy around my chest for about 5 more minutes. And then I’m done. So much stress and anxiety over something so small. Why? Is it because the women in my family don’t talk about these things? Or maybe I am not asking the women in my family enough questions? Breasts are such an important part of our identity, and yet this moment is so underground. I mad texted everyone in my phone while I waited, not knowing how anxious and scared I was. I do that. I disconnect from my emotions and just act on some unconscious programming. That’s what Femmebots do.

One of the people I texted was Prince White Rice. I knew he was in meetings all day, but I felt obliged to somehow share this moment with him. In my new programming, I had this desire for him to feel as scared and as anxious and as uncomfortable as I did.  Apparently I’ve become the kind of Femmebot where you can’t be my partner unless you feel exactly the way I feel all the time. God forbid you have your own feelings and thoughts and experiences. It wasn’t always that way. With James Bond, I never expected him to empathize with me. He’s James Bond, for crying out loud. James Bond does not empathize. He takes you on adventures and lets you sort out your own feelings for yourself. I miss that in a way. This whole sharing feelings with a man thing is unnatural. Men aren’t supposed to care or empathize. They should stink in a way that is manly and sexual and swallow you whole until you explode and then go away.

But I guess partnership is about being there for someone thru these stressful times. This is why men stay in the birthing room these days. Feminism requires this, otherwise it’s too easy for men to disconnect and never understand what it means to be a girl in the world.