My family tells me I attract weird people. In my defense, it’s not that I attract them as friends; it is more that they feel the need to tell me their life stories within the first few minutes of meeting me. For example, I had a doctor’s appointment last week, and I was sitting in the surprisingly empty waiting room when a woman, who I estimated to be about 30, came in and took a seat across from me. She fidgeted with her phone for a bit and then looked up with a bored look on her face and started to converse. After a few “normal” pleasantries, she asked,
“What are you in for?”
So, I peered up from the three-week old People magazine I was reading and said politely, “Just a follow up, no biggie.”
And then stupid me asked, “And you?”
This was her response; I kid you not.
“I have an infection from a piercing.”
Immediately, I looked to her ear. Stupid, stupid me. She saw me looking and said, “Not there – lower.”
I didn’t know where to look. My first thoughts went to her breasts, but I really didn’t want to focus there. My daughter has her belly button pierced, so I thought perhaps hers was pierced as well and that was the site of the problem, but before I could inquire about that, she whispered, “My vagina.”
I’m pretty sure I didn’t hide my shock; I couldn’t. First of all, the very thought of voluntarily getting that pierced was frightening beyond belief and secondly, the fact that it got infected because of that piercing brought me to near dry heaves. Before I could compose myself, the pierced woman told me her saga.
She got this piercing because of a boyfriend long ago. She likes it because the piercing there is a sign of sexual prowess plus it increases sensitivity during– well, you know. And she said, that women who get this piercing, do so as a symbol to tell the world that they enjoy a lot of– well, you know. But unfortunately, during one of her engagements with one of her recent partners, she contracted an infection that required mega amounts of antibiotics. For the record, my jaw had dropped to the floor by now and was pretty much stuck there. All I could manage to say to this revelation was,
“Uh huh. Well, that’s really interesting. Should you be telling me this?”
“Oh sure, We are women, we know what that is about – right?”
I felt dumb because I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t know what that was about. Did she think I had a piercing there? Why would she think that? I didn’t even have on earrings that day. What would make her think I sported bling elsewhere? Did I look like someone that had her hoo-ha pierced? I don’t mean to sound judgmental, but I don’t think middle- aged, freelance writers/ homemakers get those piercings. To be honest, I have a tough enough time at the gynecologist, so the thought of showing my stuff to some piercing person just appalled me. I mean, they don’t do this kind of work at the Piercing Pagoda kiosk at the mall, right?
Anyway, I think she took the stunned look on my face as a look of curiosity and insisted on telling me more. I started to tune her out on partner number 4, and focused instead on the Purell dispenser on the wall on the opposite side of the waiting room and made a mental note to bathe in the disinfectant before going back to see the doctor.
Finally, a nurse came in and called the infected pierced woman back to an exam room. I was never so elated to get away from anyone in my life. I knew more about this woman’s sex life than I knew about my own. When I got out of my appointment, I texted my daughter and said,
“Please, promise me you will never get your vagina pierced.”
“Ok. Should I ask why? Never mind. It’s not my style– don’t worry,” was her response.
Inside of me a loud “PHEW!” resounded.
Anyway, I will try not to be judgmental on this and say “To each her own.” I guess some people are happy to keep private things under wraps and others just like to show it off to the world. That is their right, but still, I have to admit that it gives me the heebie jeebies.