Thursday, February 14, 2008

Let Me Call You Sweetart...

Being female, for most of my life, people who didn't know me addressed me as "Miss!" I was well beyond my 50th birthday before "Miss" began to be replaced with any regularity by the dreaded "Ma'am". Just as I was beginning to get used to "Ma'am", though, another appellation has begun to be applied, and it's one that I like even less than "Ma'am"...for the life of me, I don't know WHY, but I've begun to be addressed by strangers as "Sweetie". I LOATHE this appellation. I assure you, I am NO Sweetie. Among my friends, I'm known for my tart tongue, and a good friend once said I reminded him of a cactus: he said I was prickly on the outside, required the sparsest sustenance, and bloomed, quite unexpectedly, at odd times. I still think that's a wonderful compliment, and I still think it's quite apt.

So imagine my chagrin when I went for a doctor's visit a couple of weeks ago and the regular nurse, a 60-something who's been around the block a few times, and who knows me and addresses me by my name, wasn't there, but the 30-something substitute filling in for her addressed me as "Sweetie". As in,

"OK, Sweetie, sit up here on the table, this won't hurt a bit..."
"Oh, Sweetie, your blood pressure is VERY good, VERY good..."

"How good?"
I asked.

"Sweetie, it's VERY good," she repeated, as if I were an imbecile.


I sat there thinking, "Dammit, I have co-authored a chapter in a med school textbook; do NOT "Sweetie" me!" But I was nice to her; I didn't say anything.

My liver enzymes are funky, and have been for some time, so my doctor is methodically ordering tests to rule out various disorders. She started, quite reasonably, with a blood test for hepatitis, which I do not have. Next, she suggested a sonogram of my liver. The insurance company required that I pre-register for the procedure. "What procedure will be performed?" and "Why was this procedure ordered?" were two of the questions I was required to answer as part of the pre-registration process. I had no problem answering those questions, but I did wonder if the average bear is prepared to answer them.

This morning I went to the hospital to have the sonogram. Going to the hospital as an outpatient is pretty much like going to Chili's, except that there is no mouth-watering smell of grilled onions and fajitas as you wait; but I was given the same sort of paging device and told to wait until it went off, which I did. Eventually, I was directed to the "Imaging" area of the hospital: a rather shabby, dark, warm corridor, at the end of which was a room, outside of which stood a nice young woman, perhaps 25, the sonogram technician. She smiled at me and said,

"Hello Sweetie! Come on in..."

I complied, and she said, "Now Sweetie, tell me why you're here today...what am I going to do, and why am I going to do it?

She looked at me expectantly, and I smiled brightly...and came oh so close to saying, "Why, I want to find out the sex of my baby, of course!"

Happy Valentine's Day.


TJ said...

I hope you get a "normal" for the sonogram. Mine was a tad off and it turned out to be my gallbladder which is now gone and I can not believe the difference.
I am crossing fingers and toes for news.
Laughing...I had this one women on my Styling Staff the insisted on calling everyone baby or sweetie! I made a jar she had to pay into to help her become more aware of this totally annoying habit.
Happy valentines day and even better yet...Happy Day Off!
Love TJ

Lippy said...

Oh I am so glad to have caught up with your blog again. I think it's ok to BE a sweetie, but not called a SWEETIE!

Well sometimes I guess :)

Chris said...

You would HATE my doctor's office then. Then again, it's old south around here.

Have a good week.....SWEETIE :)

(Sorry, couldn't resist!)

Chris said...

Oh yeah, did you tip the sonogram tech %20 or %15? :)

Lisa :-] said...

Yeah...this seems to be the new thing. Or they call you "hon." I am not your hon and I am not your sweetie! Bleah

Liquid said...

he he he.

I'll bet you are a sweet cactus though!