Upstairs Downstairs

Patra Ni Pussy with Berry Pulao.

I just got back from having a smear test.

My first smear test. Doesn’t that sound like a possible children’s lit book?

“Dear Judy Bloom, please write something about smear tests. Thank you.”

In fact my first visit to anyone who would be fiddling in my downstairs department for medical reasons.

I had procrastinated for 2 years since I got the first GP’s letter to visit my local women’s drop in.

They followed up that letter with another one gently reminding me.

Another one after that reminding me about the reminder.

Then I received a surprisingly stroppy letter, written in the tone of one clearly annoyed, telling me if I didn’t want to come in for a smear test then fine! It’s totally OK! No, really it’s just fine. See if they cared. Like whatevs!

So I finally went, and while waiting for my name to be called up, I mentally play out various scenarios:

1. I would end up waiting for hours.

Eventually I’d have to book another appointment, which probably wouldn’t happen because it took this long to get around to doing it at all.

2. What if I walked into the room and it was a male nurse/doctor?

I’d have to refuse to go, or ask for a female and that might be awkward or embarrassing. Maybe they wouldn’t have one and I’d have to come back another day. I’d probably not end up coming back because I’d be too lazy and also because I feel guilty asking for time off work and so I’ll probably just DIE OF CANCER.

3. It will be painful and unpleasant.

Some medieval torture device, cold and metallic, would be used. It’ll probably be rusty, the end will have a nail on it, the nurse will have a mallet.

4. I’d be humiliated in some mysterious unforeseen way that can only happen when your hoochie is exposed to some stranger.

I remember debating issue no. 2 ages ago with various bawas at some navjyote at the Colaba baag. (The usual one. If you’re a bawa you’ve been there loads of times. The kids drink Duke’s Raspberry and play cops and robbers. The adults just drink.)

My stance was that practicing gynies shouldn’t be allowed to be male. It was my belief that most people make the decision of what career and field they want to get into at around puberty. Men have been scientifically proven to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about sex and looking at crotches. (Scientific proof exists apparently, which I don’t have references for because I just don’t care enough. I have the emails of various PhDs and academics though. You can ask them. They love referencing shit).

Ergo (How do you like that? Yes bitches I said ergo. Stick it.) Ergo, I doubted that a pubescent boy would have anything other than sex on his mind while choosing this particular profession.

A part of me, does still believe that male gynecologists are a little dirty, even though I’ve grown to appreciate that looking at thousands of coochies might eventually pall even the most resilient letch.

To illustrate my point at the time, I pointed out some various cases of pervert gynecologists who had recently featured in the media.

This entire discussion was very loudly and passionately volleyed across the long tables while we were all eating our patra. There were a couple of lady doctors also debating this, one of them actually was a gynecologist.

My mothers two cents were

“Well I’ve always found that male gynecologists are more gentle…”

This only confirmed my view, (and so I told my mother triumphantly),

“Haan exactly! That was because they were getting in a good feel.”

Eventually the servers brought around the ice cream and all the patra ni pussy chat was abandoned.

G. (aka ‘Sexy Cow’, a boy who was in my school) once told me, as we were sitting in our tuitions class, that one day he might become a gynecologist (like his dad). I told him only perverts were male gynecologists.

He delivers babies now, so I immediately called him out on being a MAJOR pervert. Then I asked him to take me to an autopsy. He said he would. Nice guy that Sexy Cow, but I still wouldn’t want him mucking about in my va-jay-jay. (I’m trying to use as many words for vagina in this post as I can. Can you tell?)

Anyway, cut back to today, turns out I had worried for nothing. None of these scenarios occurred.

I waited for less than 5 mins before they called my name.

As I approached the door I prepared myself for scenario no. 2. (Man nurse/doctor)

Instead a big matronly nurse with a nice Scottish accent opened the door (or was it Irish? One of those comfy accents. I can’t tell for sure) who had an excellent, brisk, bedside manner.

“Goodness me!. You’re very late aren’t you? Now, why are you so late for your check up?”

“I’m scared.”

“No need to be scared at all now. It wont hurt a bit….but then I bet you’re thinking that’s all very well for me to say.”

But she was quite right. It didn’t and was over in a jiffy.

I wish all nurses were like that nurse.

She was very Enid Blyton. That’s a high compliment.

If you don’t know what it means, I cannot possibly explain.

I hope I don’t have cancer.


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