A Most Awkward Social Situation.

As most of you know, I live in a pretty small town. Not tiny, but with only 70,000 people living here, you’re always running into people you know.

Trying to sneak a pint of Ben & Jerry’s into your strict, got-to-get-skinny-quick diet? You’re bound to run into your Weight Watchers meeting leader in the checkout line.

Call in to work with a sudden stomach illness so you can get some errands done? You’re sure to see your HR manager at Target.

Heck, I know someone who had to try and conduct a conversation with her boss…while in labor. Yes, labor.

After five years, you’d think I’d be used to this way of life by now. But discovering one of my new-found friends is my OB’s wife? Was more than this city girl could calmly handle.

But let me back up for a minute.

During NaNoWriMo, a small group of  moms from my Mom’s Group (including me, obviously), decided to get together for a write-in. It was held in a private home, and I arrived late. Horribly late. Why? Well because even with a smartphone leading the way, I can’t find my way out of a paper bag.

Anyway, my nerves were jangled by the time I got there,  and I was still feeling pretty discombobulated  when our hostess led me into her living room. Trying to get my bearings, I plopped myself down on the nearest soft surface and looked around. I took note of the comfy sofas. The end tables that I couldn’t help thinking would look great in  my own home. And the row of nicely framed pictures.

I looked once. Blinked. Then looked again.

Was that…? Yes. Yes it was. My gynecologist was grinning down at me.

I cleared my throat. “Wow, those are really great pictures. Is that your husband?” I asked in a squeaky voice.

“Yep,” she answered. “They’re our Christmas photos from last year.”

“Huh. They’re really…great,” I said. Inside, of course, my brain was screaming.

“You’re sitting  in your gynecologist’s house,” it said. “You’re chatting with the wife of a man who’s had his hand up your hoo-ha. Dude, he’s seen you naked!”

“I know, I know,” I said to my brain.” But it’s no big deal. He’s a doctor. To him, a body is a body is a body.”

“No. Nonononono, it’s not okay. I don’t know how to handle this!” it screamed.

“Calm down. We should just tell her, all casual like,” I said.

“What do you want to say? Hey your husband knows that my carpet and drapes don’t match?”

“Oh grow up, brain.”

“Just don’t say anything, okay? We’ll figure this out later.”

“Fine,” I sighed. “But shut up, alright?”

I got through the rest of the evening, feeling weird but enjoying the company of my fellow writers. Every once in a while, my brain would squeak, “naked!” or moan “vajayjay! ” but I just told it to hush and left without saying a word to my hostess.

The next day, I asked all my friends what I should do. Actually, mostly what I said was, “Is it weird, or is it just me?”

They agreed that yes, it was weird. But no one knew quite what to do.

A few days later, I gathered once again with a group of moms, this time cooking freezer meals. Conversation rambled from books to holidays to kids to an absent mom’s looming delivery.

“I wonder if my husband will deliver her baby,” my OB’s wife said. “If he does, I think she’ll be his first patient from the mom’s group.”

“Nope, he delivered mine,” I said loudly. “It was last year.”

In the sudden silence that overtook the kitchen my brain screamed, “Now what did you go and do that for, you idiot? Now they all know her husband’s seen your vajayjay”

“It’s vagina, you overgrown fourth-grader,” I answered. “And nobody cares.”

Sure enough, the moment passed. Conversation resumed. She was completely cool with it.  And I? Actually did feel much better about the whole thing.

Still, when I saw him in the flesh the other night at our writing group? There was still a little voice inside my head moaning “naked naked naked naked.”

But now that the first awkward non-doctor’s office meeting is over, it will all seem completely normal, right? Just lie to me, Internet. I don’t want to hear any answer other than yes.

28 Comments on A Most Awkward Social Situation.

  1. Rebecca
    January 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm (5 years ago)

    I worked in a preschool and one of the kids dads was (still is) a OBGYN. Anyway, I had meetings with him and didn’t know it and one day someone told me toward the end of the year and at that last parent teacher conference, I had trouble shaking his hand because all my brain was saying “His hand has probably been in several vagina’s today” and then I kept wondering if he was thinking about my vagina. (Not in a ‘hey she’s hot’ way, but in a quizzical ‘oohh there’s a vagina I haven’t checked out. doctor must check patient’) It was disturbing.

    • Amber
      January 20, 2011 at 8:59 am (5 years ago)

      Laughing. She promised me she’d write a post for me, so maybe we can clear some of this stuff up.

  2. Andi
    January 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm (5 years ago)

    The moment passed?! The moment passed?! Without her saying ANYTHING?

    I think if I was a wife of an OB, I would have a set of off-color, embarrasing things I would say to women who’s va-jay-jay my husband has seen.

    Like “When did he deliver your baby? Ohhhhh. . you must be the “doesn’t like cold hands” woman.” or “Weren’t you the one he prescribed Kegels to?”

    Which is probably why I’m the wife of an entertainment arena director instead of an OB.

    Seriously. Soooo awkward. And I love your inner voices. They make me giggle.

    • Amber
      January 20, 2011 at 8:58 am (5 years ago)

      She said something, but whatever it was was very ordinary and calming. She tries hard to be normal about all that stuff. I’d be the same way – which is probably why I’m also not married to anyone who does anything serious for a living. It’d be better to be the wife of a cardiac surgeon. Then you could be all like, “dude, he said your veins are coated with deep fryer oil. You need to lay off the McD’s…”

  3. Elona
    January 19, 2011 at 11:11 pm (5 years ago)

    I used to fit my previous gyno with his eyeglasses.
    During the exam he’d ask me rather pointed questions.
    “Should I have to tilt my head up this way *he demonstrates* while wearing my progressives?” he’d question.

    I finally had to tell him that I couldn’t really think clearly about his glasses when a speculum was still very firmly involved.

    I’m sorry but stirrups and optical questions don’t mix.
    And don’t forget you’ve kind of had SOME experience with this sort of awkwardness before. Remember Antoshka’s dad was a gyno and I still can picture him going on about it while pissed on vodka on the train.

    • Amber
      January 20, 2011 at 8:56 am (5 years ago)

      Hmmm. Yeah, that crosses the line. No talking about your glasses when you’re looking at certain, ummm, parts. I’d forgotten about his dad, but since it didn’t effect me personally, it never bothered me much. At that point, I still wasn’t sure anyone would ever date me, never mind, well, you know.

  4. Alexandra
    January 20, 2011 at 12:21 am (5 years ago)

    Oh, goodness…you call 70,000 a small town? Try just under 10,000.

    Oh, yes, the awkwardness…x100 times a day.

    • Amber
      January 20, 2011 at 8:55 am (5 years ago)

      10,000? Gack. I think I’d quickly become known as the Queen of Social Awkwardness. But I’m sure they all love you. How could they not?

      • Megan (Best of Fates)
        January 21, 2011 at 10:39 am (5 years ago)

        Is it a sign you live in a well populated area if you have absolutely no idea how many people live around you? ‘Cause I’m kinda impressed you two both know your stats!

        • Amber
          January 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm (5 years ago)

          Yep, if there are people everywhere you look, you don’t care. But when you find you’re surrounded by corn fields? You want to know exactly how many people are between you and utter oblivion.

  5. Allison
    January 20, 2011 at 12:45 am (5 years ago)

    Don’t fret, Amber! I went to Aegis, too, when I was pregnant with Gabe. I ended up getting delivered by Dr. Trippell, the luck of the draw!

    • Amber
      January 20, 2011 at 8:54 am (5 years ago)

      Oh, I’m done fretting. Still giggling though. It’s just one of those things you’d most likely never have to deal with in a bigger city.

  6. Las Vegas Mama
    January 20, 2011 at 1:30 am (5 years ago)

    BAHAHHAHA That is the funniest thing I have heard all day!!! LOL LOL LOL!! wow. love the convo with your brain, awesome!! It is totally strange, but I guess just roll with the punches! Maybe its one of those things where everyone knows its weird but no one says anything. and it just stays weird forever lol..

    • Amber
      January 20, 2011 at 8:53 am (5 years ago)

      Yeah, it’s just one of those things. It makes me giggle, so I figured it’d give everybody else a laugh too.

  7. Lady Jennie
    January 20, 2011 at 4:42 am (5 years ago)

    Yes I do think it will be normal after the first visit.

    But still – AWKward.

    • Amber
      January 20, 2011 at 8:52 am (5 years ago)

      Yep. Makes for a good story though, doesn’t it?

  8. Jen
    January 20, 2011 at 9:39 am (5 years ago)

    That was hysterical. Being a nurse and having seen many returning patients, I know both side of this coin.

    • Amber
      January 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you. I decided it was time to lighten things up around here. There’s only so much of my own whining I can stand.

  9. Meagan
    January 20, 2011 at 9:55 am (5 years ago)

    Have you read her blog? I don’t think it fazed her. You can ask, but my guess is the more awkward moment for her was when she was pregnant and he examined her.

    • Amber
      January 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm (5 years ago)

      We’ve talked about it, so I know it didn’t faze her. And I’m really fine with it. But it’s still giggle-worthy.

  10. Amanda
    January 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm (5 years ago)

    Okay, I just had to weigh in, because this is all too funny–and I happen to be the OB/Gyne’s wife in question. :)
    Thank you, Amber, for your side of it! I’ll definitely put together a blog post for you and say a little more about my own thoughts, but I think you’re fairly correct about what I probably said at the freezer meals night. Actually, I honestly don’t remember our conversation. It’s been a while, and I have mommy brain, of course. 😉 I’ve noticed, though, that having moved to a “smaller city” and being a co-organizer of a very large moms’ group in town, I’ve started making a lot of friends who just also happen to be my husband’s patients. It helps that his practice sponsors our group now, and that it also happens to be one of the larger practices in town. I guess I never thought about it occurring after having lived in a much larger city for a few years during his residency. Honestly, though, it doesn’t faze me, and my mind doesn’t really go where people think it might go. I’m getting quite used to it. Meagan was right–the most awkwardness I’ve had with my husband’s job was when I was pregnant and happened to become one of his patients. I mean, walking into his personal office to say hi for a few minutes before seeing him in the actual exam room, and then, having him walk in and check me? That being said, our “what’s going on with you today?” conversations were always very quick. :)
    (BTW, I haven’t listed my blog because it’s been a while since I wrote there, but I may just have to start it up, again. You’ve given me some excellent ideas.)

    • Amanda
      January 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm (5 years ago)

      And, just to clarify–I never know another woman is his patient until I mention him in conversation, and the woman comes right out and says, “Oh, I go to that office. I’ve seen him before,” or something like that. HIPAA and all…he might tell me how his day went at the office, but he can never name names, of course, and everything is always very general (“I had to do a C-section” or “That hysterectomy took a while” or whatever). But, I have to admit to being pretty proud of him and his work, so when I meet someone new, I tend to bring up the fact of why we’re in town in the first place (because of his job), and it usually leads to the inevitable conversation of the other person knowing him. And, then, if I haven’t seen that person in a while, I usually just forget about it. :)

    • Amber
      January 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm (5 years ago)

      Well, if and when you’re ready to get that blog going again, let me know. I’d be happy to pimp you out!

  11. Janet
    January 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm (5 years ago)

    I live in a pretty small town too, and last year I went to a fundraising event and lo and behold, was seated next to my gynecologist! She didn’t act like she knew me at all (and maybe she didn’t, fully clothed and sitting upright!) but I felt awkward the whole evening.

    • Amber
      January 23, 2011 at 9:00 am (5 years ago)

      Oof. That would be tough. That traditional ice breaker “so what do you do” is definitely out…

  12. Marci Winters
    December 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm (4 years ago)

    Laughing. It’d be better to be the wife of a cardiac surgeon. You want to know exactly how many people are between you and utter oblivion. Try just under 10,000.

    • Amber
      December 11, 2011 at 9:32 am (4 years ago)

      Much less awkward, at any rate. Cardiac surgeons are amazing people, no doubt about it.


1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on A Most Awkward Social Situation.

  1. […] last week, when I regaled you all with the embarrassing tale of discovering I was sitting in my gynecologist’s house? Well, his lovely wife (and my writing buddy) agreed to post today to tell her side of the story. […]

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