01 April 2009

Two nuns walked into a bar

Yesterday I went for a pelvic exam and I'm pretty sure the gynecologist hit on me. I know that sounds like an April Fool's joke but this isn't something I find funny, and even though I talked it through with Bruce and we agreed that I might have misinterpreted her, the aftertaste of the experience remains unpleasant.

Even before she made the questionable comment as I undressed behind a curtain for my internal, I got the distinct impression that this squat, middle-aged Spanish woman was trying to flirt with me. The first words out of her mouth had to do with my appearance, and not in the 'you look well for having just had a baby' way that most people like to grace the post-pregnant. No, she said something along the lines of 'You look very smart, very nice. I like the way you look. It's effortless, I know, but that's why it works.'

I know - what a monster, Friday, she paid you a compliment - but within the context of the environment and what I was there for, it was a little inappropriate. I was a bit flattered nevertheless because at this point I wasn't under any impression that she was being anything but pleasantly chatty.

As the conversation continued, though, I started to feel like she was looking at me, I mean really looking, in a way that was almost leering. She asked me details about my life that had nothing to do with pregnancy or babies, all the while making eye contact that seemed rife with meaning, though I couldn't discern the message. I remember thinking to myself that I really didn't want this woman anywhere near my business, but then she was inviting me to the exam table and I was remonstrating myself for being so silly, because really. A sexual predator in gynecology?

But then, just as I'd pulled the curtain to, I heard her say "I really like your accent, Friday. I find it sexy." My head reeled and I thought, But surely she doesn't mean... I laughed nervously and said "Oh, really?" "Yes, I do, I find it sexy," she confirmed. And then she came through to do the internal, asking me about Canada while I lay trapped and exposed beneath a stiff, white sheet that had been washed and pressed a million times before, for a million different people. It was awful.

I waited until we were in the lift to tell Bruce because I didn't know how he'd react and I wasn't even sure what had just happened, if anything. He asked me if I wanted to lodge a formal complaint and I said I didn't. We tried to rationalise her behavior - inappropriate yes, but perhaps open in a way that bespeaks a certain European sensibility - insensitive but benign, without intent.

And realistically, why would someone risk their career on such a ridiculous stunt? She's probably just like that, in which case she's like that with everyone. If there was anything behind it, chances are I'm not the first person she's done that to, and hence she'd already be out of a job.

On the way home, I bought myself a new dress from Frocks Away ("Love the accent," the saleswoman said to me in passing, reinforcing my earlier conviction) which sort of saved the afternoon for me. But as I said, that whole experience still resonates unpleasantly, regardless of what she meant.


allie said...

Ugh, that does smack of the creepy, and I'm sorry that this happened with one of the last people you should ever have to worry about doing this to you.

Anonymous said...

People will risk their careers with stunts like that because they ARE creepy and think they're untouchable. Reading that made my skin crawl. Don't go back to her. She was entirely inappropriate with you.

Robin said...

Yuck, really? Ew. It's really easy to doubt yourself in that kind of situation, for some reason. I guess because it seems just so... crazy, I guess, that someone would actually have the audacity or stupidity to say such things. Gawd. Yuck. Ew.

uberfrau said...

one word: