My totally lousy Christmas (and not for the reasons I expected)

I had never thought to make a list of questions I don’t want to be asked in the presence of my mother. That is, not until my mother took me to a hometown ER for the first time in my adult life this past Saturday.

Upon my arrival in triage, the ER nurse spoke.

“What is your weight? Please step on the scale.”



I wobbled in that direction–partly from illness, mostly from dread. I had been sick for about three days, but unfortunately my appetite for Christmas cookies was unaffected. My weight, a number carefully hidden from Mom, would soon be revealed.

I stepped on the scale, grimacing.

“Please take your hand off the wall, Jennifer.”

Being sick throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day hadn’t tortured me enough, I guess. Being unable to breathe to the point where I needed to go to the hospital wasn’t bad enough? Thanks universe.

Somehow it got worse.

When the physician’s assistant – who was handsome in a Sound of Music kind of way – finally came in to examine me, he asked “is there any chance you could be pregnant?”

“No,” I responded to this simple question (although my mother was surely hoping for a miracle). Unfortunately, he asked a follow-up question.

“Are you sexually active?”

I groaned audibly. I wanted to reply “I JUST TOLD YOU I’M NOT PREGNANT, GOOD GOD!”

Because truly, there was no good answer. Had I been a young adult, my somewhat prudish mother – at least where I’m concerned – would have wanted to hear me say ‘no’ so she could pretend I was a virgin. But as an adult-adult, saying ‘no’ just seems kind of sad.

On the other hand, answering ‘yes’ would open a whole new line of questions I didn’t want to go near so my grown was followed by a muttered ‘no.’

My mother actually chuckled. I did not.

The verdict? I have bronchitis. Still. Given that New Year’s Eve is just about here, I’m not at all amused.

Hope you’re having a better holiday season than me. Tell me about it in the comments.

3 thoughts on “My totally lousy Christmas (and not for the reasons I expected)

  1. Laura

    When I was in my 20’s, my mother took me to a doctor because I had been sick for weeks. They thought I had worms or something. Turns out I had anxiety. But anyway, the doc asked if I could be pregnant. I said no. So far, so good. Then he asked when was the last time I had sex…

    This is not a thing my mother and I had ever talked about and never wanted to talk about. I mumbled, “Three months ago,” and died a little inside. It. Was. Awful.

    So yeah, it turns out I had anxiety, and that little episode did not help.


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