Why do I do it to myself?
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t own a scale because the damn things make me crazy. Well, I’ve just experienced the case-in-point: ANNUAL CHECK-UP. I hate going to the doctor for several reasons, not the lease of which is that those jerks weigh me. I would go so far as to call it White-coat Hypertension, but I would call it Suit Jacket Armpit Puddle.
So anyway, I went, I waited, read a silly magazine, finished a crossword, finished a word jumble, finished a Sudoku, called work to say I’d be late, checked to make sure my name wasn’t called while I was outside calling work, then waited a teeny bit more. Finally I was called into the doctor’s office purgatory. You know, better than the waiting room, but not as good as the examination room. While in that “intake room” (or “broom closet”) a nurse asked me some preliminary questions, reviewed my file with me, took my blood pressure, then weighed me.
Now, get the full picture here. I’m in a medical office preparing to be weighed. And a medical office is practically the arbiter of all accurate weights and measures, right? Like there should be a sticker that bears the seal fo the Secretary of State on their scale verifying its standardization and accuracy. But somehow my doctor’s office has slid under the state regulation radar because the scale this nurse shrugged toward with her lackadaisical “Step right up” was NOT up to code. I’m 80% sure this was the scale Australopithecus afarensis Lucy dreaded stepping right up to during her annual check-up.
The obvious technological deficiency of the scale did not immediately spring to my mind, however, as I stood upon it. This is probably because I started to lose consciousness as the number displayed just rose and rose, doubling, then tripling! There may even have been an out of body moment during which my inner, sassier, more famous self shouted “Alright Ashton, get out here because I know you ain’t trying to Punk me!“
Before leading me to the examination room, the nurse actually complimented me on my blood pressure being “one-oh-something over something smaller.” (No matter how I try I can never seem to remember how systole and diastole really work. Better get around to fixing that ol’ give-a-crap.) But I hardly even heard what the nurse said, other than “Oh that means you’re doing really good.” (And I only remember that because I’m the jerk who thought “Well. Doing really well.”) I wasn’t listening to the nurse, not because I didn’t understand her high-falootin’ diastole talk, not because I don’t care a lot about blood pressure, and not because I was overcome with grammar snobbery, but because the Wild West of my mind wasn’t big enough for two thoughts. The only gunslinging thought my dusty abandoned mind could hold was “GAINED weight? How is it possible that I’ve GAINED weight?“
What I am about to describe to you is not my proudest moment, the apex of my self-confidence, or probably anything that should ever be repeated. But you know what, it’s true, it reflects how I honestly felt, and that makes it totally relevant to a view of the journey away from blobiness. And now, back to my stupor . . .
“GAINED weight?!?” The nurse led me to the exam room and left me to change into a backless paper gown and wait just a little more. While shut in the exam room alone I saw – finally – what looked like a Real Scale. (Still no sticker from the Secretary of State, though. Seriously, I’m writing that referendum on my ballot this fall. Just, you know, in the margin on the side where it’s sure to carry all the weight of a hanging chad.)
I thought, “Oh, I get it. This is the Real Scale. The scale the Doctor uses, not just some dinky nurse scale. Psh – how elitist of my Doctor’s office to segregate the scales like that.” But right away I knew, elitist or not, the Doctor Scale was certainly going to be more accurate than the dinky nurse scale. So, after the requisite breath-holding hallway eavesdropping to reassure myself that I had at least another 25 minutes to wait alone in all my paper-clad glory, I jumped on the Doctor Scale.
And you know what — I was RIGHT! The Doctor Scale was indeed far more accurate than the dinky nurse scale, showing a weight of ten whole pounds less (MUCH more in keeping with the poundage I thought I was pushing!) And so ends the story of how my mental breakdown brought on by a supremely unjust and anti-karmic weight gain was mercifully avoided, at least until next year’s check-up.
And as for you, rinky dink nurse scale, you’re dead to me.