My very first mammogram was originally scheduled for last week, but Snowmageddon 2.0 intervened and it was rescheduled for yesterday. I asked my doctor, who I saw a month ago, whether it would be painful. She looked at me (well, at part of me) and smiled,

“The smaller ladies tell me it does.”

Gee, thanks. That just adds insult to a lifetime of injury.

The mammogram happened on the Upper East Side. I love all of New York, really I do. I just love the Upper East Side less than some of the other parts. (Which is why I couldn’t shed a tear when I read that the snow plows didn’t make it there last week.) I counted three fur coats in the waiting room. I lost count of de rigeur diamond studs and purses whose entire reason for being was to shout out a logo. I will say that all the ladies had very nice hair. Someone on the Upper East does a good job with blond highlights.

Needless to say, I was feeling rather trollish by the time I was called in.

It was uncomfortable, but not necessarily painful. (That is to say, it hurts less than labor and is less unpleasant than sharing a house with an adolescent.)

But it could have been better. (A friend of mine said that if men had to have mammograms, the experience would be different. I suspect it would feel like tiny (but sexy) elves massaging your boobs while cute technicians told you how hot you are.)

But not for me.

I didn’t mind sitting in a pen-like, chilly cubicle for 20 minutes wearing a hospital gown. I also didn’t mind standing topless in a cold room. (When I asked about the heat, the technician (who seemed to come right out of Soviet-era central casting) said, “We could make it warmer, but we won’t.”)

Some warmth, however, would have been nice. If you’re not going to make any eye contact, at least make some breast contact.

Her: “Place your breast on the tray in front of you.”

Me: “Come again?”

I know she spends her day looking at boobs, and maybe we do all look the same at some point, but some things are biologically impossible. I looked at the “tray” in question and could not for the life of me figure out how I was going to lay myself on it. I told the technician as such, and she rewarded my frankness with smirk.

She pulled her hands out of the bowl of ice she must have hidden behind the computer screen, and came over to take matters into them.

Fortunately, I had to hit Fairway on the way home. (The world’s greatest supermarket.) My Fairway strategy is usually to immediately buy half a pound of thinly sliced lox and eat it while I’m shopping – for sustenance. But this time I saved the lox for the car ride home.


The only downside to eating smoked salmon while you’re driving is that you can only drive with one hand. If you touch the steering wheel with your fishy hand, your car will smell like an old Jewish man for at least a month.

I had already spent some of the day feeling unglamorous and flat chested. I didn’t need to add old Jewish man odor to the list.

Get your mammos, ladies. Just make sure you have some smoked fish on hand afterwards.

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