Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Camera Wands and Woody Allen

Women's business

First of all, I want to warn you that the following post, flying from my fingertips, is not going to be about disability. It's not going to be about how we do it except for the fact that I like to go to movies when I'm feeling on the edge, and today I skated right near the edge when I went for a pelvic ultrasound to check on what I'll call, here, women's business. I thought I was going to lie back on the examining table in a dim room and patiently allow the technician to first smear that cold jelly on my stomach and then run the little -- what do you call it, anyway? -- over it, searching for my uterus and all the lovely things that lie within. I've had three babies and more than three ultrasounds, so that's what I was prepared for, and that's what Claudia, the thickly-accented technician did to me. Lest you think I've suddenly immaculately conceived one month before my fiftieth birthday, I'll clarify that it was a bit of women's business that I was checking out that pertains to that fiftieth birthday and all the birthdays that will follow my half century mark.

 What I hadn't planned for, though, was the foot-long white wand that Claudia held over me after she gave me a towel to wipe the jelly off my stomach. She fit what appeared to be a condom over it and then explained to me that I would put the wand into my women's business. What? I asked, not quite understanding. There's little camera at end, and you will put in vagina until it goes to here, Claudia showed me a shortened bit of the wand, and I did as I was told. I lay there on my back as Claudia waved that wand all over and inside my women's business, taking what seemed like hundreds of photos, and it was most uncomfortable and perhaps even a bit humiliating and all I could think about was those southern states who have passed laws or tried to pass laws requiring women who are planning an abortion to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound.

Holy shit and shame, shame on them -- a million times over.

After being wanded, I decided a movie was in order and fled to the mall to see Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. I love Cate Blanchett, and I love Alec Baldwin and I periodically love Woody Allen's movies, so it seemed like a good way to get over the wanding and whatever might come of the wanding, because it's really only in a movie, in the dark, in the theater, that I truly escape.

So, there's the how we do it part of the post.

Let me tell you, though, that I hated that Woody Allen movie, and it left me nearly in tears and more anxious and agitated than I've felt in a long time. It's a clever movie, like most Woody Allen movies, and Cate Blanchett is exceptional in nearly every way. It's even funny, here and there, but the humor is bitter and cruel and reminded me, again, of what I hate about Woody Allen's sensibilities. I honestly believe that he masks his own personal ugliness (both figurative and literal) with glamour and wit, and while I am often seduced by that, I wasn't this time.*** I felt slightly sick by the end, and I felt empty. This time, I found my car very quickly in the parking lot and burst out into the California sunshine, grateful that a movie is just a movie. 

Marking my spot

Twice invaded today -- by a wand and a Woody -- and I am going to take a long, hot shower. Then, I think I'll curl up this evening with Madame Bovary and a shot of bourbon. Because that's how I do it.

*** Three jokes in the movie -- about epilepsy, the word retarded and electroshock therapy referred to as Edison's treatment -- and the laughter in the audience at each did much to send me right over the edge upon which I was skating.


  1. Oh, my. What a day. I have never been able to stomach Woody Allen and always feel a bit naive when people start talking about them in glowing terms. I am so sorry this day felt so invasive and I hope you do just what you said you would and fall asleep to dream sweetly of water and mermaids and starry skies.

  2. Yuck. Anxiety accompanies most women's business visits, even the normal ones. Hope the white wand pictured no further women's business.

    We recently Netflixed a fun fluff movie, in case you need one sometime, an old Clooney comedy where he played a divorce lawyer in a film called Intolerable Cruelty.

    A good book & bourbon are probably better. If you were here, I'd make you a margarita.

  3. First off, sorry you had to go through that. Yuck.

    Second, I saw Blue Jasmine, and it's been haunting me. I thought she was amazing, but I didn't see it as a comedy at all. I'm not even sure he likes his characters, and his movies get more cynical the older he gets. This one, though, I guess I saw as Streetcar Named Desire, somewhat. I didn't really find any of it funny, but I'm just not sure it was intended as a comedy. A friend saw it and said there were people laughing, but I found little to laugh about. And am haunted by the tragedy that Cate Blanchett embodied. I'm sorry it was disturbing. :(. I hope it's a better night.

  4. Absolutely awful ......out of all the medical stuff done to me I had a cystoscopy ( not sure how you spell it) a scope in your bladder which they inflate with air...they put me to sleep but when I woke it was so horrid, I was torn. They used the smallest scopes and stuff they had but it wasn't small enough. Very very very very painful.....never ever doing that again. Then another doctor said they did not do a biopsy, that they thought I needed it. I said forget it!!! My mom said forget it too and they never brought it up again.

    I hope your medical probe has not left you hurting bad and that they can leave you alone. Who ever invented such things??

  5. I commiserate with you over the wan dwindling magic which I've recently had to endure several bouts of myself - I hope you are okay. As to the movie, one of my male friends gushed about it iy on facebook and I just went back to check and it was Cate's acting he was gushing over. I will see what more he has to say about the movie itself when I see him over the weekend. It will tell me a lot about him. Bourbon does wonders. I hope it helps tonight. Sweet Jo

  6. If only that damn wand had been magical, instead of vaginal.


    (Been there.)

    Thanks for the anti-recommend on the W.A. movie!

  7. Re. the wand, all I can say is...I had no idea. I guess medical visits for all of us are destined to grow more invasive as we age, but still, that sounds beyond the pale.

    I've seen several people on Facebook complaining about that movie, so it's not just you. Apparently others are upset with it as well. I think I'll skip it, despite the presence of Cate Blanchett, who I also like a lot.

  8. Lordy lou lou, what a day. That last little bit about the audience laughing makes me want to go barf and then promptly distract myself in any number of places from the Mind Map.

  9. Sounds like a truly crappy day. Something about western medicine can be so humiliating. Something is wrong there. And as for W.A. - it sounds like his self deprecating humor is drowned in cynicism - why does so much need to have that hard edge to it?

  10. Wand Woody.
    Has a nice ring to it, yes?

  11. I am astounded by the similarity of our lives, having also endured "the wand" and a resulting "deep freeze" surgery. I appreciate your Woody perspective and feel that Quentin may also suffer from this same kind of masking. A good book and a good stiff drink sounds like a perfect way to purge away such ugliness. Are you sure we are not related?

  12. Madame Bovary and a shot of bourbon. that's how i swing. xoxo

  13. oh you poor thing!
    The best line ever - "twice invaded today by a wand and a Woody" -- classic!



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