“Picture It: Sicily, 1922”
Do you recognize the quote from my title? I’m sure that there must be others of you who grew up during the era of this 1990’s sitcom featuring Sophia Petrillo, and the rest of “The Golden Girls” characters, though some of you might not be willing to admit that you actually watched it like I’m about to…. Can’t say I blame you if that’s the case, but I will be brave here and reluctantly confess that I not only watched (which in and of itself might be considered a joke), but I enjoyed it. Kind of ironic as I was far from a ‘Golden Girl’ myself at the time that the show aired, having been only in my late teens/early 20’s, but for some odd reason, I found the show endearing. And, I liked the ‘straight’ talk between the ladies. I admired that each of the characters stood true to who they were. It is a trait which I very much admire in others to this day, and one I try my best to hold true to. Before you ‘turn the channel’ so to speak, hang in there, as I promise that this post is not all about sitcoms or “The Golden Girls”. Maybe another time? I just thought that I would use it as a creative introduction to my own quick little story, which I am hoping will give you a bit of a chuckle for today’s Joke prompt. Though not a joke, it was one of my many embarrassing stories, which I am happy to share…
Okay, so here we go….
“Picture It: Canada, 1980’s”
I was in my early teens when I was sent for my very first X-ray. I had no clue about the ensuing protocol and needless to say, was quite nervous. As my name was called, looking like a deer in headlights, I followed the technician to the change rooms. Trying to listen intently, but fearing that the X-ray process might be painful, I became sidetracked with my thoughts as she explained about the gown, where to put my stuff, etc. Not quite catching her full set of instructions, but too shy to ask her to repeat them, she quickly handed me the groovy fabric blue gown, and some kind of plastic thing and left. As I swallowed nervously and got changed, I realized that the whole gown thing was not favourable. Not only was I concerned that I looked stupid (remember I was a teen), I couldn’t figure out why the gown was flapping wide open in the back. ‘Well, this ain’t good,’ I thought. ‘How am I supposed to leave this room looking like this for all to see?’ Remembering the white length of plastic that I was given, it occurred to me that it might serve as a tie to close the elusive gap on my back side. The problem was that it was nowhere near long enough. ‘How the heck does this work?. Hmmm.’ Then, I remembered her saying something about my neck. (In reality, though unbeknownst to me at the time, I think she had warned me to make sure that I had no jewelry around my neck.) ‘Surely, she couldn’t have meant for me to tie this ridiculous plastic piece around my neck?!? What purpose would that serve for an X-ray? And, what is with these dumb gowns?’ Realizing that she would soon return to collect me for my appointment, I decided that I had to act quickly, and so, against my better judgement, I tied the plastic thing around my neck and opened the curtains when I heard her call my name for the second time. ‘Oh boy! Here we go….’
Quickly walking behind the ‘all business-like’ lady, I tried desperately to hold the back of my gown closed, as I passed by other people. ‘Oh God!’ was the phrase that kept repeating through my mind. I was scared, nervous and feeling like a geek to boot. A teenager’s worse nightmare, right? After entering the technical-looking room, she instructed me to get onto the X-ray table. At this point, I realized that all dignity was lost, as I could no longer prevent the gown from revealing my underwear given that I had to climb up high onto the cold, metal table. Luckily, they didn’t seem to care. It was business as usual for them, even though I continued to curse my ‘really stupid outfit’. Once positioned, the technician walked toward me, paused, looked amusingly at my neck, and exclaimed, “Nice tie! I like the look.” Needless to say, I could have curled up and died, as her ensuing laughter was confirmation that indeed the white plastic piece was definitely not a neck tie!!
After rejoining my dad in the overly full waiting room, I was grateful that the whole ordeal was over and that the X-ray was not painful, but I still felt puzzled and embarrassed by my ‘tie’. So, I proceeded to tell my dad the whole story, along with the lady’s comment wherein, he, too, couldn’t help but chuckle. ‘Great!’ He then explained that likely the white plastic tie would have stretched to fit my waist had I have pulled on each end. And, in fact, he was right (once again), though I wish he could have told me what to do with it ahead of time, sparing that day’s embarrassment.
To this day, however, I cannot help but giggle each and every time that I have an X-ray done because I immediately think of my ‘fancy ‘neck tie. Can I blame them all for laughing? Not at all. Did I live through it, even though I didn’t think I would? Yes, I did. And, now, I have the story to tell along with a piece of advice… ‘Use the darn tie to keep your gown closed!’
While my story does not compare to that of the beloved Estelle Getty, I do hope that you found it somewhat entertaining. Or, maybe my antics will help relax you at your next X-ray appointment. Either way, I’ll take it:-).