Some people say the wrong thing. Some people ask nosy questions. Some people say the wrong thing, ask nosy questions and make unhelpful predictions about the future. These are people you should avoid at all costs. This week I had no choice but to confront someone who has a reputation for not knowing the meaning of tact. Our regular medical practitioner was unavailable for our checkup, so we had the misfortune of seeing that guy. Here’s how the conversation played out. Keep in mind, the checkup was for the child, not me:
Dr. Tactless: Now, this one’s adopted?
Dr. Tactless: And you have another one who’s adopted, too, right?
Me: Yes, he’s eight now.
Dr. Tactless: So…is that something you planned to do, or was there something wrong?
Me: Well…I’ve only been pregnant once, and then I had a miscarriage.
Dr. Tactless: I see. So something is wrong with your system.
Me: We…uh…don’t know for sure. I’ve had some issues with endometriosis in the past but feel pretty healthy now.
Dr. Tactless: And your husband’s sperm count is normal?
Me: Ummm…he, uh,…he seems to be healthy, too.
Dr. Tactless: Hmmm…now how old are you again?
Dr. Tactless: Oh, well, you know you could get a surprise later on.
Me: We would be open to surprises.
Dr. Tactless: You know, there’s nothing like the ink drying on adoption paperwork to make for a good fertility treatment (sly, know-it-all half-smile creeping up his face as he nods slowly). Well, the baby looks good. Come back in a month.
Sheesh. I couldn’t get out of that office fast enough.
Don’t you ever wish you could turn the tables, just for once, to show the other person what it feels like? If I could do this conversation all over again, this is how it would be:
Me: So, I don’t see a ring on your finger. Not married?
Dr. Tactless: No, I’m single.
Me: So…was that by choice, or is there something wrong with you?
Dr. Tactless: Uh…no, I was dating a women recently but she left the relationship. I would still like to get married someday.
Me: Hmmm…so something is wrong with you.
Dr. Tactless: I, uh, don’t know about that, exactly.
Me: Now, do you use deodorant and mouthwash regularly? That’s important, you know.
Dr. Tactless: Well, I think I smell OK.
Me: So now, how old are you again?
Dr. Tactless: I’m forty-nine.
Me: I see…You know, there’s this bar at the corner of ___ and____ where a lot of older, desperate women hang out on Friday nights. There’s nothing like a little desperation to get a relationship going (wink, wink). You should try that place. You just might get lucky.