Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I woke up this morning and planned the outline of my day and remembered to set an alarm for 11:00am. I hurried through my morning routine and tried my best to accomplish as much as I could before my deadline.

I placed the alarm in the upstairs bedroom knowing that it would force me to get up from my work in my office to start getting ready, as my usual tardiness was not an option!

I ran up the stairs and grabbed my towel, a fresh razor blade and as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, wondered if I should wash my hair.

I scrubbed myself from head to toe making sure to use the exfoliating scrubby stuff and paid special attention as I shaved my legs and even did some careful trimming... I glanced at myself in the mirror again and said out loud,

"I should have washed my hair!"

As I hurried back to the bedroom to start getting dressed, I scurried through my underwear drawer looking for the perfect bra and panty for my afternoon date...

with my Gynecologist...

Seriously, I didn't even fret this much as I got ready for my first date with my BOYFRIEND of two years, although knowing what I know now, I would definitely had paid more attention over my preparation and wardrobe that night... there's a $40 black bra that's STILL MISSING!...

I carefully smoothed lotion over my just-shaven legs and started to put on my undergarments when I suddenly stopped in the middle of pulling up my most conservative, clean and proper panty and practically stumbled onto my face as I ran over to the bathroom and gingerly stood on the scale. I closed my eyes as I made that silent prayer...

Every woman knows the exact weight measurement from their last doctor's visit - for most people it's once a year, even though my experiences seem to be vastly more frequent!

You could have blown every diet all year long and broken every resolution, slept in and missed every spin and yoga class, enjoyed that pizza over the weekend, but the ultimate test - the biggest fear is to weigh more than that little black box on the top of the right hand corner of the last visit's chart!

I looked down as a cold sweat started to cover my still naked body...


I had lost ten pounds since my last doctor's appointment, but now a new concern,

"What am I going to wear so that I could prove all of my hard work these last few weeks!?"

They hardly allow you to take off your shoes to weigh yourself these days let alone let you get naked on the hallway scale so that you have the opportunity to yell for all to hear,



(There's a reason that I set the alarm for two and a half hours before my doctor's appointment!)

As I went back to getting dressed with a sure bounce in my step, I took a mental survey of possible "

Jeans - OUT
Sweats - OUT

And then I found them! The white yoga pants, ('cause the gray ones are dirty), that I can't wear out of the house 'cause, well, they show everything!

No worries though!...

Going to the gynecologist is the only acceptable time to leave the house wearing granny panties with yoga pants!

I slid onto the scale after I fully dressed, ecstatic at only having gained about two pounds - thus able to show I'd lost EIGHT! - and start heading out of the bedroom door...

Just as my foot crossed the threshold to the hallway I froze again!

I looked down at my brand new, pristine white socks with pretty lavender tops and screeched loudly!


With two cats and a dog, stepping across the threshold from my carpeted bedroom into the hallway with my surgical grade new socks was not an option!

As important as the proper underwear is for a woman's health visit, it is much, much more important to have clean, new SOCKS!

After all, the doctor never sees the underwear, he does however get a lovely display of your new white socks, or dingy, dirty ones as might be the case if you don't take measures to properly prepare yourself for this yearly ritual.

He does in fact, see more of your socked feet during the exam than your face after all, and who wants the lasting impression of the man so deeply immersed in your genitalia to be of your poor housekeeping!

So, I always buy new socks for my yearly physical!

I quickly put on a pair of lesser important "house socks" over my "in the doctor's face, new socks" and went running around for the perfect "WEIGH ME, I'M THINNER" shoes...

I slipped on the twenty-year old running sneakers with no shoe laces that I'll be able to quickly slide off my feet while the nurse is reassuring me that taking them off won't make a difference on the scale!

And I was out the door!

I jumped in the car determined not to be late for my date with my gynecologist.

As I rode there I called ahead to confirm my appointment and to see if the doctor was on schedule.

"Ms. Hernandez do you see Dr. John or Dr. Joe?"

"Dr. John." I responded with slight hesitation...

I mean I SHOULD know with certainty the first name of the man who has such intimate relations with me,
more frequently than most because of my medical history, the DR. VA-JAY-JAY SUPER HERO with his trustee nurse side-kick!

"Yes. Dr. John." I repeated, confidently this time.

"We're right on time! See you when you get here!"

As I hung up the phone I found myself thinking about how beautiful it is to have a child follow the footsteps of their parent's work...

Who am I kidding!?

My first REAL reaction upon learning that it was a father/son practice was,

"Hmmm, I wonder how THAT happened!?"

My career dream and path in college was to be a physician and what a wonderful trade to help bring children into the world, but it's not quite the same as showing your child how to throw a football or how to make that perfect souffle...

Most parents have a difficult time of explaining the birds and the bees to their children... I guess that conversation went pretty well in that family!

The two hours of preparation that went into my frequent woman's medical ritual culminated in the satisfaction of being congratulated on my weight loss, the polite handshake and hello from my doctor as we both avoided eye contact, and as I assumed the position and reminisced about all of my morning anxiety, I asked myself,

"Why don't I have a FEMALE GYNECOLOGIST?!"

I stifled a giggle at my personal inquisition when I heard the doctor's trusty nurse sidekick say,

"Dorana, how do you always keep your socks so WHITE!"


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I Don't Need "Happily Ever After" or a "Knight-In-Shining-Armor" - My Most Romantic Memories

I have an unwavering faith that there IS such a thing as true love - not the fairy tale, "Knight-In-Shining-Armor" kind, but one where you can be the truest version of yourself and are loved because of it - not in spite of it; a love filled with respect and adoration and a passion that comes from deep in your soul.

Perhaps I live in a naive fantasy land for believing in its existence, but the truth is that I HAVE FELT that love before... I know it exists; perhaps even been blessed by having felt and experienced it many times before...

I remember watching a movie with my boyfriend my junior year in high school and remarking out loud,

"That is such CRAP - not real life at all! That stuff only happens in the movies!"

That weekend while I worked in the department store at the mall, I turned around with my arms full of clothes from the fitting rooms and literally gasped out loud as I saw him walking towards me with the same three dozen, long stem, red, Colombian Roses, in his arms that we had seen from the movie.

He came up to me and gently kissed me and said,

"Don't be such a skeptic!"

At such a young age in the relationship spectrum, I had already begun to question the existence of genuine romance.

As the years have past, I've learned that romance is not always about grand gestures, as much as it is about small moments that stay forever engraved in my heart and memory...

I have been blessed every summer with the ability to remember my first date in the most magical way...

On the first dusk that it's warm enough to sit on the deck and watch the last flecks of the setting sun paint gorgeous strokes of purples and reds across the horizon, when the breeze is still warm and pleasurable, as the light of day slowly starts to dimmer...

I can feel it in the air even before it happens. I just close my eyes and say a little prayer of thanks, knowing that when I open them again, I'll see it...

It won't happen immediately as my eyes adjust to the changing light around me, but they're always there...

The fire flies...

... like little matches lighting the lawn and the lines of tree trunks.

I had never seen fire flies before that hot, humid, Georgia night. I noticed them dancing over the lawn next to the restaurant.
When I see them now, it does more than just create a memory, it's like a jolt through my body that makes all of my senses come ALIVE in recollection!

...The bold colors of green and red of El Vaquero Mexican Restaurant, the tingle of salt on my tongue from the homemade chips on the table, the sound of his voice as he ordered in Spanish, having taught himself the language with that confident, almost arrogant smirk on his face and the sparkle of his eyes as he looked at me with a comfortable understanding that is hard to find in any part of your life, let alone as a teenager in a small town... The touch of his hand.

The fire flies...

The first sight of them takes me back to that first date with a boy who I shared an incredible connection with, a moment of happiness and goodness and hope.

That special time in your life when you live just for that moment - not knowing that
some day it would just be a beautiful memory ...

But love doesn't have to have magical fire flies or deep red roses to be memorable...

My most romantic moment was full of laughter and glee...

My boyfriend and I had been dating a few weeks when I went on a week-long cruise that I booked before we started dating.

I had booked it as a much needed getaway after several months of illness and treatments.

We pined for one another incessantly!

My first night back from the trip as we laid together in his bachelor pad, he looked at me, desiring me, adoringly,

"Want me to turn of the lights?" he whispered lovingly.

"No baby, I'm okay," I replied.

"Want me to light up a couple of candles?"

"No baby, I'm okay."

"... GREAT! 'Cause I don't have any candles!

Perhaps I can burn a paperback for you!?

I'll put it in an ashtray, so we don't burn the place down!..," his natural seriousness in contemplating the absurdity made it all the funnier!

I burst into uncontrollable giggles as he continued...

"The PILOT light! We can light the STOVE! That's ROMANTIC!"

Tears covered my face in laughter!

"Wait! We can't make love next to the stove - the cat's litter box is in the kitchen!

That is NOT ROMANTIC!" he exclaimed as he finally grabbed me close to him as I melted into his arms...

I peeled myself away from him long enough to take a scrap sheet of paper from his nightstand and scribble our dialogue that night so that I would never forget the joy and comfort and love that I felt that night as we made love, thankful not to be laying next to the cat's litter box, by the light of the stove!