Nursing a Grudge

06.11.07: Would it kill her to underestimate my weight?


I hate going to the doctor. It's not the wait that gets me, or the needles, or even that annoying crinkly paper they use to cover the examining table (though I do loathe the stuff). It's the scale.

Or, to be more accurate, it's the scale PLUS the skinny nurse's hateful attitude. Every time I go in--for a check up, for a particularly bad headache, or for a bout with the flu--she sizes me up with her gimlet eye, picks up the 150-pound weight and kerchunks it into place without mercy. To make matters worse, she then immediately slides the top weight over to add at least 25 more pounds. In other words, she starts me out at 175 pounds, and backs down from there. Without fail.

This comes after I've done my little ritual scale dance. I've removed my jacket, shoes, purse, socks, earrings, chunky necklaces, wedding ring, nail polish, and all other extraneous adornments. I've sighed and whined. I've told her how much I've struggled with my weight after the baby, how I dread this moment of reckoning. I drag my feet over to the scale like a petulant first grader on her way to, well, the nurse's office. And still, she overestimates my weight by at least 15 pounds every time. It hurts.

Would it kill her to look me up and down, politely guess at 135, and then act surprised--if not mildly shocked--when she has to go up to 152 or 155? If she were a nice person, she'd do this in small increments. Huh, must be 140, she'd say. No? Well, I'll be! 145? No! Well, you don't look a pound over 146! I just can't believe it!

This small act of kindness (okay, chicanery) would make my day. It would make any woman's day. No one, I'd venture to guess, wants to have their weight overestimated, least of all a new mom. I understand that she's a busy professional with other patients to prod and poke, but I also understand that--polite patter aside--it would take only an extra two seconds to click the weight bars into the 100-pound position first. We've all got time to have a heart.

At any rate, I've dieted down to under 150 now--my home scale measures exactly the same as the doctor's office scale, and it's reading 147.6 today (including the weight of the camera, which I would, of course, cast off were I to step on the doctor's scale). When she goes for the 150-pound big gun, she'll have to back off, and not just because of the evil looks I'm shooting her.

Hillari Dowdle will fit back into her favorite pants one of these days. Check this column every week, and you will no doubt be among the first to read all about it!