Best Story of the Week…August 20th

I’m at the Breast Torture Center for my annual mammogram.

As I enter, a Latina in navy scrubs jumps in front of me and says, “Don’t go any further,” as she whips out a thermometer she shoves in my ear.

She then, after asking my name and date of birth, checking me off her list, starts machine gunning questions: do I feel ill…have I been out of the country…have I had or been exposed to Covid-19?

“I haven’t been further than East 59th Street, does that help?” I say, realizing she has no sense of humor.

When I go to sit down, she sharply says, “NO SITTING!!!” Points to a large Purell dispenser and orders me to wash my hands. She then hands me a box of wipes to swab down my handbag as if it spent the night in China.

Think Close Encounters of the Third Kind, since I was waiting for E.T. to come out with a stethoscope.Β Β  images 3.57.23 PM.jpeg

My patience waning, especially after getting a mask tutorial, for dummies, wants to bolt out the door at the suggestion of my boobs who know what’s coming.

As I’m led to the next weigh station, another nurse in green scrubs, images-3.jpegtakes my temperature again as if I might have felt feverish in the last 10 minutes.

I look over at the coffee bar with a sign where the espresso machine once was that says…

SORRY….not as sorry as I am.

To keep you more on edge, a massive TV blares, a Botoxed reporter informing us, our Governor has written a book about his virus experience.

Really Andy, you’re making hay out of a plague?

I’m sorry to say, his stock has dropped several quarts.

I’m now sitting near a lady of color in her 70s. We watch women enter, all called in ahead of us.

I get up to ask if perhaps, my name was called and didn’t hear, but told, no.

After another 20 minutes, I go to the front desk and start, nicely, bitching.

Another nurse in mauve scrubs, now convinced there’s a boutique on the premises, comes out to get me.

I point to the woman I’m next to, and say, “What about her?”

Nurse Mauve says, “Don’t worry about her.”

I say, “But she’s been waiting longer than me, so it’s only right you take her first.”

Now Nurse Mauve is getting visually annoyed at Joan of Bark, who’s not budging an inch.

“Just a minute,” she curtly says, leaving in a huff.

In a minute, that feels like an hour, she returns saying, “I can take you both.”

I know what you’re thinking.

Susannah must have gotten a mighty big thanks from the woman.


She says, “Is it cause I’m Black that you think I needed your help?”

I look at her, and in my best Bette Davis snap…

“Lady, don’t insult me by putting limits on my kindness, because if you were green, I’d help ya.”

Nurse Mauve then, shaking her head, escorts us to our neutral corners.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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55 Responses to Best Story of the Week…August 20th

  1. How many deplorables could assault your senses in one day????? Golly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was like the military. I try to understand this is how it is right now, but self-care, which is what mammography is, shouldn’t be any more punishing than it already is. I didn’t touch what it was like in the actual examination room. OY…the essay was too long as it is. 500 words is too many. I try to economize, for the sake of everyone’s eye sight and short attention span. Thanks for being one of my few readers. πŸ™‚


      • If you wrote 1,000 words, I’d read every one. You do an excellent job of keeping the word count low. I wish I’d follow your example.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Again, you humble me, and as far as trying to keep an essay well under 500 words, it’s not easy, but people don’t like to read. I’ve learned, if it’s short and spare, there’s more of a chance. I live to read, but I hate to say it Anne, it’s a dying art. I know SO MANY who are happily sated by social media. The truth of it, hurts. sigh


      • Yes, I’m also aware that people hesitate to read long posts. There are times I join their ranks when I’m short on time. I make a decision to scan or skip a long one. If I click “like”, then I’ve read it to the end. There are some subjects and some writers that appeal to your interests more than others.

        On the bright side, I’m aware of a number of bloggers who are voracious readers. How they have time to read constantly AND write is beyond me. They do it and live normal lives. You fall in that category. I fail in that category. *sigh*

        Liked by 2 people

      • You have more going on than a lot of other people. I don’t have a John to look after for starters, and I say that wistfully. Books become your companions to make up for those spaces no longer filled.


      • Yes, I do have a lot going on, but I’m sure I’ve slowed down. I used to work a 7.5-hour day, had a 45-minute commute, cooked dinner every night for four or five of us, and took care of laundry and house cleaning. The house wasn’t very clean, but nobody cared. Things are much easier for me now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow Anne, I’d be on a stretcher if I did all that. I sometimes mewl to myself for not having a family like yours. It just wasn’t what happened to me being the wild thing I was and still am, at heart though slowed down, like a horse put out to pasture. But when I see families together there is a yearning.

        My house looks very clean, if you don’t look too close. I am a first class straightener, but a steerage scrubber. Enter Jolanta, the Polish Wonder who comes when I have a few extra bucks who makes me look like I have the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

        That said…have a lovely weekend Madam, you and that John of yours. πŸ™‚


      • Steerage scrubber! Wonderful title that applies to me, as well! If I had an epitaph, it might say, “She thought about dusting.”

        The yearning is normal. I think people look at you and are envious. You are free as a bird, soaring high. They may not realize you use your freedom to help others.

        We are helping son John move back here today. I’m nervous about driving his stick shift car.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’ll be fine. You can always stop, and put it back in neutral, and start again…a metaphor for life across the board. If what you say about soaring high is true, I sure hope I don’t make a crash landing. Love your epitaph that would surely make the cover of the Ladies Home Journal, or the Onion…:)


      • I made it fine with the stick shift with son’s help. Didn’t stall a single time!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I knew you’d do it. πŸ™‚


      • Now I don’t have anything to worry about.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s awful to be worried. It trails you. Peace is the eternal goal. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • In my morning travels, I wondered if the son moving home is the one you worry about most? If I’m being intrusive just ignore me, and I’ll apologize now.


      • Yes. You have great insight. His life is coming apart. He has loved Rose deeply, but her family is having serious medical issues. She may have to move back to TN to care for them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t think of a better place then to be with you who will nurture and understand. How lucky for him to have such an oasis.


      • We love him. I wish you could hear him tell a funny story on himself. He has to be in the right mood, but he can be hilarious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Then you’re both in good company.


      • I envy his verbal delivery.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Your parlance is pretty snappy. Where do ya think he gets it from???


      • It skipped a generation. My dad was an excellent storyteller. No one knew if he could write. He was a dentist with a doctor’s handwriting. His written words were totally indecipherable. I can’t tell a story unless I’ve written it first. How about you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know. I guess I can spin a yarn or two…:)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I’m speechless at such a reaction. Waiting together usually brings some sort of camaraderie. Your retort was perfect. I might have come up with something appropriate when it was too late to use it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My retorts are a honed skill from what I deal with all day long. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. People have never been ruder, crazier, irrational…need I say more? I’ve been reading a lot about what people went through during World War II, and Skinny, it was a lot worse than this. And it will improve. It will in time. We need to believe that, and in the meantime, be kind to the people seated next to us in the waiting room. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. robprice59 says:

    Seems you (i.e. the US) have the same problems as we (i.e. the UK) in defending against the dreaded lurgy: hopelessly inconsistent standards. It seems establishments only a few metres apart can have wildly differing strategies. Some want to nail you down and scrub you at every opportunity, whilst others tell you it’s your responsibility, do as you please. Nobody seems able to say what is effective, despite laboratories in both countries having dealt with viruses daily, for decades. Methinks someone is getting rich on the back of all of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rubenstein, Hal says:



    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa Ricci says:

    WOW… all I can say. Unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale says:

    Ugh. As if the ole “slap on and squish” ain’t painful enough.
    Where I go for mine is a general x-ray joint so you could be there for an arm, a leg, a chest… I wouldn’t be so inclined to ask if she shoulda passed first as it might not be for the same thing. Of course, kindness is always suspicious now, isn’t it? Heaven forbid it not have an ulterior motive. SMH

    Liked by 1 person

    • If Blacks Live Matter, what’s the problem for starters. She was not advocating for herself, and frankly, I could learn to mind my own business a little more…BUT…I in true conscience, couldn’t just leave her without a word on her behalf. I’m just not designed that way. And these workers, yes…essential or otherwise…are not necessarily nice. I watched them converse, check their phones, take their damned time while patients waited. I don’t feel the Pandammit is a good enough reason to be rude and arrogant and that was going on quite a bit. Hey…I’m a true observer. Mammograms, though a grace, are humiliating enough, Madam.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Everyone needs to calm the hell down. That woman of color is the tip of the future iceberg. Much like the days of rising feminism holding a door open was cause for a lecture, so being kind to people will cause motivational questions. I still believe you have saint in your DNA.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eilene Lyon says:

    Great retort! I feel your pain on the whole medical office experience. Seems I rarely encounter people in the profession with an ounce of empathy, except post-surgical nurses. Office personnel are especially bad, in my experience. Guess I really shouldn’t generalize like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • By all means, generalize. It’s gone viral, and having empathy is getting harder and harder because, one shouldn’t have anything to do with the other. If you’re an essential worker, New York City as a whole, has shown its appreciation. I don’t mean banging pots and hanging banners is as crucial as those who show up at the hospitals and clinics, but the attitude, that was pretty bad before, has turned Scifi. I didn’t even get into how I was treated by the technician. The essay was too long as it was. Anyway…I’ll stop ranting. Have a nice weekend Eileen. GENERALIZE!!! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The climate everywhere seems to be on a new level of the edge. I head out into the world with the attitude that everyone is channeling their inner Robert DiNero these days, so be prepared. Now I know, bring your helmet for your mammogram appointment. Nothing is off-limits.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Some people can’t just say thank-you, I guess. That sounds like my office, with all the temperature checks. We get one coming in the door of the building. they’re the camera kind that measure the heat from you, but I have to crouch to get in range since I’m too tall, but one of my colleagues is too short to use it. Then I get another one when I get to my office. As if I’d spike a fever in the 500 feet between. I guess better safe than sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s also how it’s done. A little diplomacy wouldn’t hurt, now would it? I felt like the military directed by Patton had taken over. I’m all for the essential worker, believe me, but a bit more bedside manner is in order, even if the Bubonic Plague came back, God forbid.


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