If I tell you what I’m doing today
Will you shut up and get out of my way?







I’ll tell you what I’m doing today: I’m getting a mammogram. Now shut up and get out of my way.

Sorry to be rude, but I hate being late. I HATE it. I don’t know where this hatred of lateness comes from. I’ve gone through the worst-case scenario of what could possibly happen if I were late, and it usually doesn’t involve death or dismemberment. Usually.

But I have nothing to worry about today, for I have scheduled plenty of time to drive to Old Orchard mall, walk to the Professional Building, and check in for my mamm-appointment.

In the lobby of the Professional Building, tho, I experience the cold panic of uncertainty. This doesn’t look right. Is this where I get my mammogram? I can’t remember the name of the office, and the directory doesn’t list anything obvious, like Boobs Squashed Here or Slammogram Express. Shoot. I should’ve confirmed where the mammo-site was when I made the appointment. How do they expect us to remember these things after a whole year has passed and studies have shown that even recreational drug use can impair memory?

I do see “Midwest Women’s Health”; that must be it, right? There’s another woman waiting for the elevator, and because she has giant circus boobs, I figure we’re headed for the same place. Looking only mildly offended, she tells me she’s not, in fact, mammo-bound, but she agrees that the Women’s Health suite might be the place.

It’s not. The receptionist directs me to Nordstrom’s. Gosh darn it!

Nordstrom’s is wa-a-a-ay at the other end of the mall. Like, 17 miles away. I’m the fastest walker I know, but I’m no match for all the monster-truck-sized strollers that have suddenly materialized. Why are babies allowed at the mall? When I was a baby, I didn’t get to go ANYwhere. And I certainly didn’t get to travel in a stroller the size of a taxi.

It’s hot and humid. Let the sweating begin! But JD, I hear you say, surely you applied deodorant before leaving the house? No, smart-ass, I did not. You’re not supposed to use deodorant on mammo-day. Why? I don’t know. It’s not my armpit they’re shoving into a vice and compressing into the approximate thickness of a sheet of paper.

AND now it’s raining. I’m walking fast—really fast, and sweating. And I’m going to be late. Oh, God. LATE!

Once in Nordstrom’s, I see the “Mammography Suite” sign right away. But . . . the hell? The Mammography Suite is not only empty, it looks like it’s been deserted since World War II. A sign helpfully tells me the suite is moving upstairs on August 2, but it’s still July! Where are they? I poke my head in all the rooms but find only a crumpled-up paper gown.

Fighting back tears, I run to the perfume counter and ask breathlessly where the mammograms are. Upstairs? Even tho it’s clearly NOT August 2? Fine. Upstairs.

It’s a lie. There’s nothing resembling a mammography suite upstairs. I ask the concierge, who tells me the mammography suite is closed—CLOSED!—until August 2. I’m flummoxed. “But they told me Old Orchard!” I whined, noticing that I’m already 6 minutes late.

“Well, there’s the place on Woods Drive.”

Dammnit! THAT’s where I go. They call it the Old Orchard facility because it’s off Old Orchard road. Idiots.

I try not to speed, but that is my normal driving mode, so I simply try not to kill anyone. I squeal into the parking lot and tear into the building. By now I’m a sodden, sweaty, panicked mess.

“MAMMOGRAM???!!!” I scream.

Downstairs. The sign next to the elevator says “LL” but the elevator button says “B.” WHICH IS IT? Are they the same? You need to be more clear about this, building designers. Anxious, soaking-wet, sobbing mammo-patients do not have time to pick over these semantic details.

OK. I’m there. I’m 20 minutes late. The receptionist is extremely judgmental. She gets on the phone and says, “Your 3:00 is here, and your 2:40 JUST. NOW. SHOWED. UP. Should I have her wait?”

She tells me that I can wait and they will try to squeeze me in. I’m so flustered I don’t even make a bad joke about being squeezed in.

So I was late. Big deal. In the end, what was the worst that happened? I lost 4 pounds from sweating, I screamed at a couple of people, I burst into tears at Nordstrom’s, and I got a blister from speed-walking in flip-flops.

Oh, and I may have knocked over a baby stroller or two.


Coming in August:

    • I Get a Colonoscopy so you don’t have to (possibly with exciting video!)
    • I Go to Toronto so you don’t have to
    • I . . . something about Zombies so you don’t have to

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43 Responses to “I Am LATE”

  1. 1 Kelly

    I hate Old Orchard. I don’t know why. It’s not like it’s anywhere near as annoying as, oh, Oakbrook or that wicked place out in Aurora.

    Oh, I bet I know! It probably has something to do with the fact that Mom liked to drive to Old Orchard. And Mom driving was not a good thing because (a) she was almost certainly intoxicated and (2) always got lost.

    Yep. I hate Old Orchard. And the Edens Expressway. And Golf Road. Especially Golf Road. Have they repaved it yet… or is it still got potholes big enough to swallow a VW Bug?

    Ok, I don’t miss EVERYTHING about Chicago. :)

    Kelly’s last blog post..Kosh

  2. 2 cardiogirl

    That is my worst fear: being late to anywhere I go. Doesn’t matter who I am meeting. I will sit and wait gladly for over an hour for whoever is meeting me.

    But *I* don’t want to be late.

    And when you said you had to run and you were sweating crazily I *knew* you couldn’t wear deodorant because of the mammogram.

    I had my first one last year in January. Thank God for the cold weather.

    Wasn’t the pain a let down? It wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting. I guess that’s a good thing, eh?

    Glad you’re done with all of that.

    cardiogirl’s last blog post..I guess I’m more normal than I thought I was

  3. 3 Lori

    Really, they have mammograms at Nordstrom’s??? Here, I have to go the hospital and my post-mammo shopping just doesn’t compare with that!!

  4. 4 Daisy the Curly Cat

    I never knew they had mammograms in Nordstrom, either! You can get your mammogram and then treat yourself to a new bra after they have been smashed out of shape.

    Daisy the Curly Cat’s last blog post..Anatomy of a Jump!

  5. 5 Babs - beetle

    Oh, I’m sorry. I laughed….and laughed. I know it wasn’t really funny, but I was so there, as a spectator :O)

    As far as mammo’s not hurting much, try having one when suffering with mastitis! Water really did come out of my eyes with the pain ha ha!

    Babs – beetle’s last blog post..How embarrassingly stupid!

  6. 6 Shieldmaiden96

    My first mammo– my nurse was about six feet tall and she kept ADJUSTING THE MACHINE IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. The third time she sent me on pointe because she went up instead of down she tittered (ha!) and said, “Oh, I’m SO SORRY. The pedals on this machine are so tiny and I have big feet!” Yeah, and you can make a crescent roll out of my right boob right now. Thanks a bunch. Even worse; I was so distracted and freaked out (this being one of those ‘something is going on we don’t like so come in for a mammo’ kind of visits) I forgot to take off those nipple stickers they put on. Until about six hours later. When they were good and, ah, adhered.

    Shieldmaiden96′s last blog post..Itinerant Hippies and Scatological Games of Chance

  7. 7 Kathy

    I’m crying and dying here. I’ll come back later after I’ve composed myself. Man, I needed a good belly laugh this morning. Gotta go wipe my mascara, blow my nose and splash water on my face. I can’t even get through the comments……..

    Kathy’s last blog post..Happy Birthday, Junk Drawer!

  8. 8 Alice

    Honey, I’m right there with you. My fear of being late is a SICKNESS which makes me absurdly early for everything.

    On the other hand, I hope your mammogram comes out free and clear!

    Alice’s last blog post..More Stuff About ME ME ME

  9. 9 Chat Blanc

    THAT was traumatic! I fear the inability to find the right place more than actually being late. I don’t usually pay much attention to the details like where and when my appts are, my own fault right. So I totally relate to your unexpected detours! And all for the privilege of getting booby mushed! Yikes! You need a drink! Or several! :)

    Chat Blanc’s last blog post..I’m all about consumer safety

  10. 10 SinisterDan

    I kind of hate not being late – keeps the masses wondering.

    SinisterDan’s last blog post..The 2009 Buyer’s Guide to New Onions.

  11. 11 Sue

    Thank you so much for being late for me as I HATE BEING LATE!! In fact, when I was in college, even if I was going to be 3 minutes late, I didn’t go. The thought of everyone turning around while the professor stopped talking, all on my account, was….just was….ugh!

    Now, as for a mammo, good for you for getting it done! You can do that for me from now on too since getting my all new and slightly improved boobs 3 years ago, I no longer have to get mammos.

    Cardiogirl, I have to say though, as far as the test not hurting, try having a mammo after giving birth and trying to dry your milk up. That’s a pain like no other!

    Hope all turns out well for you, girly!

    Sue’s last blog post..What if the Cricket Comes Back?

  12. 12 Meg

    I’m still stuck on the fact they have mammograms at Nordstroms. If only Target offered them.

    Hope it turns out well.

    Meg’s last blog post..In Which I Lose The Battle

  13. 13 Meg

    Not to complain, but Comment Luv always says my last post is, In Which I Lose The Battle…and well, that battle was lost a while ago.

    Meg’s last blog post..In Which I Lose The Battle

  14. 14 Monique

    ^^ Comment Luv pulls your posts from a reader. So, JD wouldn’t have anything to do with it. :( It’s glitchy like that sometimes with Blogger Blogs.

    Anywho, Flip-flop blisters are the worst! Ouch.

    I know when I worked at a Dr’s office, we were very unforgiving when it came to late people. I used to get such a kick about being semi-mean to people who were 10-15 minutes late. And then it happened to me. :(

    Monique’s last blog post..Excuse Me Miss, But Um.. You Stink

  15. 15 Jenny

    Girl you made me mammo-guffaw so loud, just like always. I love you for that.

    When I lived near Chicago and worked in retail, we were forever having to call the “Old Orchard store” to see if they had in stock what our customers wanted which for some odd reason we never seemed to have at Southlake Mall out in the sticks of Northwest Indiana.

    Speaking of which, the most hellish mall there (in Northwest Indiana) is River Oaks. OPEN-AIR, mind you, in a place where it does good to get above two degrees Fahrenheit during the day for at least nine months out of the year. The wind whips through those “courtyards” and cuts you like a knife as you schlepp along with your many packages.

    No one ever asked me to have a mammogram at any mall, though. Thank God.

    And if the worst thing that happened to you today is that you lost four pounds (albeit via sweating) and a wannabe nurse receptionist was rude to you (what else is new), I hope I have a day like that soon. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    Jenny’s last blog post..Six Fours (And More) … Part One

  16. 16 Jinksy

    It sounds like the type of experience that would make you want to break out in song.

    “Mammaries…like the contents of my bra….Milky skin-colored mammaries…I like the way they were”

    Jinksy’s last blog post..Celebrity Cleavage Challenge

  17. 17 dcr

    Why worry about being late to a doctor’s appointment? They’re never ready for you at your actual appointment time. You always end up waiting.

    dcr’s last blog post..Recession Hits John Chow Hard

  18. 18 ann of the shampoo bag

    I love that you go to the mall for a mammogram. Now that’s good marketing. Shoes, purses, and boob smashing, oh my!

  19. 19 Jay

    AHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry to laugh at you, but I can’t help it! You’re so funny!

    And I’m so lucky. My mammograms are done in a mobile unit at our doctor’s surgery (office). It’s always there (unless you get a call back, in which case you get a letter with the address and directions on it) and it’s about five minutes up the road.

    My eyes are still watering though, from Shieldmaiden’s six foot tall nurse who adjusted the machine in the wrong direction!!! Crescent-roll shaped right boob! OUCH!

    Jay’s last blog post..Just a little what??

  20. 20 Jeff

    I love it when you’re in crisis mode. You truly are a master at converting these kinds of things into hysterical posts. There’s so damn many funny things about this I can’t even list them. Good work JD, you’ve effectively shut me down. Laughing. :-)

    Jeff’s last blog post..Dear Diary – Help Me Rhonda

  21. 21 Augusto

    I’m so glad you were late for me. I too hate being late as much as I hate for other people to be late for social events and waste my time while I’m waiting for them.

    I’ve never seen a mammogram counter at my neighborhood Nordstroms. I must investigate the services they offer for menfolk – like doing my testicle monthly exam.

  22. 22 JD

    Kelly: I like Old Orchard, especially since the big overhaul they did in the late 80s, I think? I just don’t like it when I’m trying to sprint from one end to another.

    Golf Road and the Edens, however, yes. HATE! There’s construction on the Edens right now and they’re NEVER going to repave Golf.

    cardiogirl: Me too! It does bug me when people are late, but I’d rather be an hour early than 2 minutes late.

    I used to go in February, and then I’d go later and later and now I’m in July. Gotta work it back to the winter. And you’re right: After the huge buildup, I was disappointed I didn’t scream even a little.

    Lori: Yes, isn’t that weird? And I’d been there for a couple, but not recently. I bet the hospital doesn’t have a Williams Sonoma or Crate and Barrel!

    Daisy the Curly Cat: Right! And, presumably, you can buy deodorant, tho by that point you may be too far gone.

    Babs – beetle: It was funny. Even I could see the humor in it. What do you think I did while waiting to be “squeezed in”? I wrote my notes for this post!

    Oh, dear. I’m sorry you’ve had painful mammos. I consider myself very lucky indeed.

    Shieldmaiden96: Oh, my god! Anyone who hasn’t had a mammo won’t truly get the horror of the phrase “on pointe” but I can picture that so clearly.

    I hope everything turned out OK. Those “something’s wrong” mammos are no fun.

    Also: nipple stickers??? I never got those!

    Kathy: I’m so glad you got a good laugh. There is nothing funnier than a sweaty mammogram, I’ll tell ya. Please do come back once you’ve regained your composure.

    Alice: YES! It IS a sickness! I can’t figure out why I get so distraught. Was there some sort of traumatic event in my childhood—did I get beaten once for being late to school? I really can’t remember anything.

    Thank you! I just got the call: A-OK on the mammo front!

    Chat Blanc: I’m terrified of getting lost, too, but I think that’s because I’m terrified of being late. On the rare occasions when I am late, NOTHING ever happens!

    I didn’t have a drink, but I did have a delicious muscle relaxer.

    SinisterDan: I should probably try to be late for that very reason. Let ME be the important one for once.

    Sue: No more mammos? Lucky girl. I’ll be happy to do it for you (since I have to do it anyway). That’s kind of funny about your just skipping class rather than walk in late. There have been plenty of times I’d rather have just turned around and gone home rather than be late.

    Boy, I feel pretty lucky. My mammos are really no big deal.

    Meg: I’d definitely get a mammo at Target if they offered it. How convenient would that be? The Nordstrom’s ones were nice because it didn’t seem like a doctor’s office at all, more like a women’s spa.

    Thanks: everything’s fine.

    And I’m sorry about Comment Luv. See Monique’s post below. It looks like everyone else’s comments really are their most recent. Comment Luv doesn’t luv you? I think it’s just not a perfect system. Please keep commenting! I luv you!

    Monique: The receptionist has such power. But I’m so paranoid and apologetic about being late, I feel like I’ve got the mean attitude coming to me.

    And, yes. Flip-flop blisters SUCK!

    Jenny: Yeah, I guess the four pounds wasn’t such a bad thing, tho I gained it all back after drinking a bunch of water. Poo! I’ve never been to River Oaks, but Old Orchard is open-air, too, and it can get pretty nippy.

    Glad you got in a mammo-guffaw today!

    Jinksy: Oh, what a lovely song. I like the way mine were, too. Tho now they’re a nice golden tan, thanks to nude beaches!

    dcr I know, I know. In fact, today I rushed around for a hair appointment with a guy that kept me waiting for an hour and a half (and I knew beforehand he would be late). It’s a sickness. I just cannot be late. Plus I always think, what if today is the ONE day he’s on time. Of course, it never is.

    ann of the shampoo bag: Yup! It’s really convenient, that is, when I can remember where it is. Next time I’m making my appointment for the one at Nordstrom’s. They should have moved upstairs by then.

    Jay: No, feel free to laugh at me. I can take it! I was laughing myself (through the tears and sweat). Your set-up sounds pretty sweet. And WORD to the crescent-shaped boob. I think every woman that read that cringed a little.

    Jeff: Wow, thank you. That means a lot. To be shut down laughing is not a bad way to go.

  23. 23 damon

    They squeezed you in to squeeze you in. That’s comedy gold!
    How very patronizing of them.
    Why should you sweat it out? If you had been there on time, you’d have waited in the waiting room anyway.

    damon’s last blog post..The Power of “duuh.”

  24. 24 LOBO

    In 2001, I drove around in a van and offering free on-the-spot mammograms to alleviate exactly this type of problem.

    Honestly, I don’t think you women WANT help when it comes to these things ….

    LOBO’s last blog post..Brett Favre Offered $20M Not to Play Football

  25. 25 Dani'

    Wait no deodorant? I have one on the 5th because I have a problem with one of “My Girls”. Nobody mentioned no deodorant *sweating*.

    Dani”s last blog post..and yes even more giveaways!

  26. 26 Margaret

    Excellent story. I was stressed out and sweaty right there along with you!

    “Slammogram Express” – LOL!!!!!

    Margaret’s last blog post..It’s All Fun and Games until Someone Loses an Eye

  27. 27 JD

    Augusto: So this monthly testicle exam: It’s really only monthly? I thought you guys couldn’t go an hour without . . . er, . . . examining the guys. But what do I know.

    damon: Exactly right! It was a double-squeeze. Yeah, I probably would’ve had to wait anyway, but I would’ve been on time, and therefore a more virtuous person somehow.

    LOBO: We can be pretty ornery, all right. If I had seen your van driving around as I was running and sweating, I might’ve flagged you down. I was just that desperate.

    Dani’: You better get that sweat out of your system! Seriously, check with the place that’s doing it. Maybe the rules have changed.

    I hope your girls are OK!

    Margaret: Thank you! I hope you were at least wearing deodorant.

  28. 28 JT

    Oh god that’s so funny! I just started with a new PCP, and I had 2 addresses for her. The first one sounded right as it was on a road peopled by physicians, so I left with enough time to get there 15 mins early. It was the wrong address! And the other one was 10 mins away in a huge maze of complexes! I ended up walking in 5 mins late and was so pissed off I could hardly see straight. At least I didn’t have battle the mad crowd of strollers though which is one of the many reasons I rarely go to the mall.

    JT’s last blog post..Tongues out and wagging

  29. 29 Natural

    LOL, funny story. I used to hate being late, I’m used to it now. Oh and when you are late for a doctor’s appt. they make you pay by waiting.

    When the doctor is late, it’s like oh, well he’s running behind…..blah blah blah. Next time you’ll get there early and if the doctor is late, make him wait. Tell him he doesn’t get to see your boobs for another, ohhhh….20 minutes.

    I think I need a surrogate for my mamo when I go. I got nothing. They wanna squeeze my liver, go right ahead, otherwise, I’ma need to outsource that visit.

    By any chance, did you get the number of that giant circus boob lady?

    Natural’s last blog post..A Fish Out of Water, Literally

  30. 30 JD

    JT: Oh, your PCP situation sounds like a nightmare. I’m just as enraged at 5 minutes late as I am at 20. We need to get a little perspective here!

    Natural: The giant circus boob lady was already a little miffed I asked her if she was getting a mammogram. I didn’t have the nerve to ask her number! As for outsourcing future mammos, I’m right there with you. Leave mah girls alone!

  31. 31 Regan

    I try not to speed, but that is my normal driving mode, so I simply try not to kill anyone.

    Lol, best line. It looks like I’m late to the comments…. oh well. Next time, I’ll comment before you even write the post!

    I hate those stupid judgemental receptionists…

  32. 32 JD

    Regan: Well, I’d love to read a “pre-post” comment! And what do you know about judgmental receptionists, anyway?!

  33. 33 JT

    Hey JD, I went and fixed that link just so you can get an eyeful. Enjoy!

    JT’s last blog post..The red river of flowing blood

  34. 34 JD

    JT: Now that’s more like it. I enjoyed my eyeful very much, thank you. I’m almost embarrassed by how quickly I clicked that link!

  35. 35 JT


    JT’s last blog post..The red river of flowing blood

  36. 36 Elle

    Gah, I thought I’d left a comment, and now I can’t remember what I had to say. Well, I’m sure it wasn’t that. Oh, something about boobs and deodorant and oh yeah, the first time I had a mammosplat, they had to do it twice; I’d inefficiently removed my deodorant with the high priced generic six-month-old wipes they provided for such an occasion. (didn’t get the no-deodorant memo either…) Talk about sweat!

    Elle’s last blog post..I Want Candy! Four Foods on Friday #40

  37. 37 Stephanie

    I hate being late too, but it always seems to happen. Even if I leave early – something like this happens where I end up late anyhow. I wonder why I try to make it on time.

  38. 38 JD

    Elle: HA! “mammosplat.” That’s a good one. I don’t think I sweat as much in a whole year as I do on mammo-day. Generic six-month-old wipes would be no match for me, either.

    Stephanie: I have to say, I am rarely late. In fact, even on occasions when I try to be late (ie, on time), I just can’t do it. Forces conspire against me to ensure I’m always the first one to arrive.

  39. 39 lauwer

    JD, so are truly hilarious. I wasn’t even late but I totally felt your fear and the rush you were in, I even started reading very fast. Thank god I was wearing deodorant!! And I am just like you: I hate being late and more importantly hate other people who are always late, it is so impolite, annoying and even condescending (owh well I am late, who cares?they’ll wait..)

  40. 40 JD

    lauwer: Oh, thank you! I thought more than a few people might be able to relate to this issue. LATE! I hate it. I hate it in other people, too, tho I try to be relaxed about it.

  41. 41 Karen Zemek

    Oh my, poor dear. Everything is a hassle but you went above on this one. I write down the place next to the number in my contacts because they keep changing places where I need to go.

  42. 42 JD at I Do Things

    That's a good idea. I have a feeling I won't EVER forget where my mammogram is after this experience . . . but I wrote it down anyway.

  43. 43 JB

    OMG! I hate being late! but worse is when someone else is late or flakes and you’ve been running like a madman to get there on time! DRIVES ME CRAZY! Thanks for the article!


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