My sister, Louise, called yesterday. Her first words were: “I had a procedure done.”
Unfortunately, I knew what she meant; the threatened plastic surgery on her woman’s parts was underway. I immediately cut her off: “Hold on. You know I can’t take the gory details. So I’ll ask the questions and you answer as briefly as possible, okay?”
“Fine. Ask away.”
Desperate to avoid the information overload I’d experienced during our last conversation on the subject, I gently probed as to which of her two contemplated medical procedures had occurred: the breast work or the refurbishment of her nether region: “Which job – north or south?”
Uh oh! I thought. Louise’s prior announcement had left me dreaming of disgusting desert themes and waking in a cold sweat for days after. If I wanted to avoid a repeat performance, I knew I’d have to tread lightly: “Are you doing okay?”
“Yes, and no.”
‘And no?’ Why couldn’t the answer be a simple ‘yes,’ so we can move on to the weather? With those thoughts churning, I strained for a safe way to flesh out the “no.” I must’ve over-ruminated though, since Louise mistook my silence for an implied invitation to elaborate: “I’m fine, but the quack botched the operation!”
Under no circumstances did I wish to hear any of those details. But before my tongue could act, Louise continued: “My labia look terrible, Richard. I told him I only wanted them trimmed. I said, ‘like at the barbershop; just take a little off the top.’ Instead, the asshole gave me the labial version of a crew-cut! And now my vagina’s like a window without the shutters!”
Since hanging up on Louise, I’ve found two new disturbing images seared into my gray cells. I won’t describe them, but I promise I’ll never think of haircuts and home decor normally again.
As if Louise’s phone call wasn’t sufficiently damaging to my psyche, she decided to follow up with an e-mail this morning. It read: “Richard, take a look at this and tell me if you think I should sue the doctor for malpractice.”
Before I could stop myself, my eyes dropped … and soaked up two graphic before-and-after images from Louise’s labiaplasty. As I’ll tell her – once the shaking stops – I don’t do medical malpractice, and I know nil about vaginal reconstructions. I do handle general tort actions, however. And though I have no idea if my sister has a viable med mal case, I’m almost positive I have a solid claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress … against her.