"Dr. Shyder? We are all wondering. What is that in your pocket?"
I was taken off guard. What was she talking about? I was wearing light blue scrubs - they were so worn and thin. I've been wearing them for six years.
"Do you mean the stain?" I was embarrassed I know it looks funny to have a light brown stain on my back pocket. I intentionally wore a light jacket over my t-shirt today to try to cover it up. "Sometimes I put my vitamin in my back pocket because I don't like to take it before I eat - it makes me nauseated. Then I forget to take it once I get to work and it ends up in the wash. It eventually washes out after two or three washes. I can imagine what you think a brown stain back there might look like, you don't have to tell me."
"No, not what is on your pocket, what is in your pocket."
I felt my pocket and remembered the pony tail holder I put in it this morning anticipating another busy day on call. Yesterday there were twelve frozens between 8 and noon. Today was quieter, but I had another late brain frozen tonight that never happens twice in one week. The pony tail hadn't happened yet this morning, but it was imminent.
I pulled it out to show her. "Just my pony tail holder see? What did you think it was?"
She whispered conspiratorially. "I'm scared to tell you." She paused dramatically. "We thought it was a condom."
I laughed so hard. It was a nice release. "Oh that's funny. If only! I'm not that cool. But it's nice you thought I was. The unmarried doctor with the condom in her pocket. Headed to the Dr.'s lounge to scope out a partner for a midday release in the call room. Ha! Sorry just a ponytail holder." They laughed and I headed back to my office.
As I walked I was thinking if I really was looking around here I would hit up that support staff in radiology first - don't know his name or what exactly he does but he looks better than anyone I've seen in the Dr.'s lounge. But there's some good candidates in the lounge too. If I was that type of girl, but I'm not. That's fantasy fodder. I'm a serial monogamist, to borrow a term from my favorite hairdresser and good friend.
Man I loved Monsters in my Pocket. I remember a guy I thought was really cool in college was walking home one night in his trademark burlap sack dress. He was a hulk of a guy with pale skin and red hair. As the tale goes, he was stopped by the Conway cops. He was stone cold sober. They asked him if he had anything in his pockets. He said, "Yes, I've got Monsters in my Pockets." You can imagine that going over well by some gentle giant college punk to a couple of small town cops. He was let go after they saw the tiny soft plastic monster figures.