Aaaah … the joys of military life just don’t stop! Every day in the newspapers I read about people complaining about how the military and the Department of Defense as a whole is cutting back – on jobs, on services, on everything. But what these people fail to mention is the FREE lessons they give us every day. Yes, you read correctly, FREE. I got such a lesson myself today. I ran out of birth control pills 2 or 3 weeks ago, which signaled to me that it was time for my yearly. So I call to schedule an exam. Only there’s a waiting list. Waiting list? For an exam? So I wait two weeks before someone calls me to set my appointment. Anyway, today the appointment rolls around and I have made plans to “skip” lunch so I don’t have to take my appointment time out of my sick leave. Ok, now I know that may sound kinda shady, but I might need that sick leave – you know, for my (cough, cough) trip to Italy next month. So I get there a little early like they suggest – 1:15 for a 1:30 appointment. They have me fill out all these forms, which I don’t really understand, because haven’t I filled these out before? Then they give me a survey to say what I like and dislike about the clinic. Now, I must say that was a smart move, giving out the surveys BEFORE people see the doctor. That way they have nothing bad to report yet. So I’m chilling, reading the only damn magazine in the place “Family Fun” like I care about how to make a little house out of sponges and make grass grow on it (Who would WANT that?!?). I glance at my watch, 1:45, and I’m getting a little antsy. I admit it, I hate to wait. But I’ve come to expect to wait a LITTLE bit. They take my vitals and my blood pressure is high. I think that was a sign – a sort of preemptive sign of my impending anger. After they take the vitals, you know it’s only a matter of time before you get to the doctor (or in my case nurse practitioner) right? Wrong. I sit, tapping my feet, glancing at the plasma TV that’s playing some cartoon movie, the same movie that was on when I got there that they have had time to start over and how in the hell can they afford a plasma TV but they can’t hire another doctor up in this piece? At 2 I go to the reception desk and ask if maybe I had the wrong appointment time. I don’t. So I’m getting heated. I mean HEATED. I haven’t been that mad in a long time, since ole’ girl almost made me go off on her that time. 2:15. 2:30.2:45. I go back up to the desk, as where the restroom is just as my name is being called into the exam room. “I’m sorry ma’m, something unexpected came up during her last exam,” Soldier somebody says. DO I LOOK LIKE I GIVE A FLYING F$%^?!?!? You should have told me that an hour ago! But I just look at him with that smile I used when I’m pissed the hell off. I think he got the point. So when I get in there I already have an attitude, and you know how hard it is to break out of pissed off mode once you’re deep off into it. Nurse tells me to take off my clothes, put on the robe, yada yada yada. Now I know it’s her job to say that, but inside I’m screaming, “I’m 26!!! I know that I need to put on the damn robe facing the front!!!” And what’s the point of going behind a curtain to take your clothes off, and even putting on the robe for that matter? You end up butt booty nekkid anyway! So when the nurse finally comes in to talk to me she’s asking me all these dumba$$ questions, like when was your last exam. How in the eff should I know? You got my chart in your hand. It’s right there, I see it. I heard you on your computer before. What were you doing if not looking up my patient history so you wouldn’t have to come in here and ask me all these dumba$$ questions? Then they rush through my exam, shoving the speculum in so damn hard I can still feel it and tell me not to start smoking before I leave. OMG!!! So what free lesson did the Army teach me today? Patience. Or at least they tried to.