I had a shock recently when I visited my doctor’s office. It had been some time since I’d been there. So when said doctor walked in to the office, and I quickly realized something was amiss, only to be confirmed when she/he announced to me that she was a “dude now”, I pretty much went into shock. The fact that she used humor to ease the shock was a gift.
Yes my naturopath, who as far as I knew was still a woman, has chosen to become a man. It was a tremendous surprise.
I was already in a slightly anxious state as she/he was about to inject a needle to pull out my blood. So my usual m-o, which is to make a joke in order to laugh and relax, was a bit slow on the uptake. All I could muster was “Wow!”
But in the course of our short visit, we did manage to interject some humor and get a few laughs. For this is how we’ve always conducted our visits. I was glad the gender switch didn’t change that. I postponed freaking out until I left the office. And I can proudly state that after my initial freak- out, I was able to laugh about it. I am still pretty much alternating between these two modes - shock and laughter.
In her book Growing Up Laughing, Marlo Thomas states, there are three kinds of people:
· Those who can never laugh at a challenge
· Those who can laugh after the challenge has passed
· Those who can laugh right in the midst of it
I thought I did pretty well.