Several years back, I endured a rather unpleasant bike accident: I shattered my right ankle and dislocated my right shoulder. I logged two weeks in the hospital, four months on crutches, six operations, and what had to have been a hundred sessions of physical therapy. Was it fun? It was not. Did I nonetheless unearth a hitherto unknown reserve of handsome men? I did.
Two words, six syllables: Medical. Residents. As someone who spent her twenties flailing and failing her way through every manner of self-expression — acting, stand-up comedy, spoken-word poetry, competitive storytelling, lackluster creative writing — I never found myself meeting/dating doctors. I met/dated under-employed, under-accomplished actors, musicians, and painters, not to mention myriad cooks at the various restaurants that employed me. But doctors were out of reach — that is, until they had occasion to wheel me around for cat scans and MRIs, and check in daily about my pain levels.
To make the recovery process a wee bit more fun — hospitals get boring pretty quickly; you can comb through Facebook only so many times before you start thinking maybe you were wrong, maybe it is compelling, uploading photos of your food — I started flirting with my doctors. I’m sorry, but what do you want? They were handsome…and I was bored and heavily medicated.
Naturally, the last thing I’d want for any of you out there is a hospital visit. However! Were it to happen, why not make the whole thing more interesting by hitting on your surgeon? My tips, learned and honed through hard, old-fashioned experience, included below.
Broaden the conversation
You and your surgeon will be speaking mostly on the subject of your injury, so you’ve got to make the effort to expand the conversation. He’ll be all, “Have you been elevating the limb as instructed?” and you must be all, “You know I have, doc. But let’s talk about you for a moment, shall we? First off, love the scrubs. Second off, are you from (FILL IN CITY NAME) originally or is it just the call of surgery that brought you here?”
Lip-gloss is a girl’s best friend.
Your surgeon will undoubtedly see you unconscious in a hairnet during surgery. One day he’ll probably spot you on your bedpan. So why not do a little appearance maintenance to mitigate the side effects? Tame the mane into a fetching up-do; slap on some lip-gloss; moisturize the décolletage. Bear in mind the adage “every little bit helps.”
Blame it on your painkillers.
You simply can’t be held accountable for what you say when drugged up on Percocet, morphine, Dilaudid… the list goes on and on. My father, who’d been with me in the hospital, told me that on one occasion my surgeon entered my room, and I promptly shouted, “You smell the like ocean. I love it.” These are exactly the sort of gems I urge you to toss around!
Do the requisite Internet stalking.
Sure, it’s easy to look sexy in scrubs — but you need to know what your surgeon’s deal in his down time. Learn from my rookie mistake: For two weeks, I threw myself at surgeon as much as any woman can lying prostrate with half her body in a cast. It was only later that I bothered to Google him and learned that, on his off hours, he favors the widest of wide leg jeans and belts with buckles that, I swear to god, you could see from outer space. I want to spare you my sad fate, dear reader, so please: Google first. AND THEN AND ONLY THEN devote yourself to my other wise instructions.
“Sara Barron is the author of People Are Unappealing and the forthcoming Eating While Peeing: and other adventures.”