Does This Bathrobe Make Me Look Old?
My 10:30 am patient is still completing paperwork over in registration. The radiology techs, in matching grey scrubs, are chatting amongst one another as they work. Busily completing some documentation, I have all but tuned them out when something is said which catches my attention.
“…and I sort of want one,” a rad tech says to the other four, “but I don’t want one, too, you know? Because it means I’m old.”
The coworkers smile and nod. They share her opinion.
What product or service is she talking about? Do I use it?
“What will make you feel old?” I ask. (Note: All the rad techs are nice young women who allow me to butt in at will.)
She looks up from her papers – a thin stack of to-be-sorted orders. The abrupt movement of her head sets her ponytail into motion.
“A robe?!” I say.
“Why is that?” I ask.
“I mean, a robe just seems like something an old woman would wear. It does to me, anyway.”
“I wear I robe,” I say.
The look I get from this group of younger women – it is pity to be sure. Uncertain to me, however, is whether their pity stems from the fact that I wear a robe or the fact that I had been deluded enough to think it was an ageless garment.
“You don’t wear a robe in the morning?” I ask.
“No,” she says.
“None of you?” I ask.
Their head shakes are as uniform as their scrubs.
“So what do you do when you get out of the shower?”
“Get dressed,” they answer.
So now I know. But I don’t care. I adore my robe. It is a warm start to a cold morning. A comfort preceding several hours of potential uncomfortable situations. The coffee of apparel. And they can pity me all they like. I pity them right back. If bathrobes are for the aged, so, too, is the outlook that a woman should do as she likes, regardless of how it appears to others.