The Best Pap Smear Ever


By Clifford Henderson

Newly in love, my girlfriend and I decided to get Pap smears at our local Women’s Health Center. I know. It doesn’t sound very romantic. But, in a way, it was. The year was 1991, and we were on the threshold of starting our lives together. And we were so in love: crazy, giggly, can’t keep-your-hands-off-each-other in love; we didn’t want to leave each other’s side for one second. So if Pap smears were to be had, why not schedule them together? As far as I was concerned, it was almost as big a commitment as getting married—because I’m sure the pap smears were my idea. Dixie, who I’m still with twenty-five, love-filled-years later, grew up on a cattle ranch in the dusty panhandle of Texas where “doctorin’ what ailed” consisted of shaving off a piece of a cow penicillin pill and downing it with a swig of Mama’s sweet tea. Me? I was a doctor’s daughter and big on those annual check-ups.


Cut to the Pap smears: Dixie in one brightly-lit examination room plastered with empowering, multi-colored, multi-ethnic posters of earthy womyn doing things like birthing the earth from their loins, their arms sprouting trees; me in a similarly decorated room next door; our feet simultaneously propped up in pot-holder-covered stirrups; our inner most cavities being simultaneously probed by thoughtfully warmed up speculums. Make no mistake, it was love, and we were in it.


scan0004As fate would have it, our appointments ended at the exact same time—a miracle since I always saddle my health care professionals with tons of questions—and so we met up in the lobby, each of us feeling that I-am-Woman-hear-me-roar feeling. Or, I was anyway. Dixie, no doubt, was thinking: Sheesh! Glad we got that over with. Now can we get back to sex? But there was a hubbub going on in the lobby. The staff seemed all worked up—as well they should’ve been because who was visiting the Health Center that day, but Gloria Steinem! I’m not kidding! She was standing there all tall and gorgeous and in those big glasses of hers. Turns out, she had a speaking engagement in Santa Cruz that day, and was just checking the place out.


It gets better.


One of Gloria’s entourage rushed up and said, “Gloria would like to have her picture taken with you. Would that be okay?” Of course, we said, “Yes!” Or, I did. I’m pretty sure Dixie just wanted to get the hell out of there. You can see it on her face. She’ll tell you it looks like she thinks Gloria just farted.


Weeks later, the Gloria sighting a mere speck compared to the wonder of falling in love, the photographer unexpectedly dropped the photo off where I worked, and, damn it, I never got her name—or, if I did, I was too love-stricken to remember it—but her photo sits proudly on a bookshelf of our office. I have had many pap smears since, (Dixie not so many) but never one graced by a celebrity.


Rest Home Runaways 300 DPISo, I hope you enjoyed my tale of The Best Pap Smear Ever enough to check out one of my novels. I’m slowly working on a fifth. Send me good vibes to keep going. And get your annual check-up! You never know what might happen.


Send me a comment about one of your Pap smears or Gloria sightings by Feb. 28th     and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a copy of one of my novels—your choice.bsb_spanking_new_3ds__53490BSB_Mayes_Request_small

19 Responses to “The Best Pap Smear Ever”

  1. 1 Tq February 25, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    OMG! I can never read anything from you without laughing. Your s**t is just hilarious. You have me in tears. Thank you 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 2 Connie February 25, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Love this! Cliffi, you and Dixie look like babies. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Joyce Michaelson February 25, 2016 at 4:34 PM

    Love the story and the pic! Yôu all look so adorable! Here’s my best Pap smear story: When my daughter was about 4 or 5 I took her to my annual appointment with my gynecologist. She was quiet during the exam, but when the doctor left the room, I said, “When you grow up you will go the doctor, too. Every woman does.Once a year”. She said, ” Oh, no, I don’t want to have babies, so I won’t have too”, and I replied, “even women who don’t have babies do it”. She puzzled for a moment and asked, ” Does Cyndi Crawford have to do it?”, at which point a roar of laughter broke out in the hallway and the doctor peeked in and said,” Cyndi Crawford has to come in once a month!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 5 Bayla Greenspoon February 25, 2016 at 6:09 PM

    Such a GREAT story! If it weren’t so politically incorrect and nasty, I’d call it “A Tale of Two Tw__ts”. (Don’t tell Gloria!) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 7 Cindy February 25, 2016 at 6:36 PM

    Gloria S ????
    Can’t top that story but once when I was downtown (Minneapolis, MN) I ran into Debbie Reynolds!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 8 Sharon Clark February 25, 2016 at 7:02 PM

    Great story and great timing on your part 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 9 MarNae Taylor February 25, 2016 at 7:38 PM

    I don’t have an interesting story. Been many times and I’ll go again. But I’m like Dixie, in and out quickly. With everything. At the doctors that is.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 10 Central Oregon Coast NOW February 25, 2016 at 7:44 PM

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW and commented:
    Gloria Steinem sighting at a pap smear appointment! Can you beat that?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 11 Linda February 26, 2016 at 3:13 AM

    Sending good vibes from the Netherlands. Love the blog and your books. Maye’s request is the only one I didn’t read yet. Just put it on my to-read-list! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 12 Devlyn February 26, 2016 at 6:17 AM

    Clifford, no matter what tale you are telling you never cease to make me laugh. Thanks for the chuckles over the years and here’s hoping for many many more moments.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 13 franci mcmahon February 26, 2016 at 9:10 AM

    Cliffi, I’ll second Devlyn…I love your writing, crisp, funny and right to the point.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 14 S.A. February 26, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Ha! That’s a great blog; thanks for sharing. Congrats on 25 years-and-counting! Looking forward to your latest book.


  13. 15 chefany February 26, 2016 at 11:59 PM

    I adore this story! I’m so glad you are sharing it and your personal business to the world!!! LOL!!!


  14. 16 Elaine Burnes February 27, 2016 at 7:14 AM

    Wow, talk about timely, amid the Lands’ End/Gloria Steinem kerfuffle. (I happen to have a print copy of the catalog so can still read the interview.) I got nuthin’ about pap smears that compares to your story, but am psyched about your next book. Can’t wait! And that’s not an earthquake, that’s my happy vibes coming your way.


  15. 18 JoHanna Massey February 29, 2016 at 5:48 AM

    Oh this is such a very cool story. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 19 Kim February 29, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Get my check-ups religiously…now I’ll be doing it more gladly. Hoping for a chance meeting with Gloria! Too funny and thanks for sharing. Good vibes headed your way for you ongoing writing!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 625 other followers

%d bloggers like this: