'Katherine' was a vibrant, talkative, quick-moving lady who came to see me as a patient from time to time. She had lost her husband quite suddenly just three years before I met her, but she carried herself with poise and a smile. She was always dressed impeccably, and without fail wore stylish high-heeled shoes in every possible shade of colour. Her hair was 'just so', her makeup discreet and tasteful.
Her manner of addressing me was more of an interrogation than a greeting..." So? How are you then? I LIKE that shirt; is it new? It's nice, matches your eyes. So when are you going to have some babies, hmm?". I wasn't really required to reply, more just to smile and nod.
Likewise, when asked her reason for attending, Katherine would respond with a list of demands, as opposed to requests. " Well, I want some cream for my rash, and I think there's something going on with my knee. Oh, and I think my hair might be getting thinner - what do you think? Is it? By the way, you need to do a breast check - I thought I felt a lump last week. And don't forget I need that cream". It was all I could do not to click my heels together and bawl, "Yes, maam!"
Despite her unusual ways, I found Katherine intriguing and appealing. For one thing, she was obviously clever, and loved nothing more than to partake in snappy repartee. Her eyes would sparkle as she tried to tease with a poker face; she would burst out laughing with a hooting, body-shaking mirth.
The best entertainment was when Katherine would tell me about her social life. She was always out and about, and delighted in telling me the latest gossip about all her friends. For awhile, one friend, Barbara, seemed to be particularly important to Katherine. Then one day, Katherine came in seething. Barbara had asked out Katherine's current love interest! And even worse, the wretched man had accepted the invitation! Katherine was seething, she was fuming, she was flaring her nostrils in disgust. Now she turned snarky... " That Barbara... she wears SO much rouge, it's AWFUL. And her TIGHT TOPS...she' s too old for TIGHT TOPS. They're low-cut, too, just trashy." Katherine tossed her head. " If that's what he likes, he's welcome to her."
Katherine had no qualms in telling me about her s*e*x life, either. One boyfriend she ditched because he hardly ever wanted 'it'; another she mocked, because he required, shall we say, some 'chemical enhancement' in order to perform. " My husband NEVER needed anything like THAT!", she scoffed. It was difficult to keep a straight face around Katherine sometimes. Much of the time she was funny without meaning to be. I did a great deal of 'ahh'-ing and 'mm'-ing. The lady was a riot.
But I haven't told you the funniest thing about the vivacious and dynamic Katherine. Katherine was a giggly and gorgeous 78 years of age. Fancy that, eh?