I’ll Have What They’re Having (They’re Having A Spine X-Ray)
It’s farmers’ market season. I don’t know if farmer is supposed to be singular or plural possessive, and I am not afraid to admit that.
I love farmer’s markets (switching up the noun to show I’m openminded) but rarely do I make purchases while there, opting instead for banter with vendors that inevitably ends with me slowly backing away while saying “I gotta swing back around before I head out!” We both know it’s a lie.
In 2020, going to the market every Sunday by myself was 1) a ritualistic habit reflecting my superiority complex and 2) a way to interact with strangers in a new city while also staying as safe as possible (???) during a pandemic. In 2021, I have big city friends to accompany me to the market. Sure, it’s less superior, but I love having an audience for me to just do bits at.
*Pause In Story Timeline* I just had to look up whether or not Billie Eilish is queer. According to the information known to Wikipedia as of June 18th, 2021, she is not. Alright, back to markets or whatever.
My market strategy (ha) has changed since she (the market) and I were last acquainted, which was famously October of 2020. This change has been brought to you by “cash tips.” “Cash Tips,” for when you want to buy something but not see the amount of money in your bank account go down.
The market in the neighborhood near me opened the first week of May, and a friend suggested we go. Play money in hand, I put on my helmet and hopped on my bike, whose full Christian name is Marjory Joan. I had no purchase plan other than a vague interest in getting rainbow chard and also checking out a Nut Butter stand. The fact that nut butters are just blended up nuts and thus easy to make and cheaper to make yourself is not lost on me. But my Nutribullet would implode if I put more than a dollars worth of nuts in her. The issue is I really want to try pistachio butter but I simply don’t have the credit account length to get the loan approval for that kind of purchase.
My friend, who I will now reveal to be named Allison and no I cannot promise that is spelled with two l’s, and I walked from vendor to vendor, every single one a paying audience member to my one woman show. At least they were in my mind. I mean I was absolutely on FIRE at this farmer’s market. If y’all were able to make it to the show, you saw my best work to date.
A rival bakery (I work at a bakery) had a tent at the market. This tent contained two very important things: laminated pastries and a hot woman employee. After Allison bought her granola, we beelined to the bakery bitch and her treasure trove of goodies.
The subpar bakery (I was paid to say that) had no more cardamon buns, but the hot woman worker™️ shared that the chocolate croissants were her favorite. It’s illegal to say no to a hot woman’s favorite baked good from her place of employment, so I said “okay, I’ll try it.” She gave me the friends and family discount so yes, we are engaged. I tried to do flirting at her and ultimately, idk! Full disclosure, my idea of flirting is saying “am I a friend or family” in response to her informing me of the discount. Sexy!
Allison and I were high off the prospect of queer love, stumbling to the next vendor where yet another young person was working for a wage probably too low but enough to pay the rent and allow for takeout once a week. She had a buzzcut and a passion for chiropractors.
Because we were standing at a tent for what appeared to be a fast casual chiropractor chain.
My back feels like hot white fire truly 94 percent of the time and up until very recently I learned that that is not an experience I share with my fellow man. It was actually at this farmer’s market that I learned this, because both the spine girl and Allison were like “no, that’s not normal.” And Allison has scoliosis for crying out loud. Sorry to doxx you like that, Allison. And sorry, HIPPA. HIPA? HIPPPA? Allison is not reading this anyway.
Spine Girl was loving our banter while also dragging our asses (posture) in front of my hot woman worker™️ at the bakery stand! Nonetheless we were having fun. There was a promotion going on for spine scans, which I’m sure is common at the farmers market but also why in the world is a chiropractor at a FARMERS MARKET.
We could get a spine scan for 15 dollars. Now I’m sure you’re like, okay but what IS a spine scan exactly? And when I handed over the 15 dollars, I also was wondering this.
Two weeks later, Allison and I were in a neighborhood with an above-average median household income, spines ready to shine. No offense to chiropractors but you do sort of forget that they are medical professionals. I was harshly reminded that they are, at minimum, medical-adjacent. Allison and I sat shoulder to shoulder in a small room as a spine doctor looked at my “chart?” and asked if I was receiving treatment for my eating disorder. I said yes even though I’m not because spine scan =/= therapy.
Allison was scooped away to get the actual spine scan, or what I’ll call the dessert of the appointment. Alone in the room, I looked at the poster asking what my pain level was. I hate this poster because it’s so subjective and you feel like an asshole when you say anything above an 8 unless you’re bleeding out of every orifice. My pain is a 6 today.
I spent thrice the amount of time as my good friend getting my scan. The alleged doctor kept messing up the scanner/x-ray machine/ imaging toy and used the phrase “that’s what I get for trying to be slick” which obviously means he should be jailed posthaste. I’m unsure what ‘slick’ moves he was making, or trying to make, but buddy was cutting into my drag bingo time. Oh yeah, Allison and I went to drag bingo after this appointment, and I encourage everyone to follow suit after your first spine scan.
Eventually we met the lead Chiropractor at this location. I guess that’s the right term? Director? Well over six feet tall and absolutely ripped, I knew instantly that I was in the wrong for not being attracted to him. He told us to come back ASAP for our results.
I made the second journey alone. Upon walking through the door, I was taken to a small office, seated, and shown a video. Over and over again I kept adjusting my posture in the uncomfortable seat, hyperaware as the video talked about the dangers of deteriorating something or another. When the video finished, the hot-but-not-hot-to-me doctor entered right on cue. He asked me about the video. I said something stupid and vaguely coherent. Classic.
A few minutes goes by and I realize I still have my airpods in while this medical professional is talking to me. Is he smart or dumb for not saying anything? He told me I could do 24 sessions for 500 dollars, saving me over 2,000. I didn’t need to see the work of how he arrived to the answer. Flustered, confused, and a hoe for a bargain, I chaotically handed over my credit card (cashback, baby!).
It should be noted that I am going through a quarter life crisis, which has taken the form of me spending money. I am not one to usually partake in this activity, but sure, I’ll use a mortgage downpayment on my bones. Yes, I am aware that 500 dollars is not enough for a downpayment on a house please leave me alone thank you.
My chaotic renaissance seemed to have been born in that uncomfortable ass chair as I signed some paper saying I can’t sue if they snap my neck, or something like that, and then paying for the 24 sessions. Since then, I have been late to so many of my broken back appointments, which hot doctor always forgives, asking me how my day is going and somehow remembering every single detail of my life that I have revealed.
Twice a week, I swipe my little chiropractor card like I’m going to the gym or getting on the train. The same faces are stretching. We are all in this together, my comrades in alternative medicine since Allison never took the plunge.
Once I’m done with my ten minutes of stretching, I straddle what is essentially a broken office chair to loosen my tailbone, I think. This takes six minutes. I get my adjustment and proceed to “traction.”
Long gone are the simple days of just a spine scan and medical questionaire. Traction requires me to lay on an object that looks like a foam building block intended for play and not neck realignments. It’s supposed to reestablish the natural curve in one’s neck but I spend ten minutes twice a week wondering if I am laying my neck on the thing correctly and if I am not, what the repercussions down the road will be. Soon I will be moving up to twelve minutes a day.
In the end, I think I spent 500 dollars to be in more pain but at least I sound really cool when I say I have a chiropractor appoinment at 7am the next day. It ultimately is my fault. Swindled by peer pressure, I ignored my gut. Always order the chicken tenders. The spine scan is alluring and new but the chicken tenders will NEVER let you down.