Every morning when I log on I get sucked in by the AOL headlines. Pay attention AOL Bosses, someone there deserves a raise. This morning was no exception and the headline You Would Rather Not Discuss These Embarrassing Conditions: Top 10 List caught my eye.
The first, of course, is herpes symptoms. I clicked on the link (note to self: delete cookies) and read this: Genital herpes symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. Most people never have any symptoms or have ones that are so mild they may not recognize them, but some people develop painful and bothersome symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms are confused with other common problems, like yeast infections or vaginosis.
Yeast infection itself is on the list at #3, and vaginosis, which sounds much worse, doesn’t even crack the top 10. In fact, 8 of the top 10 Embarrassing Conditions occur in your pants, with the front containing the majority. I was surprised to see impotence as #8. There are so many commercials for remedies on TV that I assumed it had become trendy. I especially like the commercials where the couple is just about to get hot and heavy and their daughter comes home from college; I swear the wife looks relieved. Or maybe I’m just projecting.
Back to herpes, which is apparently a very black-or-white condition. Either you have no-to-mild symptoms or your nether regions are on fire and oozing. I can completely understand why one would be hesitant to admit this to anyone, and the thought of those paper gowns in the doctor’s office are always a deterrent, but how does one not seek out help for red, painful and oozing? How does anyone think “I’ll just give this another day or two and see if it doesn’t go away on its own?” I’m reluctant to shed my clothes in my own darkened bedroom and never look forward to doing it in a cold room with fluorescent lights and an unlocked door, but I have to imagine that if I was experiencing those particular symptoms I’d disrobe faster than Samantha from Sex and the City.
Incontinence is #10 on the list and I just don’t get that; it should be much higher. Herpes symptoms qualify as frightening and dangerous, while losing the ability to not wet your pants embodies the true definition of embarrassing. We are supposed to be in control of our bodies: we have deodorants to keep them from smelling, razors to keep them from being too hairy, medicines to keep them from being too flatulent, and a multi-billion dollar diet industry to keep them from being too flabby. Urination is something we are supposed to be able to control. Even though it is a medical condition, I don’t get a sense of understanding and compassion for those afflicted.
Look at Poppy from Seinfeld. The man had a family and owned his own successful business, but the minute he wet his pants on Jerry’s couch he was a pariah. And I’ll have to watch it again, but I think Poppy was about the only side character who didn’t make the final episode.
Talk about embarrassing.