After yesterday’s routine yearly catch-up, Rachel Reed of Milford, Connecticut discovered that her intrusive and unapologetically disapproving friend, Dr. Christine O’Leary, was not “that high-horse friend who only wants to hang out on weekdays,” but her primary care physician.
“It explains a lot. The weird coat, for starters,” says Reed, shaking her head.
At first, Dr. Christine’s questions seemed like formal, scientific versions of any typical girl’s afternoon chat. “Normal stuff like, ‘Are you sexually active?’ ‘With how many partners?’ ‘How many units of alcohol do you consume per week?’ You know, just boys and booze. But then she got judgmental,” Reed notes. “Like, I don’t need statistics about HPV. I need a friend.”
Reed recalls Dr. Christine’s raised right brow when she confessed to drinking two bottles of Merlot with six Lean Cuisine lasagnas on an average weeknight. “It’s one thing to trade diet tips. But she made me actually get on a scale while she wrote down the exact measurements to keep track of my weight gain. What kind of friend does that?”
While recounting Dr. Christine’s affinity for exact numbers and details, Reed says, “I thought maybe she had Asperger’s or something.”
Reed’s suspicions grew when Dr. Christine flat-out denied the existence of her self-diagnosed brain tumor. “She kept emphasizing, ‘Trust me, I know more than WebMD, because I am an actual M.D.,’ like she thought she was better than me or something.”
The line was officially crossed when Dr. Christine tried to perform a routine pap smear. “I mean, she knows I’m bi-curious, but she’s my friend, you know?” That’s when Dr. Christine laid it all out. “I should have seen it coming,” sighs Reed. “She was my only friend who charged a copay.”
Reed has since changed doctors, hoping this time everyone will be more honest about their intentions. “I just really thought Dr. Christine and I had a very open relationship. She knew nearly everything about me. And she seemed to really care—always taking those illegible notes!”
Gaining support from other friends and loved ones has helped Reed through the pain of Christine’s betrayal. “My boyfriend’s actually on his way to fix my toilet. He lives in my building.” Reed stops and smiles. “He’s a real super guy.”