Shrimp and Asparagus Salad; the importance of sexy undies

Question:  Why should one always wear sexy underwear for doctor's appointments in France?

Answer:  Because if you're going to parade around strangers, of both sexes and all ages, in your undies (or less) for the better part of an hour you'll want to look your best.

A few weeks at the local gym prior to the appointment wouldn't hurt either.

I didn't have enough warning for that. (The gym bit.)

This is how it all happened that I was, er, strutting my stuff in my best lace yesterday….

Part of the French medical system is their urgent desire to take care of everyone. 

A few months ago I got a Hemoccult Test Kit in the mail…..

A simple thing, I know, but not one of my favorites.  I had no idea why I got it so I ignored it.

A month later I got another one – and a reminder to please use it.

I did.

A week later I got the test results in the mail…. All fine.

No doctor involved. Just a test that someone, somewhere, decided it was time for me to have.

Two weeks ago I received an invitation for a complete physical…. Please indicate what day I prefer.  They will schedule it and send me the appropriate documents to fill out.

Resistance is futile.

I gave them a day; they sent the paperwork and yesterday morning I showed up at the 'Center for Health' in Agen promptly at 8:30.

Along with about 40 other people – all ages.

What happened next was an amazingly orchestrated, extremely efficient, assembly-line style physical exam for everyone there. 

For 2 1/2 hours we all went from room to room, technician to doctor to dentist to nurse, and had our eyes examined, our teeth checked, our hearing tested, blood drawn for a complete work-up, an EKG, a lifestyle assessment (diet, exercise, social and familial involvement) and, finally, a complete exam.

From past experience with my GYN, I wasn't expecting the usual gown and sheet routine one gets in the US.  When I have a mammogram here, I sit in a room, naked from the waist up, waiting my turn with other, equally bare women.  Interns and doctors, male and female, walk in and out…. No one gives it a thought.

You can see how looking one's best, or, at least, as good as possible, in these situations can go a long way to boosting one's self-confidence.  (Which, along with other things, can sag as time goes on)

Naturally, I didn't know whether I would be allowed to keep anything on, but, just in case I wanted to look my, er, best.

You see, along with not providing gowns and sheets, French doctor's don't leave the room while one undresses. 

One can be sitting, quite civilized, having a chat with the doctor, when she/he will finally say: 'okay, strip and get on the table (or something like that).


Why sexy underwear?

While my doctor (male) may not have noticed my lacy undies – or anyone's sexy underwear for that matter.  But, I'm quite certain, him being French and all, he would have noticed if they were, um, shall we say….. comfy?

He would expect sexy, after all. 

For the curious: for one techinician it all came off, for the doc I got to keep the undies…. For which I am duly grateful, as he had me doing things like touch my toes (spine check), etc.

To celebrate – one last hurrah with the asparagus for the season!

Shrimp and Asparagus Salad

Shrimp and Asparagus Salad

12oz (350gr) shrimp, cleaned
8oz (125gr) asparagus
1/2 cup large couscous  – Israeli couscous, Portuguese cuscus
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
6oz (200gr) salad greens – lettuce, spinach…
2 tbs fresh, snipped basil
2 tbs fresh, snipped parsley
1 tbs fresh snipped tarragon
1/3 cup chopped green olives, about 12
2oz (60gr) bacon
1/2 medium onion
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
4 tsp olive oil divided
1/2 tsp paprika

Prepare greens, rinse, spin dry if needed. Clean shrimp if needed.
Cook large couscous in stock and water until done – either according to package instructions, or do a taste test. Mine took 10 minutes. Drain.
Make vinaigrette. Snip herbs. Chop olives. Slice bacon into matchsticks. Chop onion.
Trim asparagus but leave whole. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet. Add asparagus and sauté until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Add remaining 2 tsp olive oil and paprika. Sauté 1/2 minute. Add shrimp and quickly sauté until cooked through. They will curl and turn opaque when done. Remove and set aside.
Add bacon, onion to skillet and sauté until bacon is crisp. Remove skillet from heat and add Balsamic vinegar, cooked couscous, olives and shrimp. Stir well to combine.
To finish: Toss greens, herbs with vinaigrette and arrange in large salad bowl or on two plates. Spoon shrimp and couscous into the center, arrange asparagus on top and serve.


1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 tbs tarragon white wine vinegar
3 tbs olive oil, good stuff, for salads

Whisk mustard and vinegar together in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil until thick and creamy.

week of June 11 we have Caprese Spinach Salad, Balsamic-Glazed Veal Chops, Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken, Basmati Rice and Asparagus Gratin, Deviled Pork Chops….  

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14 thoughts on “Shrimp and Asparagus Salad; the importance of sexy undies”

  1. And here in America, if you try to skip the gown because they are just STUPID, the doctor will probably freak out. *sigh* I’d think it might be easier to hang onto some dignity in your skin and some panties than in those damn gowns.
    But I am a dancer and therefore have very, very little body modesty. I can imagine that whole experience would be, um, *trying* for most.
    Hope you got a clean bill of health!

  2. I think more women should realize the importance of sexy undies….if not for anyone who may see them but for your own self image! Glad you go thru the exam !

  3. How wonderfully funny! I hope after all that you got a clean, if sexy, bill of health.
    We’ve still got asparagus coming in so this recipe is a must try.

  4. very enlightening, although I wish someone could explain why a french doctor in the U.S. needed to measure the bust size (at the nipple) when I was applying for a visa to live there for a year in 1988. felt fishy at the time!

  5. Zoomie, it is a good incentive. I have my GYN app. in September…. I’m thinking a 5 lbs loss would be good….
    Ina, one gets used to it…. One has no choice.
    Pam, and we do have topless (and nude) beaches. After you get a look at some of the grannies going topless…..
    Laurie, I think people are just more excepting of reality here. One looks like one looks and that’s it. Of course, one tries to look good ;-))
    Chef Dennis, you are absolutely right. And if you look at the many lingerie shops here…. French women agree.
    Shayne, it does have a way of encouraging looking good.
    Magic, thanks…
    Christine, should get the results in the mail this week… but they all seemed satisfied.
    Kirsten, that does seem rather fishy…. I had waist and hips measured (for logical medical reasons), but not bust…

  6. So that’s why French women don’t get fat! I mean really it seems very logical to me.
    Lacy undies …. I need to go shopping.
    LOVE the salad.

  7. Hate lacey undies — they itch. (Yes, I know they make very soft stretchy lace these days. It’s the concept that itches.) I’d rather go commando. 😉
    Of course, my usual MO is plain cotton undies ’cause they’re comfy….
    If I want sexy, I’ll go for the full blown corset and garters. Like I said, dancer. No modesty. 😉 And YES, Europeans in general seem more accepting of bodies as they are. Hooray for that!
    Shutting up about undies now…. 😉

  8. Tanna, pride can go along way towards passing up that last bit of baguette. One can’t hide the extra pound when one is naked.
    Laurie, the doc probably would have noticed the comfy cotton – and definitely the corset and garters…. LOL

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