When we moved to Paris, I had no idea where I should look for doctor recommendations. Slowly, as we began to make expat friends, I inquired about pediatricians. The response, over, over, and over again was an American doctor practicing in Paris. Since HJ hadn’t gotten sick, I had no idea who this American doctor was until I uttered his name at an expat mom dinner one evening. Apparently, the doctor who I had heard of so frequently was none other than Dr. Hot. Dr. Hot, coined by LA Mom’s way back in 2009, is a single, American pediatrician in Paris who is easy on the eyes and super nice. These attributions thus afford him probably 90% of all of the expatriate pediatrician business in Paris.
Since we live extremely close to Dr. Hot’s office, or “Dr. Hottie” of Paris as I’ll call him, it was a natural choice to seek him out to be HJ’s pediatrician. Dr. Hottie has seen HJ many times in the last nine months; a bad breakout of eczema = our first trip to see Dr. Hottie, followed by three high fevers since Petite Section began. I won’t lie, he is a good-looking man. Super nice and approachable despite the fact that he knows he’s über good-looking. When I first met him I though, “No wonder every.single.expat.mom has “recommended” Dr. Hottie.” He’s not my type but I get the appeal.
Last month HJ got sick with a fever and runny nose that lasted for three days. A call into the office… all I got was a weird answering machine message in French. “Le sigh.” So I emailed Dr. Hottie and he offered an appointment time later that day. I confirmed via email and left a message at the office. We arrived at the office 5 minutes before …. and they had no record of our appointment.
“It’s okay,” the receptionist said. “I’ll add you in. Please take a seat in the waiting area.”
Ugh. The waiting area, where, in no matter what country you’re in, is just a sickness petri dish. I hate it and spend most of the time redirecting my son to stop touching things and incessantly washing his hands with hand sanitizer. (Yes, I am that mom). Flash forward one hour. I see a man who strangely resembles Dr. Hottie breeze through the waiting area with a motorcycle helmet in hand. “Au revoir,” he says to the receptionist.
I’m slow to react. Wait. It’s Friday afternoon… where are you going Dr. Hottie? I scramble to pick up HJ and run into the receptionist’s office. “Was that Dr. Hottie (insert real name here) that just left? We’ve been waiting for an hour for our appointment!”
Luckily another doctor ran out the door and got Dr. Hottie back in there. After a few minutes recapping my version of events, we figured out that the receptionist never added us. Dr. Hottie sincerely apologized and checked HJ out. After a clean bill of health (it was just a viral infection), he apologized again and waived the appointment fee. We followed him out of the office, Dr. Hottie clutching his helmet, sporting a neatly fashioned scarf around his neck and a well-fitted leather jacket. And then it popped into my head.
I know that there are all types of scooters and motorcycles parked outside. There are two BMW scooters out there, which feature roofs. Without fail, every time I see one I think “Those should only be driven by men over 60,” and those men
should have must have grey or white hair. They cannot be driven by Dr. Hottie.
“Please don’t let it be his, please don’t let it be his,” I chant in my head as I carry HJ outside.
Dr. Hottie strolls over, puts his helmet on, and straddles this:
The moral of the story is that in my mind, Dr. Hottie was a bad ass, impeccably dressed, “incredibly good-looking” pediatrician who drove a motorcycle, adding to his mythical expat mom persona. In reality, he’s just a man. A man who drives an old man scooter.
Side note: If you ever read this Dr. Hottie, apologies for poking fun at your scooter. Please continue to see HJ for his medical appointments and for my sake, never mention reading this post. Thank you.