- 1:47 p.m.
That’s right. I rolled the dice, spun the wheel, took a crack at it.
Here’s goes (again):
Thanks to manymany of you (well, ALL of you for your continued readership, seeing as how you can count on me posting regularly about as much as, well, we could count on my mother, during my childhood, which believe me, is an analogy that says something, if you knew my mother, during my childhood, but since you didn’t know my mother during my childhood (did you?) then you’ll need something else, another signpost to compare my lack of reliability, but it will have to be something fresh and topical, like, “You can count on me posting regularly, about as much as The Iraqi woman sitting next to Laura Bush during the Presidents “state of the union” speech last night could count on the fact that she was going to be billed for anything she consumed from the mini-bar in her hotel room”. Wait, that comparison doesn’t make sense, because I’m not sure, our government might be generous and just go ahead and “comp” her, treat her well, before putting her back onto a plane and sending her back to her newly liberated, and freshly voted homeland.
So, the Iraqi woman analogy doesn’t really work. Okay, wait: Each and every one of you, think of some one or some thing in your world that really isn’t dependable. It can be a person, like a flakey friend, sibling or mate (sorry if it’s a mate); it can be an automobile (like my sweet old convertible VW, back in the late 1980’s, when it would rain and the engine would get flooded—or something like that) or even a writer/updater- that would be me- who you can never quite count on to be there, to show up and provide the goods.
So, yeah. That lack of dependability is what I was referencing, 17 lines ago. So THAT LACK of dependability (only demonstrated HERE, and not in my actual life, where I am quite dependable, remarkably so) is rewarded with your loyalty and kindness and, again, from many of you, continued emails or guestbook signings, etc. Thank you. For that. Much goodness to you and yours.
Wow. I’m exhausted from that run-on, and that “aside” was actually almost 3 paragraphs long. Someone call a doctor, or my 10th grade AP English teacher. Or both.
We’ve had manymany goings on here, in the house that holds me and mine. I’ve been working hard at rejoining the world, with my continued meditations to all things good and prolonged conversations in my heart and head with my beloved friend and therapist who I can no longer pick up a phone and call (well, the kind we know about) but must communicate through stirrings and feelings and signs (hello hummingbird at my window that keeps motioning with its beak at the unfinished script on the desk). That kind of thing.
But, two of the other going-on in particular that have been going on are:
Criminal Court Hearings (Does American Greetings have an online greeting card that says “MOM, sorry to hear about your felony arrest?”); and Mammograms- ((“oh yeah, well you try it then”)).
Today I’ll tell you about the MAMMOGRAM, because I love to share things that happen to PEOPLE IN MY LIFE, rather than me, directly.
That’s right, the MAMMOGRAM was performed on My Amazing Girlfriend/Same-Sex Partner/Lady-Lover/Meal Ticket/ I’ll-go-first-and-show-you-how-easy-and-painless-it-can-be.
You see, apparently this whole MAMMOGRAM thing is very important, and since we both have just turned “double twenty” (that makes forty), then it was... time. Time to create a file. A base. A reference point. Whatever. It just makes me think of elementary school when they suddenly announced that they were going to be testing all the girls for SCOLIOSIS. We were told in a note that we had to take home and have signed by our parents that we had to wear undershirts or training bras and that we’d have to take off our shirts in front of the school nurse and an "Observer" (whatever) and they would check the curve of our spine or neck or look at the little flower on our undershirt or training bra and smirk. That was the procedure. Cold hands on back, lower head and smirk. Whatever. I hated it. The whole invasive process. Why not just do it in the gym, in front of the whole school? Two people, Two Hundred people. Same thing for young me. I didn’t even want to look, let alone have our School Nurse plus the "Observer" looking. I was sick the night before with WORRIERS TUMMY™ (a frequent condition of my childhood) and didn’t sleep a wink, I’m sure.
The outcome of THE SCOLIOSIS INQUISITIONS was that ONE GIRL ended up in a neck brace, and several others started wearing training bras on a regular basis which forced social change in our school and eventually led to teen pregnancy in a few of them and early alcohol abuse in many others. I * might * be embellishing that whole part about the teen pregnancies and early alcohol abuse, but, you know, for sure it wreaked some havoc, I just don’t have documented proof.
So anyway, since we were now “double twenty”, it was time for the MAMMOGRAM. As you know (or maybe you don’t) I’m not a big fan of entering into a situation blindly. Not a big risk-taker, thrill-seeker or even “new experience aficionado”. You might recall that I required a “dry-run” the night before my jury duty last year. So yeah. I thought I’d come along on My Amazing Girlfriend/Same-Sex Partner/Lady-Lover/Meal Ticket/ I’ll-go-first-and-show-you-how-easy-and-painless-it-can-be’s MAMMOGRAM, and see how “easy” (yeah right) and “painless” (uh huh, keep talking) it was.
We drove to the St. Johns Medical Center in Santa Monica, to their Breast Center (or whatever) and she checked in. They have a whole floor dedicated to this whole MAMMOGRAM thing, and actually, they try and make you feel like you might be in a hotel lobby, or a nice waiting area at, say, Mary Kay Cosmetics Corporate Offices, or Marie Osmond’s Palatial Estate. Country French(ish) wall coverings and furniture from the Marie Osmond Collection at Ethan Allen. Very comfy and pastel-colored. Magazines and brochures about good health were scattered neatly, classical music played lightly in the background, and yet, I gotsta tell you--- everyone seemed nervous. Nervous like me, and I wasn’t even getting it “done”.
My Amazing Girlfriend/Same-Sex Partner/Lady-Lover/Meal Ticket/ I’ll-go-first-and-show-you-how-easy-and-painless-it-can-be was AMAZINGLY CALM (perhaps and most likely for my benefit… “See how calm and relaxed I am? It’s no big deal”). She filled out forms, answered questions OUT LOUD to a friendly registration-type lady, who asked things about breasts and periods and who to contact in case of an emergency:
(Actual dialogue that followed from the registration-type lady after My Amazing Girlfriend/Same-Sex Partner/Lady-Lover/Meal Ticket/ I’ll-go-first-and-show-you-how-easy-and-painless-it-can-be gave MY NAME as her contact person).
REGISTRATION LADY: “oh, and who is she?”
MY GIRLFRIEND: “she’s my…. Girlfriend”.
REGISTRATION LADY: “Now, when you say Girlfriend, do you mean, like someone you go shopping and out to lunch with, or… the romantic type?”
MY GIRLFRIEND: “well, although we do shop and have lunch, we have been known to be romantic at times as well”.
REGISTRATION LADY: “oh, my… I see, well—wait, we have lots of boxes we can check here, hold on, let me read them”.
MY GIRLFRIEND: “uh huh….” (Smiling sweetly, cause she is)
(Me, blushing wildly as the rest of the people in the waiting room eavesdrop (wouldn’t you?) and wait for the selections))
REGISTRATION LADY: “Partner, Business Partner, Same-Sex Partner, Life-Partner…”
At this point, my girlfriend stopped her and said “Same-Sex Partner is fine”. I was hoping to hear the rest of the list, I was curious. My girlfriend just wanted to walk back over to our seating area, knowing the entire room was re-thinking their use of the word “Girlfriend” when describing their shopping or lunch companions.
We sat and pretended to flip through magazines (“Breast Health Monthly”, “Healthy Living”, “Snowboarding”—someone must have left that one there) and then they called her name. I squeezed her hand (again, I was more nervous than she was, right?) and she followed a not-attractive-at-all, fifty-something medical-type woman to “the back”. The “not-attractive-at-all” part was important, because I didn’t want the first woman that would be placing her hands on My Amazing Girlfriend/Same-Sex Partner/Lady-Lover/Meal Ticket/ I’ll-go-first-and-show-you-how-easy-and-painless-it-can-be/I’ve got a pretty nice rack’s BREASTS… well, if it’s alright with you, I didn’t want THAT healthcare professional to look like ANGELINA JOLIE. No worries.
I settled in, watching people fidget and clean out their purses and read “Breast Health Monthly” and tried to imagine what the process would be like. I used the ladies room, washed my hands, cleaned out my purse, checked the answering machine at home, at both our offices, looked at all the stored pictures from my camera phone, and was just about to pick up “Breast Health Monthly” for another flip-thru, when My Amazing Girlfriend/Same-Sex Partner/Lady-Lover/Meal Ticket/ I-went-first-and-showed- you-how-easy-and-painless-it-was, walked right up to me, fully dressed, and procedure complete.
Seventeen minutes. Wow. That was fast.
On the brisk walk to the car (let’s get out of the hospital as fast as we can, shall we?) I began questioning her about the procedure.
She described the entire thing, ending each sentence with “no big deal”.
I won’t break it down, but briefly, apparently, you change into a gown with frontal access (technical term) and then they used a machine (pictured above) to take 4 (only 4?) pictures of My Amazing Girlfriend/Same-Sex Partner/Lady-Lover/Meal Ticket/ I’ll-go-first-and-show-you-how-easy-and-painless-it-can-be’s …. Breasts. Yep. 4 pictures and they were done. I mean, come on—as long as you’re there, how about a few more? maybe a change of outfit? Nope. Done.
So, I guess I’m next.
I’m working towards it.
But YOU, any of you who might be within the vicinity of “double twenty”, YOU… you go out right now and get one, you hear me?
Sending good thoughts YOUR way.
(and now, back to that hummingbird tapping at my window, pointing to the unfinished script)
xoxoxo more soon.