On September 20th, my boob (let’s call her Boo) and
I will be 66.It seems like only
yesterday when Boo was a simple nub, and I was more interested in my mother’s breast
than my own.In those years Boo and her
twin Hoo ran free allowing the wind to cool them in the heat of the Kansas City
Then, as time wore on, mother declared that I had to put a
shirt on so as not to entice the neighbor boys.Mother was a bit premature in that it was MANY MANY MANY MANY years
before Boo and Hoo would have any effect on boys.But I went along with the gag and kept an eye
on their development.At age 11 mom
pretended I needed some support, strapping me into a “training bra”.She simply failed to explain what I was
training for.Then we started with the
alphabet going from a size A to a size A to a size A to a size A+.
High school was a “bust”!!(Boo made me do it while Hoo objected).I made it to a size B with a lot of help from Kleenex which wouldn’t
have been so bad except I forgot to remove it when I went into the swimming
pool.Try and explain floating soggy
pieces of tissue circling you like sharks.College brought a bit more activity to the scene but Boo and Hoo were still
underutilized in my opinion.
After college, things perked up and so did Boo and Hoo.Finally, there was some enticing going on but
also disappointment in that I could have been going shirtless for over 21 years
without anyone noticing.And then there
was Mark.The guy who enticed me!With the births of Rachel and Ali, Boo and
Hoo went into full gear and I declared myself a “Woman”!What this means is I made it to a size C, at
least while I was nursing.For the first
time shirts were tight across my chest and I only needed Kleenex for their true
purpose, drying my tears of joy!
Then I hit 40, and then 50 or rather they hit me.First my waist expanded, then the thighs
enlarged, then the underarm flapping began.I felt like I was a turkey being plumped up for an upcoming holiday. By
age 60 I was at my fighting weight…fighting to get below my delivery
weight.Boo and Hoo were thrilled as
they had reached their peak of performance.Sadly, at this age there were no more neighbor boys to entice.And I’m sure I’m not exaggerating when I say
I saw a look of sadness in my GYNO’s eyes when I had my exams.
A little attention, that’s all B&H needed.And then I got it!After many years of clear mammograms, this
year’s exam proved to be lethal, but in a good way.Cancer, the size of a pin head, was detected in
Boo and the party began.I thought for
sure Boo and Hoo would explode or pop like pimples from all the compressions
they endured.Mentally I was doing okay
but physically….egh…not so much. Finding
a vein for blood draws or IVs was like mining for gold in the desert.Boo was subjected to a biopsy with little
complaint.Hoo felt bad for Boo but was
thrilled she didn’t have to have one.
Except for the EKG coming back as abnormal and being told I
had had a heart attack which turned out not to be true nearly giving me a heart
attack which would have been true had it been true.Then the breast MRI came back abnormal in Hoo
which took another year off of my life (not to mention what it did to Hoo) which
turned out not to be true but I was over having a heart attack had it been
true, which it was not.
The day of surgery arrived.With Ali and 2 friends in tow, we marched into the hospital at 6:45 a.m.
I had to get the worst part over quickly, having my weight taken.After that trauma, I asked for a sedative as
I had 4 hours of procedures to endure before the actual surgery.I was told I had to be awake which caused
B&H to head for the exit with me following close behind.To no avail, we headed for the first
procedure…putting a wire in Boo to identify where the last of the cancer was hiding
after the biopsy disintegrated the tumor.I swear I could hear Sirius radio stations coming out of that wire which
was quite calming.It was playing my
favorite music…Queen.I actually gave
the royal wave as I was being rolled from procedure to procedure.
Next up was the radiation room.When I was told Boo was going to get 6 needle
injections of radioactive dye, Boo and Hoo were actually BooHooing.But a boob has to do what a boob has to
do.Once the screaming subsided, I was
glowing….literally glowing!The best
part was that after the injections, Boo had to be massaged for 15 seconds every
15 minutes.I tried to convince the good
looking resident to help me accomplish this task, but I couldn’t entice
him.Perhaps I should have called one of
the boys from the old neighborhood that mother thought was enticeable.
Finally the time came for surgery.And would you believe it….that is when they
gave me the sedative….minutes before I was rolled into the operating room to be
given a general anesthetic.I apologized
up front for anything I might say due to the effects of the Versed.I’m told I said, “This is no way to spend my
birthday”, “Tell them I have a small throat”, and “Who is going to make me my
pineapple upside down cake for my birthday”.Luckily I had nothing to apologize for which was a concern.
Surgery only took 45 minutes.But recovery, due to the double whammy of
Versed and the general took another 5 hours before I could return home.Boo is doing quite well, and the results are
all good.More fun is to come in terms
of radiation and such.Boo has had enough
attention to cover another 66 years. And I am working with Hoo trying to
explain that she is just as good as Boo but has her own talent and shouldn’t
compare herself to Boo.
Going forward, Boo and Hoo and I will be just fine.The BooHooing is over as is the glowing.Damn.Life is good and the future is bright….but no glowing.Damn.The many prayers and positive energy (but no glowing. Damn) made a difference
and continues to shine a light (but no glowing.Damn) on me. Today is the best
day of my life. I’m still a size C and
ready for enticing!Call in the neighbor
I recently had an eye exam and was told I needed to change
the way I perceive things.So I decided
to rid myself of contacts and go back to glasses.With this change I decided I wouldn’t see
things as black or white, good or bad, high or low, in or out, perfect or….well,
I think I can make an exception as to how I perceive myself on that one.
So, with this new outlook, I started looking around and wanted
to share my new view of my world.Because when you change your perception, you can change the
outcome.Here’s my list:
ItemOld PerceptionNew Perception
Flood in DavenportDisasterFront and backyard
My BodyDroopy EverythingProving
Political AdsShoot MePaying for a DVR is great
MammogramsDiscomfortReminds me how I love pancakes
take care of themThey
will take care of me
way to pop a tendon
exercise Female. What you check on forms.
to park your carGreat
exercise looking for said car
Bowel SyndromeAMTRAK is my
SleepWhat I used to
getChance to eat 3 more times
old people doWhat vibrant
age advancing people do
Words with FriendsGood
ChallengeLosing is Fun….sure!
Losing Body HairOMG!Ooh
Going GrayGetting Old SucksBlondes have more fun. When?
excuse for EVERYTHING!!
And the list goes on, but I don’t.The point is, I am trying to see the world in
a new way.The world as a beautiful
place, filled with beautiful people loving and laughing, helping one another,
doing no harm, working together as one people, no preconceived notions, no
disease and no hatred.I think they call
that smoking weed. And since I don’t live in
a state where that is legal, I’ll just have to wear my new glasses and do what
I can to make MY world a better place.Join me?
This posting is rated “V”, not recommended for persons who
are offended by the word “Vagina”, the abbreviation “Vag” or the letter “V”.You can’t say I didn’t warn you!
So, picture this…yesterday my vagina and I woke up early to
go to the gym.Wait, wait, wait.Perhaps “picture this” isn’t the way to
go.Let’s start over.Listen to this...yesterday my….well, you
remember the rest and I hate to repeat myself, I really hate to repeat
It’s been a week of doctor’s appointments (isn’t that what you
are supposed to do when you retire?)I
had my head checked out, blood tests for my thyroid condition, and a visit to
the family doc.I recently visited the
traveling Health Fair RV for a round of tests to check all things heart
related.So far so good.And yesterday I was giving equal billing to
my feminine side and “Vag” was very happy.And that’s important because we are very close.We have been through some intimate times and
2 births together so V’s happiness is my happiness.However, going to the OB/GYN hasn’t been the
best of times over the past few years so there was some hesitancy.The problem has been a turnover problem.Oh, don’t get the wrong idea, I haven’t had a
problem turning over….yet.The problem
is that every year my doctor has left and I have to see a new doctor.After 3 consecutive changes, “Vag” and I are
beginning to wonder if we are to blame.
So this year we decided to put our best foot forward, so to
speak. We went to the gym to be in the best shape we could be in, shaved and
moisturized my legs, had a pedicure, took a shower, practiced a few Kegel exercises,
you know, like getting ready for a date.Then off we went.Got to the doc’s
office right on time, checked in, handed over my newly laminated Social
Security card, put my phone on vibrate (of course) and started playing Words
with Friends for 15 minutes.Then I
played 7 Little Words for another 15 minutes.Watched some office staff come and go from lunch for another 15
minutes.Tried to get beyond level 30 of
Candy Crush which didn’t happen for another frustrating 15 minutes.Played Shuffle for another 15 minutes and
then Vag had enough.The moisturizer on
my legs had dried up, I was beginning to sweat, my toe nails were growing at a
ridiculous pace, and I couldn’t Kegel one more time.
So I stood up, checked to make sure my bladder would hold
and marched up to the window to ask what was taking so long.The receptionist inquired as to which doctor
I was there to see.Obviously I had been
there so long they forgot who I was already.I was then told that my doctor was not even there, had not been there
all morning, and they didn’t know when he was due to come back from
surgery.Vag was in an uproar; not a
pretty picture I can tell you.I did a
couple of deep knee bends to get under control, swallowed my initial reaction
of “Are you .…..ing kidding me” and smiled through clenched teeth and a
clenched “V” and said, REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!With that, I took my vagina and left.
Later that day I got an apology
call from the doctor’s office and was offered a $10 gift card and a new
appointment tomorrow.Nothing will kill
the pain of rejection, abandonment, being overlooked, or being forgotten.And you can be damn sure I’m not shaving my legs
again.There are consequences in life
and my vagina is not very forgiving.
Since I was young (40), I have looked forward to the time
when I was older (65) and could partake of the experience known as Elder Hostel
(now called Road Scholar).As a lover of
parentheses and all things spiritual, I searched high and low (actually I just
talked to my friend Lancene) to find someone who would take this journey with
me.Of the many experiences Road Scholar
offers, we chose the one that touched me closest (i.e. the one I could afford).Called “Mind, Body & Spirit”, it was held
in April at a Presbyterian mountain retreat in North Carolina.
As soon as we arrived, I was struck by the beauty of the
area and of the hill I had to drag my luggage up.Everything about the week was beyond my
expectations:The food was delicious and
abundant, the participants were interesting and incredibly friendly, the rooms
were newly redecorated and Lancene was a perfect travel mate.
But it was the programs and their leaders that made the week
exceptional.I learned how to sit,
stand, lift, breathe, relax, get up from a position on the floor without
toppling over, how to topple over with grace, exercise my brain, eat properly
(I now put blueberries in my brownies), add variety to my computer games… and
then there was the spiritual piece.
Each morning we explored the Old Testament’s psalms, led by
Jim, a retired Presbyterian minister (truly wonderful!!!).The only Jewish person in the group, I tried
to add what I knew (limited as it was) about the Jewish perspective and
traditions.Jim was so inspiring and
learned.His insight brought me new
insight and I wanted to honor his teaching by becoming an honorary Jewbyterian
(yes, I coined this term).It’s a
pretty easy sect to follow.You just eat
blue brownies, topple over periodically, drag luggage up hills, breathe when
appropriate and appreciate learned scholars and their insights at an affordable
price.I would absolutely recommend the
Road Scholar programs and particularly the “Mind, Body & Spirit” experience.I would also recommend Lancene as a travel
buddy, but she is mine and you can’t have her.
I recently read an article that listed 8 part-time jobs a
person might consider after retirement.Suggestions included tour guide, retail salesperson, bookkeeper, home
health care provider, yadda, yadda, yadda.I guess for the average person, these might be of interest.But to me, the not so average person….this list
So, here is my updated list that I am offering in case
anyone needs my unique skills.
crier:I am available for weddings,
funerals, job firings, surprise parties, divorce proceedings, births, or any
emotional event.I can produce tears in
a matter of seconds awake or asleep.Kleenex not included.
Party Pooper:Give me a party, I can be
miserable and ruin it for others as well.My special skills include moping, pouting, finger drumming, whining and
chewer:Have braces, dentures or partials?Can’t chew gum on your own?I am available to chew it for you.I prefer peppermint, but would consider other
flavors.I charge in 15 minute
increments and will return the fully chewed piece upon request.
peeler:My children can attest to the
fact that I have always loved peeling their little sunburned bodies.The dermatology police have yet to catch me
in the act, so my record is clean.I am
also available for grape and peach peeling if that rings your chimes.
scratcher:This service is an
interactive activity.You scratch my
back and I’ll scratch yours is a requirement. A true give and take service.I give
you 15 minutes and I take 20 in return.Additional
services include arm, head and feet.No toes.Don’t ask.
monger:Got a secret you want to
disseminate?I’m your gal.You can call, text or email me. No twitter.My tweeter is broken at this time.I can share your innermost thoughts, fears, joys, and more with a whole
host of friends, strangers, and yet to be determined relatives all for the low,
low price of….oh, that’s a secret.
passer:It seems the current trend in
gas exploration is fracking.Well, it
doesn’t take a lot of water and pressure to get natural gas from this
source.So think of me the next time you
need to fill your tank.My resources are
always available at a moment’s notice.A
little cheese please and I am ready, willing and more than able.
driver:Actually I prefer to sit in the
front seat on the passenger side where I can get my hands on the air bag (see
#7) and you can hear me better.I can
critique, scream, hyperventilate, vomit (see #2), attempt to take the wheel
away from you, throw myself from the car (moving or not), display any number of
fingers in any number of sequences at passing cars, guffaw at speed limit
signs, and other requests made in writing 10 days in advance.However, I will not throw trash out the
window.I do have my limits.
I can also bundle my services (hey, Progressive Insurance
can do it and so can I).Perhaps you are
going to drive (#8) to a boring divorce (#1) beach (#4) party (#2) where they
hand out gum (#3) that you are allergic to that causes you to itch
(#5). Bundling available with a 10% discount.
As I am turning 65 in a few months, I am taking orders now. And if you sign up in the next 15 minutes, you
will also get my 2014 Maxine Does Davenport Calendar.So don’t delay.
Last week I picked up my new contact lenses and I
find I am not seeing as well as I should. So when I received an email yesterday
regarding today’s 10 most common office tattoos, I was very excited. How disappointed I
was to find it described office taboos, not tattoos.Even though NONE of these relate to me, I
thought YOU might be interested.
Poor Hygiene. To keep from smelling, shower and don’t floss, clip
your nails, brush your hair or apply makeup at your desk.
Poor Health Habits. Wash your hands often, and cough in your elbow.
Wear Appropriate Clothing.
Gossip. Don't be the source or instigator of office gossip.
Email Etiquette. Please, please do not hit "Reply All" unless
you really think it is critical
Pets. Don't assume that you can bring Fido in without asking first
Cooking. It is probably not a good idea to cook fish, broccoli or
even microwave popcorn.
Perfumes and Colognes. More than just a drop is probably too much.
Cell Phones. For some reason when people answer a call on their
cell phone their voices automatically go up several decibels. And, yes,
you may have a hilarious ring tone, but after the fourth or fifth time
it's just not that funny.
Undergarments. Undergarments are meant to be "under".
Mistakes and Goofs. We all make mistakes at work. It is not
necessary to point out your co-workers' goofs to all the other employees.
Sex Life. Your sexual exploits should be private
Cursing. Yelling, cursing, screaming should be
directed to your favorite politician, not to your co-workers.
today after I came to the office and shared with my co-workers , my evening of
passionate love making, I shoved my boobs back into my blouse and read
the email with the list of office taboos which I simply couldn’t relate
to.I then went into the bathroom and
sat in the sink and bathed. Forgetting my cologne, I just used air
freshener to give myself a fresh scent. I cleaned the toothpaste residue
off my desk along with my clipped nail remains and wisps of hair that fell
out due to my advancing age. I wiped my diseased hands on the last tax
return I processed before putting on my lipstick which fell into the
shredder. Then I sent an email to everyone I know to tell them about my new
pet dog that I named "Schmoozer" who pooped on my foot and then
attacked my boss. But I was able to release his grasp as I had just
cooked cabbage and the smell made him faint (the dog, not my boss). As
the day progressed, I made damn sure I pointed out all the mistakes everyone
had made. Now I’m off to get a tattoo.
I have been
blessed in so many ways in my life.Great husband.Great kids.Great siblings.Great friends.But the greatest blessing of all has been my Tinnitus.You know Tinnitus! No, it’s not my dog.It’s the constant ringing in my ears that I
have had for over 10 years.It provides
that lovely ambient noise in the middle of my brain that keeps me awake, which
wouldn’t be a problem except it does so all night long.
But heh, we
have learned to live together without much conflict until yesterday when I went
for a hearing test. It turns out
Tinnitus has an effect on my being able to hear high pitched sounds.I needed to know in no uncertain terms
exactly what sounds I have been missing for 10 years.I asked the doctor to be truthful, hold no
punches as I could take whatever he had to tell me.With tears in his eyes and shaking his head
back and forth, he explained that I have lost the ability to hear……..whistling.OMG!!!!!!!
Now it all
makes sense.Ten years ago I heard guys
whistling at me all the time!But as I
look back, I haven’t heard such jaw dropping adoration since the 90s.I changed my hair, I bought push up bras, I
covered up the spider veins on the back of my legs and yet, I heard no
whistling.Over time, I had seen men pucker
up and when I heard no sound, I thought they were just blowing hot air.To them, I apologize for not acknowledging
their well deserved appreciation of my efforts to improve myself.Then I thought perhaps Congress had passed a
bill banning whistling, but now I know the truth.And the truth hurts.
Now the question
is, how to move forward?What is a life
without being able to hear whistling?I
will have to check to see if there is a support group for this. Now, no more trips to the
annual International Whistling Competition for me.No more whistling while I work.All I’m left with are cat calls.But, life is a compromise, so say our
Congress people.And if they can do it,
so can I.