I am one of those people who loves making lists and checking off items on my ‘to do’ list. OK, OK, I didn’t say I exactly DID all those things on the list. Often my list is just an exercise in practicing my penmanship. Oh but I do so love good office supplies. I’d rather go to Office Max than Victoria’s Secret. The feel of a great pen that fits your fingers perfectly, filled with ink that effortlessly glides across a crisp sheet of wide rule paper (I write big and bold, no college rule for me). Oh… I’m sorry.. what was I talking about…
Yes, yes, list making, more specifically the checking off of something. As part of this obsession, I also look forward to those great milestones in life as a woman. I seriously couldn’t wait for my period to start (now I can’t wait for it to end). After all the arrival of ‘Uncle Charlie’ (which is what we called menstruation when I was in middle school – I do not, to this day, know why) meant I had arrived. I wasn’t a child anymore. The real importance of my period: I finally had something in common with the popular girls. Tough crowd those 13 year olds in Conrad, Montana in 1974… I’d take any common ground.
I knew when I went off to college… I’d ‘get’ to have my first my first appointment with a gynecologist. Again, I’m from Montana. It was the early 80s and you didn’t send your teenager for a pelvic until they were out of high school back then! Well, at least, my mom didn’t and she raised 4 daughters so seems like she knew what was best. (Yes, my sisters, I am laughing at that line.) Anyway, whoohoo, I could get a prescription for birth control pills. Mom, it’s not that I needed them. Really. I promise. Check, one more ‘big moment’ done and, wow!, I was only 18!
When you are on the verge of serious womanhood – at 18 – there is a certain amount of yuck that you feel as some old geezer doc (probably at least 30) pokes around your breasts looking for lumps in an annual exam. By the way, I never really call the ‘girls’ breasts, but I thought I’d take the high road for a moment. Is my moment done? Good. Anyway, it was quite another to consider the idea of the dreaded mammogram. Good follower of rules that I am, I put it off until I turned 40 as is recommended. Honestly by this time, after breastfeeding a really fat baby two years before and having my perfect 32B go to a 40D, and back down to something in between, perky boobs were really not part of the picture. Squish my boobs? Honestly, not much of a stretch, so to speak.
I have had mammograms for almost 10 years. I am well aware what happens. Is it painful? No. Is it unpleasant? YES. But, ladies, c’mon, think about it. Now here is where I veer off the path of popular thought. It is 30 minutes all about me. It is a half hour of being the Royal Highness of Boobalot. The Queen of Tata. How often in your daily life do you get to have all the focus just on you? And just so you know, if I can make something all about me… well…
Today is my day for my annual check. It is also my opportunity to say, no scream: IT IS ALL ABOUT BALANCE! I like to extend my ‘all about me day’ with a special after squishing treat.
The facial. The hundred dollar experience. The hour of having your pores magnified to the size of small craters. Paying to have a flawless skinned woman ask you, do you exfoliate? I say, ‘yes, of course.’ I am not about to tell her that sometimes my pillow case is my makeup remover!
Schedule that mammogram – do it for all the people who love you. Then, schedule that facial or massage – do it for you. Do the one, knowing what awaits. Lie down on that warmed table. Wrap in that clean, white, cotton towel. Listen to that soft music. Relax in that quiet, dimly lit room. As you are flat on your back, having your skin cleansed, scrubbed and moisturized, your breasts have ‘stepped’ to the side for you to relish this moment. And, face it, if you are a woman of a certain age, without implants, flat on your back… the ‘girls’ are going to slide to the side for you… they’re generous that way.
Want to shake up your friends and make sure they are taking care of themselves? Host a ‘Check Your Boobies’ party! No joke. Let me know when and where!