I have one word that is enough to articulate parts of my pained chest while being pushed into pancakes. Mammogram. Now add four more words after chills are sent to the rest of my body. Holy mother of pearls.
I get to brag about this topic once more after that delightful phone call that I needed to come in for a repeat mammary scan. Not even Tiffany’s could lighten this moment. I like to set appointments for vacations, not doctor visits. Especially when you have to sit in a waiting room looking at umpteen other eager women reading magazines from nineteen eighty-six who look as though they too have way better things to do than become squeamish strippers. I’ll betcha I could gather a gazillion detest-imonials from other damaged females. I wasn’t a cooperative child. So being cooperative at an older age hasn’t changed much.
Some things I can’t live without. Gorilla glue. Pens before they are out of ink. Night vision goggles. And apparently if I want to stay healthy, mammograms. This is 2014. You’d think by now probing physicists would have been in contact with Victoria’s Secret to manufacture some lovely skimpy attire specially made for this kind of peeper party that would make us feel better at displaying our gems. Because inarguably, women experience the worst wardrobe malfunctions in mammogram history. I could jump on the penning the president bandwagon to cheer on some changes, like budgeting for better B1 and B2 X-Ray devices. I mean after all, if my troopers have to endure the torture, the least the government can do is subsidize my suffering by letting me keep the sultry clothing. Or at least serve me a Cobb salad sprinkled with rose petals, truffles, and Ambien. I could also write those words of Gandhi wisdom on the examination room walls that say “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If they do get around to these changes, then I also want to see public service people covering telephone poles in Tommy Bahama florals, and yards of Nate Berkus inspirations wrapping street lights.
Anyone knows that when a woman is in distress, she needs to be held and told how fabulous she is. But when her lovely set of coconuts are smashed and held against a cold plated pressing machine, everyone should keep a safe distance and throw peace offerings in the form of Hershey kisses, or gift cards to Cartier. I am currently in collaboration with myself mostly, but soon movie producers, to do a film revision, calling it One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Chest. Or I could consider Citizen Pain. Because a day without boob screening is a day where I could almost go to jail for immobilizing my bosom buddy Tessie Tumorfinder, who flattened my delicate frontal lobes. Before I could say Tylenol extra strength pain medication, there I was again redoing it because their advanced scanning system missed something. I thought of staging a hostile takeover because I would rather be in my own home counting the fingerprints on the walls. I could easily get a nude artist to capture these fine moments as long as I’m standing still for awhile, and provided he doesn’t require a buffed and bodacious body. He would also have to be totally creative in redefining wrinkles, besides the wretched look on my face.
Why pay for a dramatic musical score when labs turn into free opera houses while ladies sing high pitched solos right along with precision instrumentation. I left my performing arts studio only to make another appointment for next year. The assistant behind the desk said, “Just a moment while I check the appointment book. We may be able to squeeze you in next May!” Her giggle followed by the comedy routine bombed. For some agonizing reason, it just didn’t seem that hilarious.
Take a gander at all the gents out there who get to do other precautionary routines like walking the trash to the end of the driveway before the stink takes over in the kitchen. They take a big chance that a hawk doesn’t scoop down and scalp them in the process or a neighboring dog doesn’t come along and chew on their thighs. They gotta love the fact that they never have to be useful for a digital imaging machine, exploiting their ravishing exteriors. Just for other things I shan’t mention. They can also be grateful they don’t have to spend countless grueling hours in a department stores brassiere section hunting for straightjackets. I mean undergarments.
These times have tested my physical flexibilities. We have to be flexible when someone switches lunch dates, or if we can’t find the can opener and have to use Vise-Grips to pry open a top. Sometimes I have to be a pliable contortionist just so I can reach the bottle of ketchup way back in the fridge. And my toddlers certainly pulled my skin taut when they were clutching me crying for candy. So what’s a minor mammogram after all that? Women are just gluttons for rearrangement.
The next time I see a juicer pressing an orange, I will think of these fine moments. They definitely coincide with having a happy hour, which doesn’t involve alcohol. After my bouts of post traumatic boomerang disorder, I always feel fate hanging in the balance…along with a couple of objects of defection. I began to realize how Whistler’s Mother got her title after years of melon lifting. I don’t have a huge tolerance for pain. Nor do I have a high tolerance for champagne. But I toast my twins anyway after every photography session, and wonder who ever came up with that saying A Pinch To Grow An Inch. If anything, it does quite the opposite.
(Posts can be seen in the weekend editions of The Parson’s Sun newspaper in Kansas)