Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Big Squeeze

I was in Target with Audrey, walking down the aisles from point a to point b when I got distracted. I looked to my right, and she looked to my left----and bolted across the aisle to the ladies underwear section. She pointed to a rack of thongs, and asked, loudly, "Mommy! What's this?"

Before I could reply, she picked one up.

Not seeing this as a teaching moment, particularly since one of the boys was with us, I just replied "underwear" and "put it down" as I kept briskly walking by, knowing she'd follow me. I knew I wasn't off the hook, but I also knew she'd get interested in something else, why make a big deal out of it?

Of course, I still heard my Nana's voice in my head, hissing "cochinas!" as in "only for dirty girls." Nanas are kind of strict that way.

It made me think about my first bra. White. Unadorned, except for a little rosebud in the front. Because lace, color, and too much adornment--"cochinas!"

If she only knew what was in my undie drawer right now.....she'd whip out her rosary.

It seems a little odd, I know, for my Nana to have ever been interested in my underwear, but it's just one of those things; one of my Nanas lived with us when I hit puberty, and the other, being the mother of 3 girls herself, knew what was going on even without me telling her. There was no way they'd let me get away with "cochina."

But back to the bra. And what goes in it.

I had my first mammogram earlier this week.

The thought of someone else, even a trained medical professional, handling the tas made me a little queasy. Not to mention I've seen that machine. I know how it works.

I was all bravado, sitting in the lobby, blithely texting Nolan while filling out my paperwork.

Mr W showed up, there for yet another of my rites of passage, supportive as always.

When lady called my name, and he asked if he should accompany me, and I told him I'd be fine, handing him my book and turning around before he could see unease cross my face.

She led me to another waiting room, and inside it, opened the door to another little room, a dressing room. She gave me the instructions in a soothing tone, (what does she mean, wear that out open in the front?), and left me. There was a giant mirror mounted on the wall, fatly edged in gold. If I am going to be topless in front of a mirror like that, I thought, shouldn't there be someone sliding money through a slot somewhere on the other side of it?

I changed and went back out into the waiting room, where I nervously thumbed through a magazine, angled away from the door, holding the front of the gown together and hoping no one else was going to come in and join me.

A few minutes passed before the tech came back, signaling me to follow her down the hall to the room where we'd get the pictures. As I followed her, I noticed the door to the lobby was a little open, and I almost ran into her in my haste to get out of line of sight of anyone on the other side of the door.

And suddenly, I was face to face with it. The Flattener 2000.

My mouth was suddenly dry. The tech explained what she needed me to do, and I tried not to flinch at the coldness of her hands as she positioned Boob A on the equally cold plate. As she patted my breast into place, I resisted quipping, "Shouldn't we have dinner and a movie first?" or "Have we been formally introduced?"

I secretly hoped she'd say my boobs sure didn't look 40.

I mean, I don't mind my boobs, I think they are not a bad size (a nice handful) and they served me well in nourishing my children. But I still lament gravity. The brown vs. pink. Their tendency to look more National Geographic than Playboy.

Thank goodness for the smoke and mirrors of a good pushup deep plunge underwire. Not white.

If I hadn't been so nervous, I might have giggled at the coordination involved: "Okay, now turn your hips this way," as she positioned my hips; "good, now tilt your chin back," um, what?; "hold on here," as she moved my hand to the bar; "now, hold your breath," wait, I need to take one in; "good"; is it over? She stepped back around and freed my boob. Which, to its credit, sprang back into shape, offended. I started putting the gown back on my shoulder to take the other side off when she told me "oh, hang on, we need another picture" as the Flattener 2000 came to life and turned the plates 45 degrees.

I raised an eyebrow. Now, there's a trick, I thought, trying not to think about how my boob was going to get into that position. I mean, I'm limber, but there are limitations.

Getting the boob on the plate (pat, pat) was not that bad...but this view is one that gets up into your armpit too, and if I didn't feel like a piece of meat before, I sure felt like one now.

There was more choreography, of the same kind, but with "drop your other shoulder" added, five, six, seven, eight, jazz hands, aaaannnd "hold your breath!" I tried to think I was anywhere but there, but this is one of those things that you just can't really detach yourself from.


Whew. Halfway there.

Crap. Halfway there.

Put the gown back on the right, take the gown off on the left, here we go, one more time! Aaaand high kick!

Once we were done, she explained to me how I'd get my results, hopefully by Friday. I nodded sagely, very 'I do this everyday.'

I walked back into my little dressing room, and I can honestly say, I have never looked at my bra with so much relief before ever in my life. It was one of my favorites, a smooth bright blue number with just the right stuff to make the girls feel better.

As we exited the building, Mr W looked at me, brow knit, patting my shoulder, "Are you okay?"

"We're fine," I reassured him. "Just a little cold."

I would ordinarily have suggested he help me out with that, but the tas just weren't ready to receive any more visitors.


Mrs. L said...

I remember when my breasts lost their virginity. You never forget your first time.

Bridgett said...

My boobies are still virgins...and after reading this, I think they'll stay that way. LOL

Hope your tas results came back healthy!

cw2smom said...

Excellent entry! LOVED it! Having had almost annual mammograms since I was about 32 due to fibrocystic breasts and two lumpectomies, I NEVER look forward to that procedure! But, it's such a necessary evil! Wishing you years of positive mam experiences for your girls! Blessings, Lisa

Remo said...

The head wants to explode.

womandriver said...

Love this post! I had a baseline one done at 35 due to family history. I now start yearly this upcoming year.... you KNOW a man had to invent this torture device! (although it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be) Love your national geographic line.

Karen said...

Jazz hands...you're so funny. This is right around the corner for me.