Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Chingobell

That's my name you know.  Chingobell.  Well, that's what my Spanish speaking busser used to call me, as in Tinkerbell.

So, Tink turns 52 today, she's middle aged now, put on a few pounds, still takes care of the lost boys, pouts occasionally, still very stubborn, and this year was diagnosed with breast cancer.

But she's still Tink.

Still Tink.

The day started good, taking my time getting out of bed.  Thinking about the Thanksgiving menu.  Husband took me to one of our favorite breakfast bistro's; I wanted Irish Benedict for my birthday breakfast.  M-m-m, so good.  I was feeling upbeat.

I asked him to take me to Penney's so I could explore bra's and see if I might find something to put these things in.  I was hopeful.  Husband dropped me off in lingerie and said he'd go keep himself busy while I dived in.

I wasn't even sure what size to look at.  Guess I should have measured or something, but decided to jump in and see what I could find.   Prior to my surgery, I've been purchasing the same size bra for years, mostly a 40DD.  I've never been to a fitting specialist, and figure I probably was one of the millions of women wearing the wrong bra size.  I know I was compensating in the width to allow more cup.  Truth be told I was probably really a 36 F or G or something crazy like that, but never felt like finding out, not wanting to know just how big those bunnies really were.

I decided not to worry about the cup size first, let's figure out the chest size.  I grabbed a 34, a 36, a 38 and a 40.  I tried all of them on.  I found the 36 or the 38 the most comfortable, depending on the cut of the bra.  I decided to start with 38's to allows myself a little extra width as I am still so sore where my drains and sutures are.

I put all those bras back.  Let me ask you something?  When you try on clothes, do you leave them in the fitting rooms or do you put them back?  I always put them back.  I'm funny that way.

I explored all the different bra's and found some I thought might work for me.  A few of the different manufacturer's had bras with a fair amount of padding in the cup, not only pushing the breasts in for cleavage, but lifting them up.  I felt inside those bra's and got very encouraged.  The padding really filled out the cup and was like a small shelf inside the bra.  Maybe Itsy and Bitsy can lay on those shelves like a chaise lounge.

I grabbed all colors and styles of 38 B, figuring this would be the closest fit.

I hung them all in the dressing room and took off my hoodie and my scarf and my butterfly T-shirt.  There I was.  In the full length mirror of the Ladies Dressing Room at JCPenney.  I took a good look.

That's when it occurred to me that maybe this was not such a good idea today.  My birthday.  Supposed to be a happy day.  Maybe this was not a good idea.

I saw me, and the full reality of the affects on my body hit me as if the self in the mirror reached out and slapped the me standing there.

Spiky little punky little blond hair, not yet long enough to be brushed or combed.  It has its own way, and you can see all the waves and parts and spirals it makes, like the sky in Van Gogh's Starry Night painting.  My face and my shoulders looked small and petite, although my upper arms are chunky and still swollen.

There's my neck.  There's my new necklace Nani gave me.  My eyes moved down my chest.  It concaves over where two breasts used to be at their fullest, as if a large crevice has been carved into it.  As you move slightly down, all the wrinkling of extra skin forms two downward triangles.  My nipples are the bottom of the point.

I think these boob renderings look like they belong to Mrs. Jumbo.  You know, Dumbo's Mama.  Well, probably when she was a teenager.  Yes.  More like that.  The skin of what is left of my scooped out breasts is very wrinkled and folds into itself, much like the skin of an elephant.  It's just that mine are rosy and pink, not leathery and gray.

I cupped my little elephant breasts, one in each hand and surveyed.

I almost cried a little cry for me.  Oh, you poor poor baby girl, you poor poor baby.  Aw baby, don't cry, try those bra's on.

I instinctively reached for the purple one.  Did the old turn it around backwards, snap the snap, adjust it back around to the front.  You Ladies know the drill.  Kinda crazy how we have to put a bra on, isn't it?

I pulled my arms through the straps and positioned them on my shoulders.  That's when I realized "These straps are so tiny.  Itsy little biddy things, not even 1/2 inch thick.  Almost like a spaghetti strap.  Why I do declare, I don't believe I've had a strap on of this nature since the summer of 1968."

So far so good.

Now for the alien breasts.  Come on now creatures, cooperate with me and get into these hovercrafts.

I tried, all kinds of ways.  First of all, my breasts are too far apart to even comfortably be coaxed into a cup.  My boobs are out here, as she points closer to armpits, and the cups are in here, pointing toward center of chest.



Still hopeful, optimistic and not very good at math I thought "Maybe it's the color that's all wrong."  I grabbed for a pink one.

Same thing.

How bout the white one?

Then it occurred to me I had already forgotten yesterday's wisdom that enlightenment happens when you don't keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

Nothing worked.  I was still stuck with this me.  I had to get out of there.  I dressed quickly, feeling a major boo hoo coming on.  Thinking about it now, it was kind of cute in a pathetic way, me about ready to bawl and still carefully putting all those bras back.  Then I left the store, and out the mall towards the car.

I found a bench outside, put my sunglasses on and whimpered.  Another layer of this reality, YOU HAVE CANCER LADY, landed on me today like an elephant in a purple bra and pink tutu.  I felt awful sorry for myself.

I texted Husband.  "Meet me at the car."

A few minutes later he came outside and saw me on the bench, not realizing I had gone down like the Hindenburg inside JCPenney and the mall had to be evacuated.

"Did you find anything?" he said.

Then he saw that I was crying.  I don't remember what he said but he did his usual when I cry.  Avoid and deflect.  Change the subject.  Run.  Hide. 

OH MY GOD, WHAT DO I DO?????????????  SHE WEEPS????????  SOMEBODY HELP ME!

He held my hand as I whimpered towards the car.

Don't ask me why I thought that being my birthday and all, cancer would give me the day off.

We drove home, I needed to lay down.  I was exhausted.  My numb and swollen feet were really hurting.  My ego was hurting.  I just wanted my bed.

I laid down awhile, Husband left to do some grocery shopping for my birthday dinner and Thanksgiving.

He is doing his job and mine, and deserves a Medal of Valor.

I rebounded.  We had a nice dinner.  Had Grandma (his Mom) over, and Baby Bear.  I opened my gifts, nothing extravagant but spot on gifts from all.  Oh, I forgot to mention the birthday surprise left on my doorstep this morning.  It was my first gift of the day.  Thank you Nani.

I also opened a lovely present from Midge, a beautiful pink glass goblet with carved roses.  I messaged her "Ah, finally, a chalice fit for royalty such as myself.  I will put on my tiara (I have one you know) and toast myself tonight.

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN OF EVERYTHING."

Today was my birthday, I know it was, cause I got presents and phone calls and blew out candles.

It had all the trimmings of a birthday. 

Happy Birthday Chingobell.

(If you believe in fairies, you must keep clapping to keep her light glowing.  Commence clapping.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Birthdays are a good time to take a look at your life's map and move forward in the direction of the great things in your future. Many, many blessings and the perfect purple bra are my birthday wishes for you;) Happy Birthday!
***Terry (your lab lady)***

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