Tag Archive | women

I’ve Got a Choice to Make: Tylenol or Heroin?

I’ve recently been experiencing some stomach and gastrointestinal problems. Don’t worry, this post won’t degenerate into an in-depth discussion about my guts – because EWWW!!  Therefore, in the interest of sparing you the gory details, I’ll just fast forward through the last nine months of my life. It went something like this:  blah blah a bunch of doctors appointments…. blah blah annoying tests…. blah blah embarrassing ass-exposing hospital gowns…. blah blah a lot of results I needed a medical jargon to English dictionary to help decipher.

That pretty much brings us up to date.   End result after ALL that? I was told that I have stomach inflammation and I could no longer take Advil (or any similar pain relievers) because it would make the problem worse.  Normally, staying away from over-the-counter medication is not a big deal. I’ve never been a pill popper, but this piece of news happened to coincide with that time of the month. Yes boys, for the remainder of this post, you might want to pretend to stare at that Ficus tree over there in the corner, because I’m going to talk about my uterus. I promise I’ll try to make it brief….




For some girls, their monthly visit comes and goes without much disturbance (*if you’re one of these girls you should know that I HATE YOU.  A LOT). But for me, it feels like two porcupines are sumo wrestling around in my lady parts. Usually, Advil is my BFF during those few days, but now I needed to find something else to help anesthetize the porcupines – so, my doctor introduced me to Tylenol. I had never taken it before, but I felt confident that my new friend would help me through the rough patch, and not give me a stomach ulcer in the process.





By all appearances, Tylenol was a total badass – bright red box, the words “EXTRA STRENGTH” emblazoned across the front in big letters, and a promise that it would help relieve my pain. We had just met, but I loved Tylenol already. So, I popped two caplets, curled up with my heating pad, and waited to feel anything less than totally fucking miserable.

I waited…. and waited…. and waited. After three hours and no relief, I came to the sad realization that the only thing “extra strength” about Tylenol were its empty promises and boldface lies. Apparently, acetaminophen is medical-speak for “tiny caplet o’ useless crap”.

When I took the second dose, I think I heard my uterus laugh. Actually, it was more of a cackle – the kind you hear from the villain in a movie right before they kill someone. I couldn’t really blame her for going insane. I had the means of curing her ails right in my medicine cabinet, but was opting to take extra strength placebos instead.




After another THIRTY-SIX HOURS of sumo wrestling porcupines, I was faced with a clear choice: I could either keep taking this pathetic excuse for a pain reliever OR set fire to the little red box of lies and start shooting heroin. I thought that since heroin went directly into my veins, it wouldn’t cause any stomach irritation – I’m nothing if not practical.

Granted, heroin may come with a handful of other pesky side effects (including, but not limited to): crippling addiction, face pustules, rotting teeth, itchiness, muscle weakness, depression, and cold sweats. But have you ever heard of a heroin addict complaining about menstrual cramps? Nope! They probably don’t even notice when their period comes because they’re too busy scratching their face pustules.

So months from now, if you see me lying in the gutter with a gaping maw where my teeth used to be, probably covered in a variety of my own bodily fluids, don’t feel bad for me. I’m at peace in a world without porcupines.




The Evolution of Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day you make a special effort to love and cherish all the people in your life who mean the most.  The longer you’re with someone, the more those displays of affection tend to evolve over time – especially with regards to this holiday.  I’ve been married to the same man for almost twenty years, and have noticed several Valentine’s Day changes that have happened for us during that time….

When presented with a heart-shaped box of chocolates:

At 20:  “Aw, that’s so sweet!!”  And then you spend the rest of the night feeding each other chocolate and making out like Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche in the movie Chocolat.

At 40:  “Aw, just what I always wanted – a larger size pair of pants.”  And then you spend the rest of the night trying to force feed your kids chocolate so you minimize the inevitable caloric damage from your chocolate-fueled binge at 2am.

Mmmmm.... nothing tastes yummier than an extra hour at the gym.

Mmmmm…. nothing tastes yummier than an extra six hours at the gym.

When presented with flowers:

At 20: The sight of the large bouquet of roses makes you feel loved…. and a little horny.

At 40:  The sight of the large bouquet of roses makes you wish he had spent the $75 on a babysitter and booze instead.


Nothing says “I love you” like helping to fund your florist’s trip to Jamaica.

When looking for a Valentine’s Day card:

At 20:  There are too many to choose from – you spend several minutes trying to decide between the five cards you think best represents your unwavering love and devotion.

At 40:  You stare dumbfounded at the cards for 20 minutes because you can’t seem to find one that says, “There are some guys who fart in bed, and scratch their balls in public – I love you because you’re not one of them.”

There was nothing in the Hallmark store like this - I looked.

There was nothing in the Hallmark store like this – I looked.

In preparation for your Valentine’s Day date:

At 20:  You make a special trip to Victoria’s Secret to pick out some sexy lingerie.  Then you create a romantic iPod playlist that will provide the soundtrack to your night of passionate love making – Marvin Gaye? Check!

At 40:  You decide to go all out – you shave your legs AND wax your mustache.  Nothing’s too good for your man!

Trust me - after two kids, this lingerie works out better for everybody.

Trust me – after two kids, this works out better for everybody.

Things he does that gets you in the mood:

At 20:  He spends the day teasing you with soft caresses and fleeting kisses, and then recreates the secret fantasy you once felt brave enough to share with him – tonight is going to be Fifty Shades of RED HOT!!

At 40:  You wake up in the morning and discover that he has cleaned the kitchen, including the sink full of dirty dishes you were dreading having to wash.  You haven’t felt this turned-on since the night he put the kids to bed and took out the garbage without being asked.

Is it wrong that this is the guy I fantasize about?

Is it wrong that this is the guy I fantasize about?

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

My Shampoo Tried to Kill Me

I had to get ready quickly because there was a lot on my to-do list for the day.  I rushed to get the kids ready for school, so that I could hop into the shower and prepare myself for the second annual “Boobs & Beers” celebration.  For the guys out there, I’m sorry to say that “Boobs & Beers” has nothing to do with strip clubs or drunken wet t-shirt contests.  It’s a day when I get together with some of my girlfriends and we all go get our annual mammograms, and then spend the rest of the day/night drinking our faces off. As any woman over the age of 35 will tell you, getting a mammogram is kind of unpleasant.  Breasts are meant to be adored and caressed – not squished between two cold metal plates.  But I have found that going with my girlfriends helps to make the process a lot more fun, as does the promise of a few drinks afterwards.

I got in the shower, and was simultaneously wetting my hair down and daydreaming about cold pints of beer, when my shampoo bottle seized its opportunity to stage a coup.  I guess it figured that it had taken just about enough of my manhandling, and finally decided to revolt against me.  When I snapped the lid on the bottle closed, a HUGE glob of shampoo flew into my eye. Right. Into. My. Eye.  There are military snipers with worse aim.  Given the strategic and precisely executed shot, I can only assume that my shampoo had been secretly practicing this attack for months.  Clearly, it had not only been hoping to blind me, but also to stymie my efforts of early breast cancer detection.


My eye was wide open and unguarded at the time of the attack, because who the hells thinks to wear protective eye gear in the shower? Although now that I know my shampoo is really the spawn of Satan, I will.  I stood in the shower, paralyzed with pain and indecision.  I had an hour before I had to leave the house, I was half-blind, and my right eye felt like it had caught fire. On the pain scale, I’d say it was somewhere between getting Tabasco sauce in a paper cut, and stepping on a Lego – made me wonder if glass shards were an active ingredient in Redken’s shampoo formula.  For those who have never experienced this particular agony, here’s a nine second video demonstration of what it felt like….

I tried to stick my face directly into the shower stream, but that only seemed to aggravate the situation.  In a last ditch effort to save my eyesight, I quickly grabbed a bottle of saline solution from off the bathroom sink, pried my eye open (despite its stubborn protests to remain clamped shut) and tried to flush it out.  After emptying half the bottle’s contents into my eye socket, the pain level was brought from a 10 to an 8 – which would have to do because other than scooping out my eye with a melon-baller, I was out of ideas.

I finished up my shower, skipped shaving because with my lack of depth perception, I didn’t want to miss my leg and accidentally shave off a toe.   When it came time to leave the house, I could open up my eye most of the way, and decided I could see well enough to drive to my mammogram appointment.  Before you scold me for putting other driver’s lives at risk, you should know that even with my (slightly) impaired vision, I still drove better than most of the other New Yorkers on the road.  Which, I guess, isn’t saying much.

But despite my early morning ocular ambush, everything worked out okay in the end.   I made it to my appointment on time, enjoyed my day of girlie “Boobs & Beers” bonding, and as an added bonus, I don’t think my eye has ever had this much body, hold and shine……

Eat your heart out, Breck girls!!

Eat your heart out, Breck girls!!

Daily Prompt

My Magic Shoes

magic shoes

These may look like just another pair of sneakers to you.  The kind of shoes you might wear when you run to the grocery store, pick the kids up from school, or take a trip to the movies.  But they’re not.  They’re my magic shoes.  Unlike Forrest Gump’s magic shoes, mine won’t straighten out my legs or make me dance like Elvis Presley.  They also won’t take me back home with three clicks of my heels like Dorothy’s magic shoes.  But their magic is no less transformative or amazing.  When I decide to lace up these shoes, I have only one goal in mind – to be the best version of myself.

The girl wearing these shoes battles with the lazy girl in the flip-flops everyday.  She doesn’t always win.

She isn’t interested in taking a nap.

She doesn’t waste the entire afternoon watching TV marathons of her favorite show.

If you offer her a doughnut, she’ll probably tell you to go shove it up your ass.

She has no time for self-doubt, insecurities or excuses.

The words “I can’t” aren’t in her vocabulary.  But the words “BRING IT ON” sure are.

She doesn’t give a shit what you think of her looks.  She doesn’t need your approval – in fact, she’ll probably tell you to go shove that up your ass too.

When she has her magic shoes on, you’d better not ask her for anything.  She won’t cook you a meal, blow your nose or listen to you whine about your problems.

When this girl looks in the mirror, she sees nothing but strength staring back at her.

Instead of obsessing over physical imperfections, she says a silent prayer of thanks to her body for letting her do whatever she sets her mind to.

She thinks she’s beautiful.

She knows that the feats she is incapable of accomplishing today, will be what spurs her on tomorrow.

She doesn’t compare herself with other women.  She only wants to be stronger and faster than the woman she was yesterday.

She’s crossed a few finish lines in her life.

She doesn’t glow or perspire – this girl fucking SWEATS.  A lot.

She likes to play her music loud, though she’s usually too out of breath to sing along.

When those shoes are on, she puts herself first – it’s okay, you can call her a selfish bitch.  She doesn’t mind.

Endorphins are her drug of choice…. though she may need an Advil or two at the end of the day.

She aspires to inspire – both herself and those around her.

She knows that some things aren’t possible.  But she’s going to try anyway.

Then after she’s succeeded in pushing herself past her limits, she settles her heart rate back down to a normal rhythm, peels off her sweat-soaked shirt, and unlaces her magic shoes.  For the rest of the day, she has a smile of satisfaction on her face and a swelled sense of pride because she knows that she defeated the lazy girl in the flip-flops today…. and she looks forward to their battle tomorrow.

I hope she wins.


Young at Heart…. Slightly Older in Other Places

When I was 7-years old, I lost my grandmother to lung cancer (she was only 63).  I was too young to grasp the lesson inherent in that tragedy – appreciate your grandparents now because they won’t be around forever.  My mother took great pains to completely shield me from the grizzly details of my grandmother’s illness and death, so I was still able to see my other three grandparents through the invincible eyes of a child.

I spent years having obligatory conversations with my grandparents over obligatory holiday dinners, and never took the time to really talk to any of them.  I’d tell them about my friends and how I was doing in school, and they’d tell me about the plants growing in their garden and how they saved fifty cents on a loaf of bread at the grocery store; conversations that were superficial and quickly forgotten.

In my eyes they were grandparents, not people.  I never bothered to learn about their childhoods, likes/dislikes, fears, or hopes for the future.  I saw them as the sweet old people who did their best to spoil me with gifts that never quite hit the mark, and hard candy that tasted like it had spent the last decade on the bottom of their purse/pocket.

It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I realized I had NO idea who my grandparents really were, but by then two more of them had passed away.  When I gave birth to my first child, I suddenly had the pressing need to get to know my last remaining grandfather, Pops.  I wanted to find out all I could about the life he led, and I wanted to share more of my life with him.

I’d like to tell you that Pops and I shared many warm Hallmark moments after my epiphany, but that kind of sentimental crap only happens in chick flicks.  My revelation came too late, and by the time my first-born was 6-months old, Pops passed away.

At least Pops got to share a couple of
Hallmark moments with my daughter, Meghan

Here’s where you say, “For chrissakes Linda, if I wanted to get depressed I would have curled up on my couch with a box of Kleenex and watched Steel Magnolias!  Can we PLEASE get to the silver lining part of this story before I put my head in the oven?”

Yes we can.  Because there IS a silver lining to this story, and her name is Auntie Helen.

My silver-haired, silver lining.

Auntie Helen is technically my great aunt, but after the early loss of my grandmother, she filled that void in my life and has felt more like a grandparent to me.  She lives in Massachusetts, and during my childhood I saw her (at most) a couple of times a year.  When I became an adult, I was determined to learn from the mistake I had made with all of my grandparents and make an effort to span not only the physical distance between Auntie Helen and I, but also the generational one.

I wanted to see past the differences in our ages, and stop pigeonholing her as just another old person on my family tree that I couldn’t relate to.  She made it very easy because even though Auntie Helen just celebrated her 95th birthday this past July (2013), she has NEVER been old.  If you call her old, you’d better be outside striking distance or prepare to get your ass kicked.

Childhood trauma in 3…. 2…. 1

While her physical being continues to age, mentally she never got past her thirties.  She still dresses to impress, drinks people half her age under the table, and flirts with good-looking men that catch her eye. She continuously busts out of the stereotypes that society tries to impress on her, and refuses to be treated like a frail, old woman. As far as she’s concerned, you can take your knitting needles, bingo balls, and Bengay, and shove them straight up your ass.

She wants to surround herself with young people because she identifies more with them than with people her own age – as is evident by her best friend who is 30-years her junior. Her youthful spirit and hysterical sense of humor draw people of all ages to her, and prove that your age doesn’t have to define you.  A few years back, she was forced into a nursing home to recuperate from a medical illness.  When I spoke to her over the phone and asked her how she was she said, “I’m doing fine, but I’ve got to get the hell out of here!  All these old people want to do is sit around complaining about their aches and pains, and nap all day.”  After her brief recovery, she busted out of that place and went back to living independently, just as she has done for most of her life.

Auntie Helen induced perma-grin.

When I was little, most of the adults in my life treated me like a kid, but Auntie Helen didn’t see any reason to pacify me or sugarcoat the truth just because I happened to be under 4-feet tall. She saw me as a person, so it made seeing her as one easier than it was with all of the other adults in my family.

In one of my earliest memories of her, a group of us went out to dinner at a restaurant by her house.  The waitress brought out a round of cocktails for the table, but she brought my Shirley Temple in a plastic kiddie cup.  Before the waitress could leave, Auntie Helen stopped her, handed my drink back and said, “This young lady’s cocktail needs to be in a glass.”  It was a small gesture, but it had a very large impact on me – it said, you matter.   It also said, you don’t screw around with a woman’s cocktail.

The early bond I formed with her set the stage for what would become one of the most cherished relationships of my adult life.  Despite the nearly 60-year age gap, I feel like I have found a kindred spirit in her – not just because we share a fondness for the f-word and perfectly made margaritas, but also because we both think the other person poops sunshine and rainbows.

Here’s an example of her blind adoration:  I had eye surgery two years ago to help correct my lazy eye.  I sent out an email showing her what I looked like a couple of weeks post-op.  It wasn’t pretty….

It looks like my right eye went out and got stoned,
and my left eye stayed home and went to bed early.

This is an excerpt from the email (yes, the woman EMAILS!!) she sent me in response to that picture….

“Looking pretty good to me, baby.  You are beautiful.  That’s how I see it – never saw any difference.  In my eyes you glow with beauty.  There should be more like you, full with the love and compassion that just pours out of you.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you are just that in my eyes.  Love you, Honey.”

Shamefully and unabashedly biased as hell, but sweeter than a basket of kittens dipped in cotton candy.  I need an audio recording of her reading this excerpt for when I’m in desperate need of an ego boost.  Then I could just hit “play” and it won’t matter if I’ve got a zit the size of Texas on the end of my nose, or if I gain ten pounds and can no longer fit into my jeans – I GLOW WITH BEAUTY, DAMMIT!!

The feeling of obligation I felt towards my grandparents doesn’t apply with Auntie Helen, because with her it isn’t about have to, it’s about want to.  I want to be around her because when we are together, I feel like the best part of myself comes alive.  It’s like having this Uncle Kracker song playing in my head the whole time we’re together….

You just skimmed right passed the song and didn’t even hit the play button, didn’t you?  I’m TRYING to set up a little sentimental ambiance here.  Help a girl out, would ya?  Now go back and listen to it…. I’ll wait.

Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled program….

I feel the same kind of ease with her that I do when I’m hanging out with my closest girlfriends.  When I talk to her, she stays present in the conversation and doesn’t judge me.  She also doesn’t automatically launch into a “back in my day…” story the second I take a breath or try to compare my 39-year old life in 2012 with hers from 1957.  She’s much more interested in staying current rather than dwelling on the past.

Speaking of staying current, not only does she email, she also joined up with Facebook a couple of years ago.  Every time she posts something on my wall or comments on one of my status updates or photos I’m amazed!  I brag about her to all my friends like she has discovered the cure for cancer.

That’s HER laptop folks, not mine.

She impresses me because I think most 90+ year olds would be too scared to learn how to navigate the intimidating world of social networking, but she doesn’t seem to think anything of it.  And just when I think she can’t do anything else to surprise me, she finds a way – she recently discovered “Words With Friends” and we’ve had a running game going for months.  How freakin’ AWESOME is she?!

If you don’t have an Auntie Helen in your life, you need to get one.  Seriously.  Maybe you could scour the nursing homes to find one of your own to adopt…. wait, what am I saying?  You’d NEVER find an Auntie Helen in a nursing home.  Maybe you could check the dance floors of your local VFW hall on a Friday night – she’ll be the one with the scotch in one hand and a gorgeous soldier half her age in the other.

I’d share this one with you, but she’s ALL MINE….

Don’t be jealous…. actually, you should be jealous.
I was just trying to be nice.

Daily Post Writing Prompt:  My Number One

Not By the Hair of My Chinny Chin Chin

I admire women who are confident enough to embrace their imperfections and find a way to grow old gracefully.  I don’t want to be the kind of woman who has a plastic surgeon on retainer or one who is still wearing Juicy Couture when she’s fifty years old.

The way I see it, there are two ways to approach aging:  you can either try to hide your imperfections and wind up looking like a bald guy in a bad toupee; or you can let nature take its course and save yourself a lot of money on plastic surgery, beauty products and bad rugs.

He should have spent his money on a cruise to the Bahamas instead.

I do have my limits though.  When nature goes beyond a few grey hairs or wrinkles and starts throwing weird gender curveballs, even I have to say screw it to the growing old gracefully crap.  On some level, men expect to lose a little hair when they get older and women expect their boobs to sag.  But when women go bald and men get saggy boobs, something has gone very, very wrong.

I may not be battling male-pattern baldness (yet), but there is another masculine issue I’m trying to contend with – I’m starting to look like the character Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.

A chick with a goatee? AAAAAGGGHHHHHH!!!!

There are a lot of guys who can rock a goatee, but I’m not one of them…. probably because I’m not a guy!!!   It makes NO sense.  I never participated in medical experiments for money, never lived near a nuclear power plant, and I’m pretty sure none of my immediate ancestors were gorillas.  So what’s with the freaky facial hair??

In my early 20’s I laughed about the one stray chin hair that would occasionally crop up.  It was funny for a few reasons….

  1. There was only one of them.
  1. Everything is much funnier when you’re young, stupid, and don’t realize the middle-aged crap that’s waiting for you around the corner.
  1. By the time it was discovered it was about four inches long, which gave it kind of a circus-freak-show quality.  And who isn’t entertained by freak show oddities?

Inevitably I would spot the errant chin hair when I was outside my house – a quick glance in the rearview mirror when the sun hit me at just the right angle, or in a public bathroom underneath the unforgiving florescent lights.  Then I was left to wonder how long it had gone undetected and how many other people had noticed it before I did.  But one quick pull of my tweezers was all it took to return me to my normal, non-freak show appearance.  No big deal.

It became decidedly less funny when that singular whisker got lonely and thought it was a good idea to invite all of its hairy friends to come live with it – on my face.  I thought my new goatee was a byproduct of my second pregnancy (the hormonal gift that keeps on giving) because they seemed to coincide with each other.  But it could also just have been the first, in a long line of reminders that I’m no longer in my twenties.

Either way, it was a problem that was no longer resolved by a quick yank of my tweezers.  Now it was a daily project to make sure I didn’t walk out of the house looking like the bearded lady.  No matter how much time I spent yanking hair out of my face, there was always one or two (dozen) that I missed.  I swear I heard my tweezers groan at me one day as if to say, “Sorry Hun, this ain’t gonna cut it anymore.”

Even though I was already getting my eyebrows and lip waxed once a month, I was resistant to waxing my chin at first.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it was because I knew tons of girls who waxed their eyebrows and lip – it seemed as mainstream as getting your hair dyed.  But I had never once heard about another girl waxing her chin.  Ever.

The hairy cheese stands alone.

Once tweezing became a part-time job, I finally caved in.  During one of my waxing appointments with Geri (my professional waxer), I casually said something along the lines of, “While you’re at it, why don’t we wax my chin too.”

Even though Geri spends most of her work days elbow deep in women’s unwanted body hair, I still felt embarrassed to draw attention to an area of my body that by all gender rights, should be naturally hairless.  So I tried to make it seem like I was enjoying the hair being ripped out of my face SO much that I hated to see it end with just my eyebrows and lip.

Geri made waxing my chin seem like a normal occurrence – maybe in her line of work it was.  She talked about other female clients who came in with 5 o’clock shadow on their face and quickly followed up that statement with, “But you’re nowhere near that bad.”  I love her.  With that one comment, I went from feeling like a circus freak to being as normal as apple pie… or at least as normal as this apple pie….

After the waxing was done, I wondered why the hell I had waited so long.  Sure, my chin felt like it was on fire, but in just a few seconds the wax had accomplished what it took my tweezers forever to do – my face was as smooth as a baby’s butt…. or a normal woman’s face.

I’m wondering if this is the last of the embarrassing facial hair problems or will muttonchops be next?   Will I get to the point where it would be easier to have Geri cover my entire face with hot wax rather than doing it piecemeal?  She could put it on like a mud mask, and then rip it off in one big sheet.  Sure, my eyebrows would come off in the process but at least the painful part would be over quickly.  And I think I could live without eyebrows – works for Whoopi Goldberg, right?

Blissfully hair-free

I don’t think waxing is a permanent solution though.  Eventually I’m going to get to the point (in 30 or 40 years) where I don’t give a shit about getting rid of my facial hair anymore.  Then my grandkids won’t want to kiss me because prickly kisses from Grandma are gross.  Or worse – I’ll get into a horrible accident while I’m still young, wind up in a coma in the hospital, and my loved ones will be too busy crying to remember to wax off my goatee.  (Note to my family:  If I die looking like a Billy goat, I will haunt your ass forever.)

The only real solution to the problem is laser hair removal but it’s EXPENSIVE.  What I need to find is a philanthropist who is uninterested in ending world hunger, saving poor children in third-world countries, or finding a cure for cancer.  Someone with several thousand dollars burning a hole in their pocket, who would rather see me hairless than make the world a better place.

Mr./Mrs. Moneybags, if you’re out there, I promise to be the perfect charity case.  I’ll send you monthly pictures of my hairless face, write you letters about my new life outside the freak show, and (as a one time special gift), I’ll mail you my old tweezers with your name embossed on them.  I bet you won’t get a sweet deal like that from the guy over at the Christian Children’s Fund.

Obviously he doesn’t give a damn about
making the world a less hairy place to live.

One (slightly used) Uterus For Sale

I’m going to turn 39 years old this month and it dawned on me that I haven’t used my uterus for anything in the last EIGHT years.  That’s a long time to haul around an extraneous internal organ, don’t you think?  It wouldn’t be a big deal if my uterus was one of those organs that keeps to itself and doesn’t cause any trouble, like my spleen. But once a month my uterus forces me to take to the couch – where I spend hours miserably clutching an electric heating pad, popping Advil like M&Ms, and biting the heads off of innocent passersby.

He may be king of the jungle, but he’s about to get his ass kicked.

Why should I have to go through the pain and hassle of having a uterus that I’m never going to use again?  I knew when I gave birth to my son back in 2004 that my uterus would never again be used as a baby hotel – much to my husband’s chagrin.  Kevin really wanted to have more kids, but this motherhood gig is a lot harder than all my previous years of babysitting led me to believe.  I guess I didn’t take into consideration that I don’t get paid an hourly wage to take care of my kids, and I also don’t get to give them back to anyone at the end of the night.  It’s not right, if you ask me.

My gynecologist assures me that I do actually need my uterus/ovaries and shouldn’t have them taken out unless it’s absolutely necessary – something about hormone balance and estrogen production, blah, blah, blah.  Sure it would it be nice if my bones didn’t turn to dust by the time I’m sixty, but wouldn’t a little osteoporosis be worth escaping monthly bouts of painful torture?

Don’t worry, I won’t make any rash decisions.  I’m weighing my options carefully and taking my doctor’s advice into consideration.  But I didn’t think there would be any harm in putting out some feelers just to see if there is a market out there for a pre-owned uterus.  Who knows, maybe if I find a buyer I can raise enough money to put my kids through college – would that be considered blood money?  Okay that was gross… sorry, boys. I know you don’t appreciate period humor.

I think my uterus would be a perfect fit for a woman in her mid-twenties, looking to begin a family.  I don’t want to brag but my uterus has a pretty impressive track record (*Side note:  If you want to play a fun drinking game, do a shot every time I write the word uterus.  You might pass out before you finish the entry though.  Anyway, back to my UTERUS.)  The two times in my life when I wanted to get pregnant, I did.  FAST.  While my husband was thrilled with our success, I think when he heard it was time to try and make a baby he pictured months and months of unfettered sex – both pregnancies happened in less than a few weeks.  Poor guy.  I think he looks back on those weeks with fond remembrance, the way a starving man might recall his last big meal.  But it’s not my fault I’ve got the fertility rate of a rabbit.

Which brings me to the other reason I want to ditch the excess internal baggage.  Along with pain and agony, my uterus also forces me to worry about the threat of unwanted pregnancies.  I feel like an eighteen year old on their way to prom every time I have to buy a box of condoms.  It’s ridiculous.  I tried birth control pills when I was younger, but these days I can hardly remember what I ate for breakfast, much less to take a small pill everyday to prevent myself from laying any eggs…. or whatever the hell they do.  I didn’t pay much attention in health class.

Do you think (given my pregnancy super powers) that when I try and sell my uterus I should put a disclaimer on it?  Something along the lines of, “WARNING: Do NOT allow sperm within a fifty foot radius of this uterus otherwise conception may occur.”  While I never tested the actual pregnancy radius, I think fifty feet should be a safe.  Better to be safe than knocked up, that’s what I always say.  I wouldn’t want it to make someone a mommy before they really wanted to be sleep deprived and up to their elbows in baby poop.

But I’m sure there are plenty of couples out there that would love a big family.  And if I can assist them in their dream of pushing the world population a bit higher, then I wouldn’t feel like my uterus was being wasted.   Hey, maybe I should see if Mrs. Duggar wants to buy it – after nineteen kids, hers must be worn out by now….

Drinking game update:  In case you lost count or consciousness, I used the word uterus 15 times…. well, now I guess it’s 16.  17 if you count the title.  Drink up!

My Breast Friends

I imagine that my breasts are rather disappointed with their lot in life.  Born to a tomboy, they were rarely alloted their moment in the spotlight.  I found them cumbersome and inconvenient most of the time, probably because I was given grown-up boobs at a point in my life when I still enjoyed climbing trees and playing sports.  While most girls were busy stuffing their bras with tissues and rubberized chicken cutlets,  I was using every means I could think of to diminish mine, short of duct taping them down.

I spent the better part of a decade either ignoring them, or wishing I had the option of taking them off and on like a pair of shoes.  Though if I really had that option, my breasts probably would have ended up being stored in a shoebox on my closet shelf, collecting dust, until they shriveled up into two pitiful, peach-colored raisins.

I was in a training bra for about five seconds, and the next thing I remember I was fourteen years old, standing in a department store dressing room with my mother, and she was gasping, “Good lord!  Where in god’s name have you been hiding those?!  I had NO idea!”

I was spilling over the top and oozing out the bottom of the pathetic, little bra – giving my breasts the appearance of an exploded tube of Pillsbury biscuit dough.  Without the camouflage of my usual baggy attire, I could no longer hide nor deny their existence…. especially now that there was a witness.

I was a late bloomer in every other respect, but I guess my precocious breasts decided to lead the charge into adulthood.  Whether I liked it or not (at that point, it was definitely not), I was going home with my new 34C bras, and reluctantly leaving the last shreds of my childhood behind in that dressing room.

By the time my teens were over, I stopped treating my breasts like a dirty, little secret and started to use them to my advantage.  I realized that they were handy things to have on the dating scene; finally connecting the dots that big boobs = attention from guys.  So I’m a little slow, shut up.

But my days of attention grabbing low-cut tops and lacy bras were short lived because by age 23 I was married, and two years later, I was pregnant.  No sooner had my breasts made their public debut than they were being placed into one of the most hideous garments a breast can wear – a nursing bra.

During my pregnancy, some of my old tomboy insecurities resurfaced because the damn things were getting bigger again.  D-cup sized breasts were the things of most men’s dreams, but my own personal nightmares.  I had visions of turning into my middle school chorus teacher – a woman who used her enormous chest as a writing desk whenever she wrote out a hall pass.  While it would be handy to never be at a loss for something to lean on should I need to jot down a quick note, the thought of having classroom furniture jutting out from my chest scared the hell out of me.  How was I going to nurse an infant with breasts bigger than she was?

As it turns out, nursing my newborn daughter was challenging, but doable.  And when I looked down at her sweet face the first time she nursed, I felt something about my breasts that I had never felt before – appreciation.

I forgot about all the times they got in the way when I played sports, or the fact that they never fit into those cute, girlie tops designed for the B-cup set.  They were sustaining life, and giving my daughter everything she needed to thrive.  And that appreciation grew tenfold during midnight feedings when I didn’t have to go all the way downstairs to heat up a bottle; I was like my daughter’s own personal 7-11, convenient and always ready for business.

When I stopped nursing her, I kept waiting for my breasts to go back to their original size, but it never happened (much to my chagrin).  I lost all my “baby weight” everywhere but in my bra.  And when I got pregnant for a second time (four years later), it was time for another growth spurt that added another D onto my cup size.  And like my previous pregnancy, my breasts didn’t decrease in size after nursing was over.  I knew that unless I did something drastic, like undergoing plastic surgery, my double-Ds were here to stay.

And mine weren’t the double-Ds of most porn addict’s fantasies; they looked more like something out of Salvador Dali’s imagination.  Despair took hold when I said goodbye to my chances of ever being able to shop at Victoria’s Secret again, and hello to unflattering bras that used descriptives like “minimizer” and “full-coverage” in their advertising.

My 30 year-old breasts were now wearing geriatric garments; bras designed with one purpose in mind – to prevent my breasts from making a pilgrimage towards my feet.  I can remember as a girl, the test to see if your breasts were sagging was to place a pencil under your breast; when you let go, if the pencil stayed without falling to the ground, gravity was starting to take its toll.  Well, by this point, my pencil days were long gone – I could successfully store all of my children’s back-to-school supplies under there.

Around age 35, I got a healthy dose of perspective that made all the years I spent complaining about my breasts seem absurd.  I started hearing a lot of stories about women my age falling victim to breast cancer – a fact that was both startling and scary.  Cancer was no longer something that happened to mothers and grandmothers, it was happening to my peers.  And once I became aware of it, the subject seemed to be on everyone’s lips.  Famed breast cancer survivors like Christina Applegate and Melissa Etheridge were championing the cause, and pink ribbons were everywhere.

It’s horrible for anyone to be struck with cancer, but it seemed particularly heinous for someone under the age of 40.  The weight of that cruel reality hit me one day while I was in the shower.  Without the cover of my granny-bras or my baggy t-shirts, my breasts were there, just staring up at me… well, I guess they were staring more towards the floor…. but let’s not get technical when I’m trying to be sentimental.  As I stared back at them, it was as if I was seeing them for the first time.  And a genuine feeling of gratitude washed over me.

I was grateful that my breasts had been there to feed my two children.

Grateful that they were still healthy.

Grateful that they were still here for me to bitch about – though I would probably be doing a lot less of that from here on out.

Ever since that day, my breasts and I have reached a new level of friendship and understanding (hey, if you guys can name your penises and talk about them like they’re separate entities, I can be friends with my breasts).  And in the spirit of friendship, I decided to make them a few promises….

I won’t complain whenever I have to pass up the cute, lacy bras for ones that actually have a shot at holding my girls up.

I won’t make fun of them every time I lay down and they disappear into my armpits.

I won’t pine away for the breasts I had when I was sixteen… at least not out loud.

And in return, they will do their best to enjoy a long, healthy life with me.  After trying to hold them up for nearly 30 years, I figure the least they can do is try to hold up their end of the bargain for the next 30.