I had initially planned to post about the male of the species (or the male species, as some would claim), and that would have been timely, as today a copy of one of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (read about it here) was found in someone's bathroom in England. However, that post will have to wait. I decided to change things up a bit because...
A-- I need to post this fast because I want to spend time going through the books in my bathroom to see if there might be a first edition of Edgar Allan Poe or Sir Walter Scott just lying around that I can sell for a zillion dollars and...
B--(as in boobies) I had a mammogram on Friday and it got me to thinking, and you know what happens when Cameo starts thinking. Heh heh heh.
I guess in a way this does relate to my original post about men and women, since women are born with boobies and men seem to love them, even though they have a perfectly functional set of their own. The timing of my annual mam just so happened to coincide with a the announcement that a panel somewhere came to the conclusion that women don't need regular mammograms until age 50. I will not get into the politics or any of the discussions around this announcement because that's not what this post is about, but suffice it to say, I had it on my mind when I walked into the imaging center. That and how much our breasts are a part of who we are, whether they stay with us forever or not, and hence a part of who our characters are.
I've made a point to give my heroines different breast sizes and shapes (as well as body types), just as I've made it a point to give my heroes different kinds of chests, from muscular to hairy to smooth or a combination of these. Professor Rumani Gladstone's breasts are long with pointy nipples. Lilly Gillingham's are round and full with large nipples, while Gracie, my latest heroine who will join the others in January, has small breasts with more musculature because she works out.
I do this because I have learned over the course of many years that most men, though modern media may purport otherwise, simply like boobies of all kinds, not just the huge jugs of silicon our young women see held up as a standard in TV, print, and film. I'm a nudist, and we know these things (we're all just nature nymphs, don't ya know?). Also, I do my research, by which I mean I talk to men. They tell me all kinds of secrets (I feed them popcorn and beer--works every time). I also know such Man secrets like, no matter how much you weigh, even if it's seven hundred pounds, guys prefer it if you tuck your shirt so they can see your waistline, even if said waistline is virtually non-existent. It's the illusion of it that turns them on. Many of them are also turned on by women who have had mastectomies, even though their bodies may appear different. There's just something sexy about a woman strong enough to face cancer so bravely, and a strong woman can be a real turn on, especially if she believes she's sexy. But I digress.
As I floated through the whole experience, which is always sort of surreal to me (or maybe I'm just high on estrogen), I took mental notes I thought might be useful to share, especially for those who don't like getting mammograms or have never had one. In an effort to save more time (I think I might have a limited edition Charles Dickens in the downstairs bathroom, now that I think of it), I'm going to list them briefly.
Even though mammograms can pinch and pull and be generally uncomfortable, I found myself rather enjoying the experience as well as learning from it, and here's why.
1. I discovered that my breasts can be lifted and squashed into some very unusual shapes. Odd, but nice to know. This I will file away with the knowledge that if I lift my breast I can actually touch it to my lips (my husband dared me once--I won, and, yes, liquor was involved...so was a lot of laughter). BTW, this can be a fun game at wedding showers. Baby showers even more so!
2. I also discovered that you should tell your technician if your breasts/nipples itch. There's a certain kind of cancer that this can be a symptom of, so they need to know that so the doctor can discern whether you have dry skin or something else going on.
3. I was reminded that monthly self-exams are important, and also reminded that if you're a hypochondriac like me and feel upwards of 39 lumps at a go, you can have your significant other do the honors during love play, which takes the weight off your shoulders and puts it squarely in the palm of his hand. Literally.
4. I have to admit I felt the urge to laugh when the technician asked me to hold my right breast out of the way as she tried to place my left breast on the booby-holder thingy (I have no idea what it's called). It kept trying to squeeze in there with its sister, even though they sometimes have a sort of sibling rivalry due to one being slightly larger than the other (many women's breasts are like this). My breasts can be quite ornery, but that day they were rather charming to each other. It was a special moment.
5. I was overjoyed because at the end of the procedure, the technician actually complemented my musculature from what she saw on the films. I work out in a desperate effort to remain as healthy as possible, and it was nice to know that something is actually getting stronger instead of weaker. Woo-hoo!
6. I realized that I can use this to my advantage to get some sympathy. Really. When I got home, my hubby asked how it went and I sighed heavily, describing in great detail how sore my boobies were, even though the technician tried to handle them with great care. Being the great husband he is, he offered to kiss them and make them better. I gladly accepted the offer. That also became a special moment.
7. I also realized, in all seriousness and in this week of the American Thanksgiving holiday, I am truly thankful that I can get a mammogram as my doctor recommends. I promised my mother I would before she died, and it's important to keep promises, especially when they were made to save a life.
And on that note, I'm off to search for Twain in my toilet. Happy Thanksgiving!