When I woke up this morning, I was planning little more than an ordinary day, albeit starting off with a coffee date with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time.
I didn’t even have breakfast on the table when she’d called to cancel. (Damn those unpredictable children and their foolish illnesses when we have coffee to drink! Damn them to hell!)
Oh, well. I’d just stay in and do my work.
Then I checked my calendar and realized I had a mammogram appointment at lunchtime. Clearly I was in for a treat.
This mammogram was actually a very special mammogram; after some calcifications were spotted during my first-ever mammogram, I was put on Orange Boob Alert, or something. I had to go in and be rechecked at six months and then AGAIN six months after that, which brings us to today. Assuming that I didn’t bust out with a tumor for today’s fun, I now get to step down to Yellow Boob Alert and only go have mammograms every year. Or maybe not even that often, because I’m not 40 yet. I have no idea. All I know is that I am tired of letting other people grab my boobs.
My friend the Eager Mammography Receptionist With the Bad Wig was nowhere to be found, today, but in her stead was an equally aged and enthusiastic woman. I’ve decided that our Imaging Center has made a commitment to hire only ancient little ladies who cause the patrons to feel that perhaps this is where the elixir of youth is stored. Come for the mammograms, stay for eternal life (even if it does have bad hair).
Having been there twice in the last year before today, I’m pretty good on the whole drill. But the receptionist lady was only too happy to take me through the paces. You’ll come right in here! And remove your clothing from the waist up! Are you wearing any powder or deodorant? Wipe it off! Put the gown on! Take your clothes and put them in a locker over here! Keep your purse with you! Go wait over there for the technician to call you! Truly, I never knew someone could be quite that fired up about breast health. Good for her.
My first trip to the Jaws of Despair, I had two technicians who were chatty and nice and the whole thing was An Experience. The second time, I had the world’s most efficient tech, and the entire ordeal was unmemorable. Today, I think I had someone who used to fry ants under a magnifying glass for sport.
I’m not saying she was bad at her job. I’m just saying that in neither of the other two scans did I ever feel that I was in danger of passing out from the pain. Also, should one of my ribs also be caught in the plates while scanning? There was a moment today when I wondered how far, exactly, my body could fall to the floor (once I went unconscious) with my breast clamped between the plates. Would I just dangle there, several feet above the floor? Or would my beleaguered mammary remember the years of pregnancy and lactation and streeeetch to allow me to rest on the vinyl below? I never did find out, though I saw some impressive stars when the machine let me go after that one difficult positioning.
I tried chatting with the tech, but she was having none of it.
Her: This one may feel sort of tight.
Me: Oh! Good! Because that last one definitely wasn’t tight enough, because I think I was still breathing!
Her: *stony silence*
Me: Okay then! Shutting up now!
There is nothing worse than a mammography technician with no sense of humor.
Anyway, we finished up and I went on my merry way, if by “merry” I mean “with my chest now covered in welts.” Good times.
When I got home, I had A Box. And in the box was the dress I bought for the wedding. The dress that was sold out at the store, and for which I resorted to eBay and a size too large in desperation. I removed it from its wrappings with great trepidation.
And then the planets aligned and the angels sang, because the dress is lovely and it fits. It FITS! Had I gotten what I thought was my size, it would’ve been too small. [This flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that the more expensive something is, the smaller the size you take, but jives perfectly with the eBay listing of “this just didn’t fit me.” So. Anyway, I am not looking a gift dress in the mouth! Or, something! It fits, and that’s all I care about.]
Here is the issue (you knew there was an issue): This beautiful, lovely, silk dress that I cannot stop PETTING is a halter dealie. As in, it ties behind the neck, plunges in the front, and goes down to my waist in the back. (Apparently I decided I’d like to be married while only half-dressed.) Anyway, somehow I have managed to get to age 35 without ever having worn such a garment before, and I find myself utterly befuddled as to what to do with The Girls.
I know there are long-line corset-type undergarments that will go low enough in the back, but I fear such a thing will not be low enough in the front. I also hear tell of items that can be just, um, STUCK onto the pertinent areas for a bit of coverage and support, but I’m leery. Going without a bit of bust bolstering is out of the question, so what to do?
Yes, Internets, we’re close enough now that I know I can ask you this. What do I do with my slightly-flattened breasts in a halter dress? Additional pointers on dealing with my utter lack of shame would perhaps also be useful.