Getting Our Picture Taken

2018-07-27 12.18.59

So, it was time for the yearly mammogram. Oh, joy. One of the few times someone squeezes my breasts and I don’t enjoy it. It’s like getting groped by Optimus Prime.

But, as we women all know, it’s a necessary task as we age, especially if we have a family history of breast cancer, which I do. So, I go. And I’m grateful for the kind, gentle technicians who work with me. (The technicians are gentle. That machine, though, is another story.)

They’ve updated the tech since last year and now it takes 3-D images, meaning they lock one of your girls into place, squoosh it almost flat, and the camera machine thingy circles around the smooshed breast to get images from all around it.

Yeah, it’s about as much fun as it sounds. Especially when the technician has to remind you to hold your head back so the camera doesn’t swing around and whack you in the face. It’d be just my luck I’d get bonked with the machinery and end up unconscious but still trapped, smooshed up against the plate, waking up later with a monstrous headache and a big square bruise on my boob. Try explaining that to my insurance company…

Beyond all that, let’s review what we need to do, friends, to keep ourselves healthy:

  1. Do a self-exam at least once a month in the shower. Or have your partner do it for you for extra fun. Think of it as an Easter egg hunt for very, very, very tiny Easter eggs… that you don’t really want to find.
  2. If you’re over 40, schedule a mammogram once a year. This is especially important if you have a family member who’s had breast cancer. Or if you’re a masochist.
  3. Remember not to put on deodorant or powder or perfume the day of your mammogram. These will interfere with the results. Besides, you’re not there to entice the technician, right? Save that smelly crap for your spouse.
  4. Try not to flinch when that technician comes at you with her blue latex gloves and helps you place your girls on that cold, clear plastic squishing plate. And don’t blink when she tries to engage you in normal conversation while manipulating your armpits so the camera gets the image right the first time. (“How about those Steelers?” is a good conversation starter almost everywhere. Almost.)
  5. Getting pictures taken of your girls is a vital health screening for us middle-aged women. But, before you leave, remember to ask the technician for a few wallet-size pics for your husband. He’ll thank you. Well, mine would, but then again, he’s an engineer, so the rules of normalcy don’t always apply to him.

I made it through another mammogram last week, and I get to breathe easy till next summer. (Literally. You can hardly breathe when that machine clamps down. Yikes.)

I hope all you womenfolk out there suck it up and get your mammos! They could save your life. Just try not to take them too seriously while you’re in the middle of them.

“2018”: How are we saying this?

It’s been more than eighteen years since the year 2000 hit and we all started writing really wrong dates on our checks. I think I’ve waited long enough to ask the question we’ve been anxiously asking ourselves for nearly two decades. (And, by the way, how has it been nearly two decades since Y2K? That seems to be the really frightening question.)

So, tell me, do you call this year “two thousand eighteen” or do you say “twenty eighteen”? Or are you drunk or high and don’t know what year it is? (Okay, that last question is really off the subject. Let’s act like I didn’t ask that one.)

I find that I’ve been using the “two thousand” version of the year when I speak. In fact, most people I’ve heard say the year out loud have been saying it that way. A few folks say “twenty eighteen,” and frankly, they still throw me off when they do it. For a nanosecond I have to see the “2018” in my mind and realize they’re talking about the year we’re in. It happens seldom enough to feel jarring, even now.

Strangely enough, most of the times I hear “twenty eighteen” are on car commercials. So, someone’s selling a “twenty eighteen Kia Soul” or is begging me to come on in to get a trade-in for a “twenty eighteen Ford F-150 pickup truck.” (For what it’s worth, I’m not interested in a pickup truck, but thanks for asking.)

Now that this new millennium is old enough to vote, let’s ask the question we’re all dying to ask: do you prefer “twenty eighteen” or “two thousand eighteen” when you speak?

Also, was it a conscious decision or did it just happen organically?

Also also, do you think you’re going to change your mind?

Also also also, this is about as controversial as I get. Try to rein in your excitement.

All hail, King Arthur!

Okay, so, right up front, I have to repent of my “Granny to a Weasel” bit in the previous post. Turns out that, a week ago, I became granny to a li’l string bean, NOT a weasel.

And he’s perfection in the flesh. He’s the most awesome human being in the entire history of human beings. This isn’t bias or opinion. It’s scientific fact.

Yes, watch out, world. I’m now a grandmother. Let the ridiculously obnoxious string of photos commence (and continue for the next several decades).

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Meet Arthur. Or, as I will henceforth be calling him, King Arthur. (He’s already ruling over the entire extended family on all sides. Might as well claim the title, too.)

I’m supposed to be writing right now. I’m also supposed to be proofreading. And let’s not forget that I’m behind on laundry and housework and there’s not enough food in the house. Forgive me. I keep scrolling through photos and sighing like a fool in love.

Because, well, I am.

I’m going to have to keep this post short. I gotta go grab a hanky and cry some more. Because apparently that’s part of my job description now, too.

And I’m okay with that.