Monday, October 15, 2007

Nerves of Steel, Purse Contents, Magazines

This morning I woke up, well aware of the date.

Monday, October 15.

The day of the mammogram.

I heard from a good source that women who forget to wear two piece outfits to their mammogram end up wearing one of those hospital gowns that allow gentle breezes to waft up their sacred Brazilian rainforest.

Forewarned, I have dressed for battle in my 2-piece red suit, the one that shows my curves in a I'm-too-powerful-to-have-anything-wrong-so-don't-cross-me way.

I have my rope pearls on, ruby ring and brown crocodile print pumps with dainty bows on the just-subtly-rounded toes.

Into my matching crocodile print brown bag I've stuffed:

  • 7 tubes of lipstick, lipgloss, lip shimmer and lip glass because it's IMPOSSIBLE to match a red suit in changing light...

  • 2 protein bars, just in case my appetite returns

  • $3.35, excavated from the bottom of my red purse.

  • The pink prescription form from my gynecologist, with it's generic stick figure drawing of a woman's drooping breasts, providing a field for physicians to sketch in any "suspicious areas."

  • The checkbook, in case there is a co-pay. And also, because I have promised myself I can buy Boston Market chicken soup and a bottle of Francis Ford Coppola's Rossi on the way home. I may or may not do this, but in the meantime, I'm unapologetically allowing myself to imagine it soothing me.

  • The lucky silver egg that I bought in Austin

  • My brown-pink-and-teal striped journal

  • very engrossing book which I decline to mention here

Yes, a book.

I hate waiting-room magazines especially ones targeting women, warning them to clean & decorate their house (cheaply and quickly!), lose weight (quickly!), teach their children manners (quickly!), fix their marriage (because that's a woman's responsibility!), and -- after home and family are all safe and perfect --- figure out what they want to do in life.


I already live my dreams, and the only magazines that helped me get here are the ones that published my articles back when I was taking baby steps toward finding the writer I'd buried deep under shame, pain, and habit.

That was years ago, in my own dark ages, before I realized that my writing gives me nerves of steel.

So this afternoon, while I'm standing there alone in a cold room, breasts squished between unforgiving metal, that's what I'll be thinking of.

Nerves of steel.

Living my dream, today, tomorrow, and every day.