Bathing Suits

Last Thursday I went up to see Dr Grasee for my pre-op appointment.  It was really pretty uneventful, and there were no changes in the plan so we’re still on for Thursday, August 14th for the expander placement surgery.  August 14th also happens to be my one year chemoversary, so it’s like I’m celebrating my chemoversary by getting a new boob—or at least the start of one.  And, when I told Susie the date, she said, “That’s Norm’s birthday—-you’re getting a boob for Norm’s birthday! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

I cannot wait.  Being a uniboober is just such a pain sometimes, most especially during swimsuit season.  I thought the mastectomy camisoles & bras were dowdy, but hey, at least they’re under other clothes.  Not so with the ginormous, blue flower print, high necked, baggy, garments that scream, “Hi, my name’s Opal and my favorite pastimes are shuffleboard, canasta, and wearing clip-on sunglasses.” 

I hadn’t even been to the pool until last week, and since I’d hadn’t invested in one of those beauties, I had to resort to pinning The Foob into my tankini top.  Rest assured, he was not happy.  Especially when he found out that not only were we NOT going to the Riviera, but that he would be pinned into a regular swim suit.  “Zee Foob must have zee special suit for zee swimming,” he said in his snotty, fake French accent.  “Well then,” I replied, “The Foob needs to get himzelf a J-O-B, because those things are nearly as expensive as they are ugly.”  And so, I didn’t get a special foob-approved suit, planning to just make due.  After all, summer is winding down, and next year I won’t be lopsided.

Then we decided to try to squeeze in a trip to Holiday World before my surgery.  I love Holiday World, and my favorite part is the water park.  It has really big water slides, and in my mind’s eye I could envision a day of shooting down the various tubes and funnels before landing with a high speed splash in the pool at the bottom.  Unfortunately, I could also envision going to lost and found to see if anyone had turned in a foob because mine shot off somewhere between the top and bottom of the Zinga.

So, I decided maybe I needed to break down and get a real mastectomy suit.  All I really need is a top, but of course Opal doesn’t like those new-fangled tankinis, so most of the options are one piece.  I know some of you probably think I’m exaggerating when I say these things are ugly, so I thought we’d have a little fashion show. 

First, we have the classic skirted bottom suit.  The neck comes up to your chin, and it comes in blue, blue or blue, coordinating nicely with the target audience’s hair.  This lovely suit can be yours for ONLY $80.  Shuffleboard anyone?

Next, we have a suit that I’m pretty sure was constructed from recycled clogger clothes.  It comes with foob pockets, but has enough ruffles that you could go completely foobless, or take your Chihuahua to the water park, and no one would even notice.  Suggested retail price is $95, but the everyday low price at buttuglybooblessbathingsuits.com is ONLY $80. How DO they keep their prices so low?

Lastly, we have a sassy one-piece-masquerading-as-a-two-piece.  Note the high waisted, girdle-like bottom, and the top with its hot tucked-in look that all the kids are wearing these days.  The description says that this model even affords you the pleasure of wearing your own bra.  I don’t know how many times I’ve been swimming and thought, “Gee, I wish I were wearing my bra under my swimsuit!”  It comes in “moonlight garden sapphire and black” print, for ONLY $80. 

Do you know how many iced caramellas I could get for $80?  A whole stinkin’ lot, that’s how many.  Good grief!  I won’t pay $80 for a suit I LIKE, let alone one of those things.  The good news is that Lands’ End does offer a decent selection of mastectomy suits that don’t make a person look like a polka-dot, ruffle infested, girdle-wearin’ freak.  They also sell mix and match pieces, which is nice since I really only need the top.  They’re not as expensive as those other ones, but I could still buy an awful lot of coffee for the price.

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Anniversary

This past weekend, Hubster and I celebrated our anniversary.  Now the funny thing about this is that we almost missed it.  Indeed, we’d both forgotten about it when a card arrived in Saturday’s mail from Hubster’s aunt wishing us a happy anniversary.  When he told me we’d gotten an anniversary reminder in the mail I had to think, “What IS today’s date, anyway?  The 12th…oh hey, it’s tomorrow!”  Of course the next question was, “So, what are we going to do?” 

Over the years, Hubster and I have done a variety of things to celebrate our anniversary.  Some things were glamorous, or romantic, like going to a bed and breakfast or Symphony on the Prairie, and some things not so much.  Like, say, the year we spent our anniversary butchering chickens.  This year, we were blessed with a beautiful, sparkling day, so we decided that the first thing we’d do after church was take the canoe out and go fishing.  With Mini Me off to my friend Angie’s house for the night, it was just the two of us.  Now you may not think of fishing as a great anniversary activity, but to this canoe girl, being out on the water was like deep fried, chocolate covered heaven on a stick. 

Later, we got cleaned up and went into the Haute, planning to take in a movie.  We almost never actually go to the movies, primarily because it’s stinkin’ expensive and there usually isn’t anything we want to see bad enough to take out a second mortgage.  True to form, once we got in town we decided that there wasn’t really anything playing that was worth the investment.  So, we did something even better: went to Steak & Shake for dinner.  Mmmm….cheese fries.  After all, why go to a movie that’s over in a couple of hours, when I can add cheese fries to my thighs and keep them with me for years to come? 

Then, as we were tooling through town I said, “Hey, let’s go to Fairbanks Park.”  So we went and walked along the river, swung on the swings, and enjoyed the evening.  As I was swinging side-by-side with Hubster, I thought, “Gee, I hope we don’t break the swing set.”   Then I thought, “You know, this is one of the best anniversaries we’ve had.”

Now of course, part of that is because of the cheese fries, but it’s mostly because after all these years, I’m still madly in love with him. And after spending my summer vacation doing chemo last year, I’ve come to appreciate normal a whole lot more.  Sure, I still like the fancy anniversary-type stuff, but man, after last summer, I’m just so doggone glad I can actually TASTE the cheese fries!   

I am crazy blessed.

Corncorncorncorn Part 2

You know, perhaps I was wrong about corn being boring, after all.  The Corncorncorn post has generated an amazing amount of traffic.  Apparently corn is more interesting than I first thought.  Or perhaps it’s just irresistible to all those folks who googled “Pete’s Pride Pork Fritters” which, much to my amusement, is the most common search engine term that brings folks here. 

Okay, so about cornin’.  As I’m sure is common throughout the country, in Indiana late October is the time of year when younger kids go trick-or-treating, and older kids run amok and pull pranks on the neighbors.  You’ve got your universal pranks, like soaping windows and toilet papering trees, or even the sinister egging.  But here in corn country, you have something else:  Cornin’. 

Now the uninitiated may think of sweet corn, or maybe even hominy when they hear of cornin’.  But we’re not talking about those things.  We’re talking about field corn.  The type that’s left on the stalk until fully mature and dry, and then used as feed for livestock.  The kernels are big and hard—Like candy corn’s roughneck cousin who just got out on parole.  Removing this stuff from the cob after having stolen it from the neighbor’s field involves thumbs and blisters.  Piled in ice cream buckets, it’s agricultural ammo for the night’s events.

First you need to choose a target.  If you choose a house, there needs to be someone home. Unoccupied houses are not acceptable because the possibility of getting in trouble is what makes cornin’ fun.   It’s best if you can find a house with a big picture window, and a curmudgeon with no sense of humor sitting right on the other side of the glass watching Jeopardy.  Sneaking in close not only makes for better contact, but also enhances the adrenaline rush.  Then on the count of three you and your friends—because NOBODY corns alone—jump up and throw the biggest handful of corn you can manage as hard as you can at that picture window.  Let me tell ya, that stuff is LOUD.  At this point you have two options, although you should have decided before you threw the corn, either to run or try to hide.  Either way, your curmudgeon will likely come out and yell threats and obscenities at you.  Mission accomplished.

Or, you can choose to corn cars.  This works best in dark areas where you have a ditch or a hill to corn from.   The victim will likely stop and once again you’ll need to choose whether to run or hide.  However, if you choose to run, it’s not a good idea to run down the road, especially if you’ve just corned Hubster who WILL chase you down the road with the car.  Also, it can be advantageous to corn in areas with lots of trees, which will decrease the likelihood that you’ll be chased cross country by that 4 wheel drive pickup with the redneck sticker and the rebel flag.

Of course, creative corners will also come up with variations on the theme.  One year someone threw corn in the open window of my dad’s Plymouth Duster.  We cleaned it out, but later when the car got rained in—apparently Dad left the window open on a regular basis—a few kernels which had remained hidden in the groovy shag carpet sprouted and we had little corn stalks in the back seat.  Or there was the time when someone dumped buckets or corn on our front porch.  So much that we had to shovel it out.  No one ever fessed up to it, but they should have because it was mighty impressive. 

I haven’t actually been corned in a really long time.  Maybe kids aren’t doing it anymore, or maybe they’re home cornin’ on the Wii instead.

Corncorncorncorncorn

When I was a kid, I’d often go to spend time with my grandma and grandpa, who lived about 25 miles away.  Their house was out in the middle of nowhere, so getting there was one long stretch of watching the passing scenery from the back seat of their Chrysler Cordoba.  Of course, this is Indiana, so for much of the year, the scenery consisted primarily of corn fields.  I remember watching the corn go by and saying “Corncorncorncorncorncorncorncorncorncorncorncorncorn” all the while, pausing only for the occasional house or woods or bean field.  The fact that my grandparents didn’t beat the tar out of me after the first half mile’s worth of corncorncorn is a testament to their saintly character.  God knows I’d have lost it after the first 15 seconds and been like, “If I hear corncorncorn come out of your mouth one more time, we’re going to stop this car and cut a corn switch for your behind!”

But, of course, my grandparents were better people than I am—most everybody is, really—and so they never said a word, and I didn’t realize how truly annoying that would be until I became a parent.  What I did discover, however, is that if you say a word enough times in a row like that, it loses its meaning. Try it next time you’re driving past some corn.  Pretty soon, it’s like your brain just gives up—which, come to think of it, may have been what was really going on with my grandparents.

I thought about corncorncorn, because Garlic Sis works for the Indiana State Museum, and yesterday she was telling me that they’re planning a future exhibit all about corn.  I started laughing.  “Are you serious?  Really, that sounds like the most boring thing ever.  I mean, this is Indiana.  I feel saturated with corn knowledge just from living here.”  Garlic Sis, who is the voice of authentic Hoosier culture at the ISM, agreed, and said she’d tried to explain this to the hoity museum types, but that they just didn’t get it.  I said, “Let me guess…they’ll include things like ethanol production and corn being used to make biodegradable packaging.”  “Yeah, they were talking about those things,” Garlic Sis replied with a chuckle.  “That’s what I figured, ” says I, “we already know about that stuff.” 

But that was no great shock.  Hoity museum types are nothing if not predictably condescending.  However, what did come as a shock, was their complete lack of knowledge about a traditional Hoosier cultural event called cornin’.  She suggested to one person at the ISM that they include cornin’ in the exhibit.  “What?  I don’t know what that is.”  Garlic Sis was like, “What do you mean you don’t know what it is?!”  She tried a couple of other folks, even adding the proper G sound onto the end of the word—cornING—Garlic Sis is fluent in both Hoosier and Hoity Museum Speak, you know—and only found one who knew what she was talking about. 

Garlic Sis began to wonder if it was strictly a west-central Indiana phenomenon.  She called and related the story to me.  After I finished ridiculing her for saying cornING, I said, “It’s those city folk you work with.  Of course they don’t know what cornin’ is.”  We decided that I should ask all you guys to put your 2 cents in.  Do you know what cornin’ is?