Mammo Whamo

Guys, you can stop reading now. Really. I mean it. Going into women’s world and will be back in a bit. Until then, find a comfy chair and read something else. Or look bored. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’m probably not even supposed to write about it. I’m most likely breaking some female code. But I’m a rebel and I’m going there. Or should I say, I went? 

I experienced what hundreds thousands hundreds of thousands of women have already experienced and it wasn’t fun (even if the nurse was nice). It didn’t sound fun. Not when I was getting advice like, “Take a Motrin before you go” and “Don’t go when you’re PMS” (too late) etc. If I didn’t get advice, I got the look. A combo smirk riddled with pity from women with a long history of being squashed. I went anyway. Unprepared for the tiny band aids with silver beads that made me feel slightly burlesque (was that wrong?) or the plastic shelf that was smaller than I thought it would be or the tape to make sure they didn’t move an inch or the pain (everything relative to having given birth, twice) or the fact that my ribs/costo. didn’t like the weird angle for the sideways shots or that a machine was crushing squishing my girls! I was relieved to hear, “That’s it,” nodded my head, uttered a “thanks” (did I really say that?) and headed for the door.

I got the The Callback and returned for an ultrasound because of “an area that needs more evaluation.” Apparently, they can’t spell since the (s) was left off in areaS. Lucky me. I returned and was whisked off to the dimly lit “Sand Dollar” room (slight spa feel minus the bulky tech equipment). A witty nurse glopped warm slime on my chest and began her quest. She made small talk to try and take my mind off the fact that she was pausing, going over the same areas, and click, click, clicking images on the screen (oh, shit). I told her about my dad. How he was a prostate cancer survivor. How lucky I was to have him around. How his surgery had been in September. I closed my eyes and pretended not to notice the clicking (dammit) and tried to think of the ocean, the waves, the warm sand, sand dollars. . .okay, I was still there and a nurse was finding s-t-u-f-f.

“Oh, yes, very dense.”

“What, exactly?”

“The average woman is 180 thread count. You’re 800.” Lucky me.

“The doctor may come in and check when I’m done” (warning, warning, bells).

After 45 minutes of seek and find, she left and Doctor came in. A cute, baby faced guy (I was forewarned, not like it mattered) with a serious look shook my hand and promptly went to work.

Nurse: “Over there, 12 o’clock.”

Doctor:  “Oh, yes, two of them close together.”

Nurse:  “See that? Could be a third. That’s it for that one.” Next.

Doctor:  “Oh, another.” I twisted to look at the decent size black hole on the screen. Baby Face stopped to look at me.

“Good thing is I don’t see any vascular activity around them but you’ll need to come back in 6 months to be rechecked.” I exhaled. Lucky me.

I don’t know what I would have done had the Doctor uttered different words. Sentences with “needle” and “biopsy” in them. I didn’t feel brave. The clicking had scared me, senseless.

Every day, women go to have their girls crushed squished and some of them get The Callback. They have ultrasounds, get biopsies, and find out they have “c.” Their lives whirl before their eyes. They hear. They feel shock. The life they had before they walked into that office is now different. They fear. They tell themselves they will survive. They live. They are B-R-A-V-E.

“They” (some insurance companies) are now recommending that women get their first mammo at 50 yrs. of age (laughable really). I should have gone a few years ago but I was told I didn’t need to until I was 40. Be proactive about your health, ladies, and follow your instincts. Don’t let monopolies and big business determine when you should or should not establish your baseline. 

If you’d like to donate to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, just click the image below:

What Women Want 2

In talking with a couple of female friends recently, the subject of what a woman wants in a man came up again. I know I already blogged about it but there was something so basic, so fundamental, that I overlooked it at the time. I was more focused on what women want (and don’t want) in terms of character and communication. This trait of expressing, while it may be deemed part of a man’s character, is subtle, yet, a bonus for men who fulfill this need for their female, loved ones. It’s part of being a “protector.”

While I’m not sure (for all women) this male role is important, for enough women I know (myself included), it’s up there in our top three.  This does fly in the face of many women who like to think they (okay, we) are self-sufficient and not as needy as other females but, the reality is, it is a huge way to have love expressed by a man.

I’m not talking just in a physical sense (although that aspect can be a part of it). It’s a bonus, if the man we fall in love with, is taller than us, stronger than us, makes us “feel” safe just by being near him. If we were walking down a dark street and someone tried to jump us, we’d like to know that the man we were with would protect us to the best of his ability.

Some of us, ladies, have been on the flip side like when a man possesses physical characteristics we label as “protective,” and he doesn’t make us feel secure. Some of us have been in a relationship where a man may have knowledge of martial arts or is muscular, yet, we have not felt the least bit safe.

We just want to know, if a situation arises in which we find ourselves vulnerable to danger, that our “protector” is looking out for us. Of course, this is not to say that women shouldn’t learn self-defense and other methods of protecting themselves. It’s just that we adore men who make us feel as if we are a priority and precious to them!

Women take this even further and apply the idea of “protector” to emotions, too. Many of us have a core desire to feel intimately “protected” in a relationship (i.e. to be able to express emotions like anger, sadness, or disappointment) and not experience rejection by a man. We need to know, even though we have strong feelings (and, at times, they might be passionately displayed,) that we will not be abandoned, disregarded, or shut out.

I will not speak for men (since I am convinced I know little about them and their emotional wants or needs) but I suspect that many would like the same in their relationships with their female counterparts. So, long-winded story short, just another blurb into what women want.  Women might be from Venus and men from Mars (or some other planet yet to be identified) but we all have the ability (if we  choose) to find out what’s important to the other sex (it goes both ways, ladies).

Dear Daughter

Years ago, you made your entrance as my tiny princess sitting Indian style.  I prayed I would have a baby girl to love.  I was granted my wish.  It nearly killed me I could not hold you immediately upon seeing your little face but your dad held you near to me so I could gaze upon you (making sure you were swaddled and safe).  As soon as the doctors allowed me to cradle you, into my arms you went.  I can’t believe how fast the years have passed since that first meeting.  I loved you before you were born and knew that I was given a gift straight from heaven.  While it is difficult not being with you to celebrate your birthday (today), please know I am thinking about and loving you right where you are. When we are together, I am astounded that I must glance upwards to look into your eyes.  I see a tall, hard-working, intelligent, young woman who has dreams and goes after them.  You will achieve your goals because you are tenacious (even when life is rough).  You are beautiful inside and out and I am proud to call you my daughter.  No one could ever replace you!  I love you up to heaven and back.  Happy birthday, honey!

Love,

Mom

More Austen Please

“Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience — or give it a more fascinating name: Call it hope.” ~Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)

My son recently asked me, “Why do you take breaks from writing (work) to write more (for personal pleasure)?”

“Because I must and I love to.”

He looked strangely at me because the required realities of essays, papers (and such for school) etc. do not light him on fire. He is a great writer (he might disagree) but he doesn’t like to do so.

I remember (during the growing up years) dreading the 4-6 page plot level compositions (yawn) and (even recently in college) being overwhelmed by the challenges to compose lengthy papers which critique and analyze a few sentences. Overall, I love to write and have since I was a child.

Jane Austen has been an inspiration to me (and thousands of other female writers). She died on my birthdate and I have always felt a kind of kindred connection with her.  In more recent years, she has developed somewhat of a cult following to the degree that other writers compose novels in the Austen style. Not only do I enjoy her texts, I have watched probably every Austen film that has been created. The following are some of my favorites!

Emma

Sense and Sensibility

Pride and Prejudice

Becoming Jane

To Mom with Love

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
~Maya Angelou
 
Mom,
You have shown me by your words, love, and life that we only become butterflies when we have spent time patiently waiting to emerge from the chrysallis.  Then our wings must straighten and dry.  They are delicate and can tear easily, yet, strong enough for flight.  I love you more than words.
Love,
Pamela
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                            

    

                      

                                                         

                                                                

                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                       

                                                                

            

                                                         

                               

Represent!

Words.  We know them and use them.  While some of us might have a better grasp on manipulating them, nearly all of us select language bites to express emotions or beliefs.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of words is:

1a : something that is said b plural (1) : talk, discourse

2a (1) : a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning usually without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use 

Language and words are symbols.  They point to things beyond themselves.  They represent something (whatever it is we are attempting to convey).  Again, the Merriam Webster dictionary states that to represent means:

1.to bring clearly before the mind : present <a book which represents the character of early America>

2: to serve as a sign or symbol of <the flag represents our country> 

We, as humans, have the power to pick the words we want to utilize (we are kind of like super heroes with special powers).  In the selection process, the words we choose either authenticate feelings and ideologies or mask them (in the latter, subverting those neutral words into falsehoods). 

Today, how are we going to use words to represent what is real, true, authentic, right?  How are we going to use our language powers for good and not evil?  Most of us are aware of the damage and aftershocks that poorly chosen words affect.  Again, I ask, how are we going to authenticate ourselves and build up others by using the gift of language to communicate empathy, kindness, and love towards others?  What are we going to do to slam the door in the face of those words that harm others?  That 3, 2, 1. . .detonate leaving behind a wake of destruction?  We can do it (if our brains are functioning properly and we exhibit a fundamental capacity for language).  The question is, will we represent?

 

 

Lies (White, Gray, Black, Purple)

Okay, you all decide.  After visiting Charlie over at his blog and reading his post entitled Liar Liar Pants On Fire, I have a proposition for you (no, not that).  I will have a poll attached to this post.   Please take the extra 15 seconds to vote.  Thank-you.  Charlie’s post talked about lies.  .  .the white lies people tell when planning a surprise party, more lies when turning someone down who’s asked you out, etc.  The basic gist (if I am interpreting it correctly) is that everyone lies and this lying is sort of inevitable.  Of course, at the end of his post, he encourages us to think twice about the lying we sometimes engage in and to address the lies some of us tell ourselves because they can be damaging. 

I started thinking (yeah, watch out) that myself (along with my BFF’s) have little or no patience for lying (unless of course someone is throwing us a surprise party ;-)  ).  When it comes to relationships (romantic, platonic, whatever), I just don’t have the patience for lies whether little or big.  I’d rather skip the B.S. and get down to the nitty gritty.  If you like my eyes, say it and mean it.  If you don’t, there’s no need to lie and say you do.  Compliment me on something you are sincere about.  If there’s no chemistry, I’m going to tell you.  I won’t be cruel about it but I’m not going to lie.  If I get asked out by a sixty-plus year old man (yes, it’s happened), I’m not going to reply, “I already have a boyfriend” or “I’m busy” etc. I’m going to respond with, “I’m not interested” and mean it! 

I am realizing more and more that my dislike for lies and what I interpret as game playing stuffs me into a wee little container along with the few others who feel the same way.  But, hey!  I’m not in my teens anymore, I was married for nearly twelve years, and if I’m going to be in a relationship I want nothing less than complete honesty!  Am I being too honest in this post?  Maybe so, but you do know this is my blog :-).    If my beliefs cause me to check the “single” box for the rest of my life, so be it.  I will never settle for a man who lies (whether in the white, gray, black, purple areas) again.  I still think that a person (not gender specific) who lies to themselves and others about small issues exhibits a predisposition to lie about the big stuff, the important stuff (lying to oneself can be pretty bad).  Okay *stepping down off of soap box* I’m done.  But what do YOU think about lying?  Good sometimes?  Bad all the time?  Don’t really care?  Remember, the poll! 

What Women Want

(This post is dedicated to the great Bald One since he is the master of rants)

A movie called What Women Want came out in 2000. You all remember, right? A comedy about a guy who was zapped by lightning and could get inside women’s heads? He could hear the internal, feminine dialogue of women everywhere which at first drove him crazy until he learned he could use it to his advantage. Like advance his career, land the woman he was interested in, and try to heal his relationship with his daughter. As we all know, that movie is in the genre of fiction.

While there are some men who have us figured out, many of you could use a bolt of lightning or a burning bush or a plane with a huge banner unfurling behind it that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to win over a woman.

Below is my top 5 of what women do not want followed by my top 5 what women do want. Yes, sometimes learning by negation is more effective!

My top 5 of what women do not want:

  1.  Do not feed us crumbs. Contrary to what you think, most of us like to eat and eat voraciously. If you can only provide communication “tidbits” (e.g. tech advances a couple times a year), we are not interested.
  2. Do not reveal your “size” in the hopes that we care.
  3. Do not keep us waiting and waiting and waiting only to never arrive after we have spent hours wondering (primping) and wondering (primping) and wondering (worrying) if you got in a car crash and are lying dead in the morgue.
  4. Do not have your next possible love interest lined up before you let us know it’s over.
  5. Do not give us the notion that you are willing to give us a second chance if you are a one strike you’re out kind of guy.

My top 5 of what women do want:

  1. Do feed us well by following through with ACTIONS (e.g. sincere phone calls, poetry, visits, CHOCOLATE, flowers, letters). Yeah, Hallmark Channel is inadvertently rubbing off on me. This is the food of romance.
  2. Do show us what your character is like (e.g. your ability to communicate well, your honesty, your faithfulness, etc.).
  3. Do pick up the phone if plans change. Manners don’t have an expiration date.
  4. Do be a man–tell us it’s over, THEN move on.
  5. Do admit if you can’t give us another chance to bat. Then leave us alone.

*Men, remember the Golden Rule*

For some of men, this list is as boring as they come. Therefore, feel free to add your insights in the comment section below (and kudos to you)! For many ladies out there and myself included, we will wait for our Mr. Darcys and in the meantime, live.

Jazz

your first ancestors
had geographic ridges
purple-blue crisscrosses
once slashed gaping open
crimson that mouthed
“wade in the water chillan” 

you called people
responded the blues
bent in depressed
trances third fifth and
seventh like pancakes
flattened by a spatula

you ragged people
shagged under red
lights to a syncopated
rhythm AABBACCC no
more cakewalks just sexy
marches and falling Maple Leaves 

© Pamela A. Rossow