Saturday, May 15, 2010

Boob Relocation Awareness (BRA)

As I walked through the threshold of the big-chain lingerie store, I swear the model on the giant window poster looked sideways at me, like a portrait in some haunted mansion.

“I can shop here--I’m a WOMAN damn-it!”  I thought. 

But as I rounded the corner, images of “REAL” women made me feel like “Androgynous Pat.”  Clearly, I am a “She-Wolf” compared to the specimens attacking me visually from every angle.  I appear to have the same anatomical parts, but mine look like someone stepped on them and yanked them down like a window shade.

I don’t think I’ve ever even met a person who could qualify as a “Bra and Panty” model.  They must live on “Fantasy Island” somewhere.  I wonder what they do all day, in between modeling assignments.  They all have that “not-exactly-happy-but-I-could-be-soon” looks on their faces.   My daughter, Krista, once asked, “Why aren’t they smiling?” “They’re hungry, dear,” I told her, “and cold.”

“Do you have anything that will fit me?”  I dared to ask a skinny clerk.  All I wanted was something new to wear instead of my husband’s t-shirt and pajama pants.  Now I think I may be in the wrong shop.  “Is there such a store as “Bertha’s Secret”?” I clowned.

“Well, you could try the clearance rack,” she offered, stiffly.  The clearance rack is where they send freaks like me, to scrounge around for factory misfits.  I can hear it now...

“Hey, let’s get all the material together and make a HUGE one--big enough to fit Ying-Ling the Panda-Woman,” they’d joke in some far-eastern sewing room... after an especially long shift. 

I picked up something and held it next to me.  It was a MIGHTY bra that looked like something Wonder Woman would wear, minus the gold-encrusted eagle.  It stood up all by itself on the dressing room chair, challenging me to strap it on like a Roman chest plate.  It was red and ridiculous, but it fit and buying it would mean I could carry that smutty lingerie bag all through the mall.

“I’ll take it,” I beamed, “and wear it home.”  As I left the store, the poster model’s eyes again shifted sideways, but I pulled my shoulders back, my new “rack” in front of me--where it belonged--for the first time in 25 years.  I’ve never felt more alluring.

My self-worth improvement was not without consequence, however, as my new chest-enhancing, molded-foam apparatus made me unbalanced.  My body radar askew, I kept bumping into things like a wind-up toy that runs into walls and changes directions.  With things pushed tightly together, my air supply was being compromised, dizzy, I brushed up against things and I couldn’t see my lap at lunch.

“You look different,” my husband, Fred, said later that day, “are you getting taller?”
I flashed him a “not-exactly-happy-but-I-could-be” expression, and he guessed again.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Take a Thrill Ride with a Teenager Behind the Wheel

Training a teenager to drive is on my “Top Ten List” of worst parenting experiences—slightly above having my mouth throw-up INTO by a 2-month-old. 

Because I was once driven by a teenager:

·         I still sweat at night 
·         I have a recurring rash 
·         I’ve aged prematurely

My friend recently told me that her daughter, nearly 15, will be taking Driver’s Education classes this summer.  I laughed... and then my facial tick came back.

“We’ve taken her out a few times already,” my friend reported, “and she does pretty well."
“You’re fooling yourself.” I told her, “Wait till you get her on a highway--it’s “Freddy Krueger” scary.”

David, my oldest son, led me to believe he had experience seven years ago when he first started driving, because my husband, Fred, had taken him out several times to practice.  “Okay, let’s take a ride,” I said.

Apparently, Fred had forgotten the “Put Your Foot on the Brake When Making a Turn” lesson.  During our first “donut” (there were more to come), my hair turned snow white.  After the last complete revolution I was tensed up so far into the fetal-position I could have fit into a 12” box.

“STOP!!!!!” I screamed, white hair flying.

The gravel and dust cloud he created has finally subsided somewhere over the Ukraine.

Backing up in a teenager driven car is another fun memory.  My over 6-feet-tall son didn’t realize the mirrors were adjustable.  He blindly backed out of a Wal-Mart parking spot and we first heard breaks squeal, then saw a man with a walker “fast-walk” behind a truck, presumably to hide, losing both of his tennis balls in the process.

“Sorry!”  He called out the window and once again threw it in reverse without checking his mirrors.  Horns blared and a few middle-finger salutes later, we left the lot in shame.

Certified driving instructors have a few advantages.  For one thing, they have a car that is equipped with a second brake pedal.  They also have a STUDENT DRIVER marker on the roof, which repels most sensible drivers.  I also firmly suspect they are heavily medicated.  We parents don’t have those luxuries.  Riding with David was like being on a wild amusement park ride, feeling sick and wanting to get off, but instead hearing the “Carnie” working the controls yell, “You wanna go FASTER?” 

When our second son, Jon, was old enough to drive, we paid a large sum of money to have a private school teach him, because, included in their fee, a driving instructor would take him on the road for his full 30 hours of practice-- instead of us.

I would have prostituted myself to get the money to pay for this privilege.