Sunday, February 5, 2012

This Old Porch

Man, it feels great to be writing again.

Whether I'm goofy, irreverent or outright stupid (and if you read the Porch, you know I strive for outright stupid), my words always come from a deeply personal place.

The past year held vast amounts of change and challenges for me. For the most part, I did not want to write and tap into that place --  for fear the proverbial pen would take me to destinations I was not emotionally ready to visit.

Now at long last, I'm ready to try again. Maybe not. We'll see. Or perhaps only I will see, since I'm not sure anyone actually remembers the Porch. If you do, thank you sincerely for reading.

By the way, I have moved from my literal porch, but I carry the spirit of the porch with me wherever I go. I even have a teeny-tiny porch at my new house.  As people with small porches say, it is not the size of the porch that counts, but the motion of the rocker that's on it (note to self: get rocker).

If you have followed the Porch, you know I'm barefoot-Julia-Roberts-crazy about Lyle Lovett. In his song, "This Old Porch", he sings words I take very much to heart:

This old porch is just a long time
Of waiting and forgetting
And remembering the coming back
And not crying about the leaving
And remembering the falling down
And the laughter of the curse of luck
From all of those passerby
Who said we'd never get back up

It feels good to get back up.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I have big, round, bodacious...nostrils

A few years ago, I went to see a specialist for a chronic sinus infection (Are you turned on yet?). I'm not going to lie, the nose specialist was smokin' hot. After a month of potent antibiotics, steroids and prescription decongestants, I really thought he looked like this:

Off of my Sudafed cocktail, he likely looked more like this:


As I was reclining in Dr. Love's chair, my tight red sweater stretched across my bosom, he leaned over me with his super sexy head mirror and whispered softly, "Wow. Oh, wow. Maybe I shouldn't tell you this, but, you have amazingly big... sinuses. I really can't get over it. Your maxillary sinuses are HUGE. They are freakishly large! Tom! Carla! Get in here! Look at these sinuses! Have you ever seen anything like them?"

Greeeeaaaat. Just flippin' great. Of all the things God could have given me that were huge - and in pairs - He chose sinuses. And everyone knows that big sinuses are crazy hot, right? That's why magazines like Nasty Nostrils are Maxillary Mamas are wrapped in covers in the bookstores.

Okay. Okay. It's not like I didn't know before the doctor's visit that I'm not exactly blessed in the chest area. That fact has been illustrated to me plenty of times before.

For instance, at an eighth-grade slumber party, one of the girls found my bra and said, "Oh. My. God. Jennifer still wears a TRAINING BRA!"

And then there was that time last month, I accidentally dropped a bra at the gym and one of the women picked it up and said, "Oh. My. God. Jennifer still wears a TRAINING BRA!" (I totally made that up. I most definitely do not ... go to the gym.)

I realize I'm not exactly voluptuous. Or even uptuous. Or even uous. Or even s. I have known it since the seventh grade, when one of my best friends and I bonded over our 28-A bra sizes. As our friends blossomed into women, we bemoaned our membership in the Itty Bitty Committee. As the school year drew to a close, we vowed to support each other - since we likely would never need Maidenform to do that.

My friend went to various camps that summer, so I did not see her again until the first day of eighth grade. As she made her way into the school auditorium, boys elbowed each other and craned their necks. What? Had she changed her hair? Did she have a new Izod? (One of these blogs, remind me to write about how I could not afford Izods in junior high, so I  bought Izod socks, cut the alligator off of them and sewed that alligator to - wait for it - Kmart overalls. Because everyone knows Izod overalls were the shizzle.)

As it turns out, my friend did not have new hair. Or a new Izod. She had new boobs.

And some nerve.

How dare she grow boobs when we had made our 28-A Club Forever vows! I have never felt so betrayed - or so flat.

That is, until a decade later, when I was trying on a dress for a wedding. As I stood in the dressing room in my undies, a stern little Chinese woman held measuring tape and fussed at me.

"I told you, bring a good strapless bra for fitting!" she said.

"I did!" I said. "I'm wearing it!"

"No. No. All wrong! You strapless bra too big! You so small!"

As I stood in my underwear and apparently too-big bra, the seamstress opened the dressing room and yelled through the crowded store, "Bring a new strapless bra!"

A clerk asked her what size. I kid you not, the seamstress looked me up and down, shook her head and yelled back, "Smallest size we have!" Then she whispers to me, "You know, I can sew you some boobies into your dress? Yes?"


Sadly, even that was not my worst bra-shopping experience. When I had my first child, I needed nursing bras for breastfeeding. I was incredibly proud of my postpartum chest. For the first time in my life, I had actual cleavage. Cleavage, I tell you! Crumbs got stuck in there and everything! Some women breastfeed for their children's health. I breastfed for the boobs. And that's why I nursed both children until third grade. Just kidding! I totally stopped in second.

So I marched into the boutique, stuck my chest out and asked for nursing bras.

The cashier raised an eyebrow and said, "For whom?"

"Uh, me?"

"Really? You're serious? What size?"

"34-B," I said, glowing. "B as in 'Big Boobs'."

"Uhhhh. Ma'am? We don't carry any nursing bras that small. Most breastfeeding mothers are at least a 34-C."

I wanted to throw something at her, but the only thing I was holding was my baby, and well, people frown on that. Instead, I stormed out of the store

So perhaps by now, you're wondering why I'm telling you my most embarrassing boob stories? I have three reasons.

1. I poured a big glass of wine before I started writing this blog.
2. I drank said wine while writing the blog.
c. see (2).

Also, as I approach 42, I realize that the emphasis we place on boobs in society is ridiculous. As long as my boobs are healthy, I'm happy. Or maybe that also has something to do with the wine.

Plus I realize that I have some advantages as I age. Some of my better-endowed friends (most of them female) are contemplating breast lifts. A couple of friends heard that if you can hold a pencil underneath a breast, you likely need a breast lift. They soon discovered they could, in fact, hold pencils.. and staplers...and flashlights - which could come in handy, actually, if they ever have to replace a pipe under their kitchen sinks or do some work under the car.

I, on the other hand, will never have a breast lift. Or breasts.

But hey! Have you seen my sinuses?