The other day an acquaintence, newly divorced, but happily dating a bearded man posted a placard on facebook that read “I love beards as much as men love boobs”. To be clear, I was not offended in the least by this, I was amused and I posted back “I don’t like beards, so hopefully there’s a man out there who doesn’t like boobs.” To which a male friend of hers posted “not likely...”
That simple comment pushed a button I didn’t realize was looming so large and I burst into tears. My reaction really surprised me but I guess it validated my worst fears. I chose not to get reconstruction because it’s so invasive, I’d been through enough, you don’t get your real boobs back and I felt secure that I was more than the sum of my body parts, that my breasts didn’t define me, but all it took was one prick on facebook to disintigrate me. I should have left it at that, but I wrote back that I thought he was mean, he’d made me cry, and that I’d lost my breasts to cancer and that many women are just not well-endowed in that regard, are our boobs really our only value? I wanted to say, I hope you’ve got a really big dick or you should shut the fuck up. But I refrained, really no point.
He wrote back that he’d not intended to be mean but what followed was equally prickish and condescending. Some people are just douchbags I guess. I’m ashamed to admit how much one lousy comment touched a nerve so deeply and colored my whole day grey. A few hours later I got notification that another charming man had also posted “.... unlikely”.
I've been feeling miserable the last couple of days, the empress of all head colds has seized me hostage. Little boy loves holidays and on St. Patricks Day, even though just at home, he wore a green shirt, shiny green shamrock bead necklace I got him and his green top hat. Next day, he went to school in his shamrock socks and beads. Last year on St. P's day, we made Shamrock Shakes. Minty green milkshakes with whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top, a recipe I'd found in the newspaper, and while I got the ingredients and he's asked over and over when we're making them, I just haven't been able to summon the energy. I feel soooooo guilty about it, great parent I am, not only don't we go on enriching outings every weekend, I can't even manage a green milkshake. I'd been napping and coughing on the couch all afternoon and as we were going up to bed little boy said "mom, you are so special, even when you're sick, you're smiling and so nice to be around." I told him that surprised me because I felt so mopey and hadn't made his shamrock shake and he hugged me and said even though I was sick, I didn't seem mopey at all, I'm always all smiley. I told him he's the reason I'm always smiling, he liked that. I have got to learn to lighten up on myself, stop seeing all my inadequacies, understand that there are different kinds of families, I wasn't able to build the fun, nuclear family I'd have liked, but we are still a family, and my kids are thriving and kind and confident, I have a little human that can express love and appreciation in this way, this remarkable way and I'd like to say it's the best medicine, but at this point, I really need some cough medicine.