by Marianne Curan
I’ve been rescheduling my annual gyno exam for months. I don’t really mind the actual exam--it’s quick, painless and protects my health. And, I really like my doctor, a gentle, kind guy who listens to my whining (or pretends to) and always laughs at my hormone jokes.
What I do mind is getting weighed which is the first thing they do. So I keep changing my appointment to buy time to drop a few pounds. Then I’m told I can’t refill my Ambien prescription without a checkup. Damn! They’d got me. So I suck up my pride, suck in my gut and go to the doctor.
Nurse Brenda, cheerless and efficient in pink Panda Bear scrubs, grunts “hello” and points to the scale. “Wait. Don’t you need a urine sample?” I say, hoping that’ll shave off an ounce or two. When I’m done I peek out the restroom door ready to sprint to the exam room undetected. But, my captor awaits me at the scale, tapping her pen on my chart. I quickly strip off my shoes, belt, jacket… it’s like I’m at the airport. As I’m shimmying out of my jeans Nurse Ratchett squawks, “Other patients are waiting.” Behind me is a line of half naked, shivering women who apparently think I’ve got the right idea. One of them is trying to scrape off a tattoo. They give me a thumbs up--happy to put off their “turn.” I hand Brenda my wedding ring. “You can pawn that if you take off five pounds.”
The scale is one of those old clunky contraptions with a floating lever that torturously bobs up and down as you slide its metal bar to the correct weight. It’s like waiting for a roulette ball to land on your winning number. “132! 132!” I shout. The women join in, “132! 132!” The bobbing slows and it’s clearly not going to be 132. “136! 138! Oh-am-I-regretting-what-I-ate.” Nursey Dearest pushes the bar to the right. I push it left. She pushes it right. “Oh, God! It’s never gone that far before!” I jump off the scale and pop out my contacts, blow my nose and pick some spinach out my teeth. Brenda is not amused and loudly announces the verdict. The women moan with empathy as Brenda snorts, “Don’t worry. I’ve seen worse.”
The painful truth was with the onset of my middle age I wasn’t growing older and wiser. I was growing older andwider--gaining pounds I’d fought off since 1977 when I discovered 6 McDonald’s fries have a100 calories--without ketchup. Now I couldn’t wriggle into my size 6 jeans unless I was greased down like one of those fries. All my shirts seemed to have shrunken into size small midriffs when, in fact, my midriff had become a large. And, now I had “Bloobs,” my term for blubber (commonly known as back fat) and boobs. Blubber + Boobs = Bloobs.
Muffin top tummies and junk in the trunk are one thing… but fat boobs? Isn’t that redundant?
Where were my perfectly perky 34 B’s...so suited to my hip-less hips and ongoing love affair with high impact aerobics? Where were my Boobus Minimus which never distracted men from conversation yet could-- with a push ‘em up, shove ‘em up Wonder Bra? My old boobs were accommodating boobs…at least until that day I took them shopping at Bloob-ingdale’s.
I figured I’d gone up a size but thought, “Hey, 36B sounds sexy.” But even those were too snug. I tried a 36C. My cups didn’t runneth over but the flesh wrapped around my torso did. I tried smooshing these bulbous extensions of my overindulgence forward with no luck. Apparently cup size wasn’t the issue, my girth was. A soul wrenching wail brought the salesgirl running. “Can you get me a thi-thi-thi-thirty eight….” I sobbed, hoping she’d bring a revolver instead of a bra.
That’s when I knew my Bloobs had to go. After many months and grueling hours in the gym I was close to fitting back into my 34 B’s. I knew I could do it. All I had to was drape one of those 38’s over the peanut butter jar and picture Nurse Brenda by that scale.
My next gyno exam is a week away. And, when I get weighed, I’m not going to undress, exfoliate or shave my head. I’m going to bravely step up on that scale. I’m just going to do it backwards.