Thursday, July 31, 2014

And that's why my new boss had to undo my dress in the parking lot...

"Are they going to fit in?"

"I'm trying to make them," says Rissa.

"I swear to you that these breasts were not this large in June."

"I think you might be right."

"What is going on?!?"

"I don't know, Mummy."  Rissa huffs, as she places her knee in my back to gain leverage.  "You can't help at all?"

"Dude!  My right arm might as well be amputated at this point."

"How long will it take for physio to work?"

"I think maybe by 2016 I'll be able to dress myself again."  sigh "It's fitting everywhere else but the boobs, isn't it?"

"Yes.  Blow out all the air in your lungs."

"Maybe... I... shouldn't be..."

"Almost got it...  all... most got it..."  Stay on target... STAY on target...

My boobs are now practically up to my chin.  "This is not natural.  That lady at the bra shop must be right.  It's freaking peri-menopause that's causing this insanity."

"Probably...  There!"  Rissa is triumphant.  "Ta-DAH!!!!  Can you breathe?"

"I'm trying."  I glance at the clock.  "Oh crap!  I'm going to be late!"  I glance at my profile in the entryway mirror.  My breasts are somehow almost up to my chin, and yet, they have morphed into a weird-ass uni-boob under the dress.  "Gotta go baby!  I'll see you before I head to physio."

"No you won't!  I'm heading out to the mall with my peeps!" she yells as I get into the car.

It's not until I arrive at work that I realize I am trapped in the dress.  As my now flattened, yet still bodacious ta-tas tickle my chin, I start to panic a little bit.  I am now channelling my inner debutante -  a bad case of the vapours is seconds away.

"Side zippers.  Only side zippers from now on," I'm muttering to myself as I walk into the office.  I keep my breaths shallow so that I don't displace a rib.

"What's the matter?" one of my co-workers asks.

"Trapped.  I am trapped in this dress.  And my boobs have apparently grown 22 cup sizes since June."


"Have I worn this dress this season?  I have, haven't I?  You've seen this before, right?  Oh crap!  Maybe it's the other vintage-y turquoise and green dress that I'm thinking of...  Maybe my boobs aren't on sterioids, maybe it's been a full year since I've worn this dress!  But even so...  if my boobs are this much bigger - shouldn't my ass be the size of Texas?"

Everyone is now looking at me like I'm nuts.

"How did you get into the dress?"

"Rissa managed to do it up.  But I'll never be able to undo it on my own, and I have a physio appt. right after work."  I attempt to reach my right arm up to hold the zipper at the top of my neck...  "Nope!  NOPE!  Sweet merciful... Cut it OFF!  Cut the arm off!"

"What if we rig up a string to the zipper tab and then you can just pull the string at the end of the day?"

"I'm still going to need the other arm to stabilize the zipper.  There's nothing else for it.  One of you is going to have to undress me before I leave the office.  I'll drive home half-dressed and then change before physio."

"Why can't you just have your physiotherapist undress you when you get to your appointment?"

"I am not wearing my best underwear."

The security camera footage in the parking lot should be awesome.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

And that folks, is why I chose HIM...

"Just so you know, if they tell me I have to amputate the arm to save my life, I'm not going to fight them."

David doesn't even pause.   "Damned straight, you're not.  That sucker's coming off!"

"For the first little while, until I have a proper prosthetic, I'll have arm proxies.  Like when I have to go shopping, and something needs two arms.  I'll just have to rely upon the kindness of strangers, like say, the really cute stock boys at No Frills."

"You'll be able to use it for sympathy too, at other social settings.  Someone'll ask you, 'Hey can you pass me the salt?'    'No!' sob 'I can't!'    'I'm so sorry, let me get it myself and pay for your dinner as well!' "

"Ooooh!  Ooooh!  When I have to have this arm amputated, you can set me up with a good robotic arm, right?" I ask.

"You betcha.  Articulated fingers - the whole deal.  You'll have the Swiss Army Knife of prosthetics.  Attachments galore!"

"And I'll be all... 'Here let me get that can for you', and then I'll CRUSH that can with my powerful robotic hand.  'Sorry, you mere mortal - you can't do that because you just have a regular arm!' "

"Is this a pop can or a can of diced tomatoes?  Because I can already do that with a pop can."

"Diced tomatoes, of course!  Oh, I'll need a can opener attachment for the arm too."


"And a hook!  I'll definitely need one of those!  You know, for when I want to be fancy."


"Hell, yeah..."

"You do realize that the x-ray and ultrasound are probably only going to show some tendon damage, right?"

"I want to be prepared.  I'm all about the bright side."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cat Fanatic.

"Rissa!!! BEST WALK EVER!!!"

"It was?"

"YES!!  One cat on the way there... Three, no wait!  FOUR cats on the way back..."

"Two cats there, Mummy.  You saw two cats on the way over."  We had walked Rissa over to her friend's house.

"I did?"

"Yes,  the long-haired dark grey one and a tabby."

"I can't believe that I forgot the tabby!  You're right, there was that tabby, too!  It must be all the other wildlife that's throwing off my counting."

"All the other wildlife?  What did you see?"  Like any other child raised watching Zoboomafoo, in Rissa's mind I was walking hand-in-paw with a panda bear who, in turn, had a duck-billed platypus riding upon its back, with a couple of cabybaras thrown in on the side.

"Some crazy-ass squirrels, and you remember that basset hound that you and Daddy wouldn't let me veer off course to pet?  Him.  We somehow just managed to walk down that street to come home, I don't know how it happened, it's like I have some sort of freaky furry radar.  But before we got to him, there were three other cats."  I have now morphed into an addict who got an unexpected fix. 

"Three other cats?"

"Yes.  One on the one side, close to the basset hound.  But then there was another one on the other side of the road - kitty corner to the basset hound.  There was one cat on the sidewalk that I went over to talk to, "I was all, hey cat, how you doin?" And then a second cat came from the backyard, rolled onto its back and demanded that I pet its stomach!  Plus, the other day - bunny right on the sidewalk!!"

"Plus a bunny?"

"No, the bunny was the other day, but up until today, that had been my best petting spree because there was the bunny, which didn't let me pet it, but did let me get really close to it, but then there was a cat, plus two other cats who all let me pet them - all on the same block.  It was a magical block.  But then today - BOOM - record broken!  Because on top of the all of those animals - that same long haired dark grey cat was still out and ran over to meet us when we came around the corner!!!  He ran,  from his house, all the way to the corner when he saw me!"  I'm holding my hands out - soaking up the feline spirit into my palms.  Eyes closed, thankful for the gifts I have been given.

"So, you like animals, I guess?" says Rissa's friend, who up until that moment had been standing slack-jawed at my rant.

I run back the soundtrack from the last minute and a half in my head.  Crazy Cat Lady ALL over it.  I shrug, now playing at nonchalance.  "Yeah.  You know.  Whatever."

"So the same dark grey long-hair came to you?" Rissa asks.


Monday, July 21, 2014

DOWN!! Put the bread down!

When I was younger, I worshipped at the altar of white flour.  My Mom would get these crusty Kaiser rolls - the ones you could select with the fancy tongs in the bakery dept.  I would devour them - butter slathered all over their fluffy insides.  No protein anywhere to be found.  Just bread and butter.  Two, three rolls at a time.  They took me to a happy place; a place where simple carbohydrates were converted to sugar.  Over and over I made this trip.  And pasta?  I could be half way through a plate of spaghetti, already anticipating my second plate.

When I hit puberty I started having dizzy spells.  I was taken to doctors who told my parents that the dizzy spells were brought on by hypoglycemia and that I had to change my diet.  This was in 1982, so mostly what the docs said was that I had to give up foods that converted quickly into sugar.  White bread or anything made with white flour was no longer an option.  Potatoes were discouraged.  Wait a second, potatoes... discouraged?!?  Life seemed over, or it would have been had my diet been truly altered.

Because my hypoglycemia wasn't life-threatening, diet restrictions didn't seem all that important to follow.   I'd never actually passed out - never had a seizure - didn't even flirt with comas - I got just a little bit flaky - or in my case flakier - the consequences didn't seem too dire.  Or at least, that's how I convinced my Mom that I could still eat potatoes.  Because it didn't really get worse, I sailed away into the rosy carbohydrate sunset - oblivious to consequence.

Fast-forward 15 years and a bit. You know when things come back to bite you in the ass?  Well those toothy chickens came home to roost.  I'd have managed, but David, who'd never seen me in the midst of a good sugar crash quickly became horrified and dragged me to the ER.  I saw doctors, dietitians and naturopaths who pointed me to the straight  and narrow.  The doctor said my blood sugars were borderline.  The dietitian reminded me to eat smaller meals more frequently and told me to include whole wheat in my diet - I couldn't just have a microwave dinner at work, I also had to have a whole wheat roll along with it.  The naturopath said to avoid all things wheat - stick to brown rice or quinoa for my grains - Rice crackers, rice cakes for fiber.   Soy milk instead of dairy.  "Should I go gluten-free?"  "YES.  Definitely."

Rice crackers, rice cakes, rice pasta - for years now they've been the vehicle upon which I devour my protein.  Because a lot of people have now leapt onto the gluten-free bandwagon,  not eating wheat is a little easier.  There's a dedicated section of the No Frills filled with high-priced, sawdust-tasting, gluten-free options. Sure, I succumb to the call of the wild Timbit now and again, but mostly I've been towing the line.

Which is why I've been a little confused as to why my blood sugar has suddenly decided to swan dive.  Used to be I could go 3 hours between fuel stops.  Now, at the 2 hour mark, I'm thrown back into graphic reminiscence of first trimester nausea and dizziness.  Upon research - I'm more confused than ever.  Could be hypoglycemia, could be peri-menopause, could be thyroid...  Place your bets!  Place your bets!

As a hypoglycemic of the new Millennium, I've learned that I need to be concerned about the glycemic index and glycemic load of foods.  Anything in the "HIGH" range should be avoided.  Turns out that  the carbohydrates I've been consuming for the last decade or so are some of the WORST things I could be eating for my blood sugar.  And last summer a Naturopath friend found out I was on thyroid medication and freaked out when she saw me drinking soy milk.


"I can't??"

"NO!   It will render your thyroid medication ineffective."

"It will?"

"It will."

So the foods that were supposed to help me 15 years ago are now screwing with me?  Not cool advances in dietary restrictions!  NOT COOL!   I go in to talk to my doctor to get a referral to a dietician.

I tell him about the worsening dizziness and the new nausea.  He tells me I don't need to talk to a dietician.

"I can tell you what you need to do.  You need to have three small meals and three snacks."

"I do that."

"You  need to have protein with your carbs and/or avoid all carbs.  Avoid root vegetables..."

"Uhhhh.... what about what the Canada Food guide says?"

"No, carbs are bad.  I rarely eat any carbs..."

"I think maybe I should talk to a..."

"Almonds!  If you feel like your blood sugar's dropping, have a handful of almonds..."

"I do that.  I'm not so much worried about the dizziness... it's dizziness's sidekick, nausea, that's worrying me."

"Why didn't you mention the nausea?"

"I did mention the nausea.  That's why I wanted to talk to a dietician."

"Well if I'd concentrated on the nausea - we wouldn't be going down this path about the dizziness.  This is a waste of time.  I've now wasted my time.  If we're talking about nausea with hunger, that's a different thing.  That's possible stomach tumors."

Always great when your GP threatens you with stomach cancer to shut you up.

I refused to cave.  "Maybe it's best if I talk to a dietician."

"Good eating habits, if you follow them, can deal with all of this.  If you track your food patterns.  There this website that..."

"I track my food patterns."

He's circling his wagons now.  "Make sure you have protein with every snack.  You could do soy..."

Okay, we're back to the protein are we?  "I've been told to avoid soy because of my thyroid medication."

"Told?  Or did you READ about it?"

Ah yes, now I'm the hypochondriac who diagnoses herself over the internet.  Hold your ground, Heather.  "Told.  A licensed naturopath told me.  MAYBE. IT'S. BEST. IF. I. SEE. A. DIETICIAN." You patronizing, unlistening rat bastard... 

My eyebrows raise slightly.  This is ON...

He heaves a resigned sigh and grabs his tape recorder.  "Patient has been  having issues with possible hypoglycemia, worsening dizziness and nausea.  I have spoken to her about eating smaller meals with snacks, tracking her food patterns.  Patient would still like to speak to a dietician..."    He finishes with the tape recorder.  "It'll still probably take several weeks to get a referral."

"I can wait."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

She started it!!

"Don't crash while I'm doing this," I say as I unbuckle my seat belt.

"O....kay," says David - eyes now glued to the road in front of him.  His peripherals have extended to a 6 foot radius around the car.

We're on our way to the airport.  Rissa is travelling to Vancouver. BY HERSELF.  At 14.  And yes, there are kids who travel as unaccompanied minors, all over the world, at much younger ages, but those unaccompanied minors don't have legs up to their armpits and  perky boobs.  They don't get mistaken for 21.  The last time Rissa travelled by train to my parents' place she had a guy in his 30s ask where she went to school.  She gave the name of our home town.

Dude says, "I didn't know there was a university there."

Rissa say, "There isn't.  It's a public school.  I'm in Grade 8."

That's when Dude moved seats, fearing incarceration just by proximity, I'm guessing.

I would have been okay if we could go through security with her - if I could have sat next to her until she boarded the plane.  But it's the 21st century, unless you have your own boarding pass, that ain't happening in an airport.

So there I am, climbing into the backseat of the car.

"Needed to be back here, huh?" says Rissa.

"Yes."  I wrap my arm around her, trying to absorb her into my side.  If we become conjoined before we reach security, they'll have to let me in.

She snuggles into me.  We chitchat the rest of the way to Pearson.  We sing at the top of our lungs to her airport playlist.  By the time we make it to the airport, my stomach has calmed a titch.  It'll be okay.  She'll be fine.

As my foot steps into the terminal, nausea takes hold.  I'm holding Rissa's hand, fake-smiling as we wend our way to the security station.  We'd  checked-in online - so I didn't have any person behind a desk to say this to:  "She's only 14!!!  She might look like she's all grown up, but she's ONLY 14!!  Don't let any creepers try to feel her up before she's on the plane!  LOOK OUT FOR MY BABY!!!"

Instead, we walk past the shops and restaurants towards security.  We see the queue barriers and Rissa stops dead.  I'm keeping it together.  I am KEEPING IT TOGETHER.  She turns to me and gives a little smile, but then her bottom lip trembles a bit and she grabs onto me as if I'm a life preserver.  I can feel her hiccuping to hold back sobs.  I'm done for.  I start bawling like a newborn calf.

"It's okay, baby... It's okay baby...  It's okay..."  I'm smoothing her hair.  To David:  "What's the cheapest ticket we can buy!?!"

"Heather, you're not helping," says David.

"She started it!"

David pulls me away from from her.  "You okay?" he asks Rissa.

"Yeah..." she says, putting her chin up, not meeting his eye.  "I'm fine."  Then she pats me on the shoulder "Mummy, I'm fine," she says.  "See?"  She gives me a broad grin.  "I'm okay.  I'll text you when I get to the gate."

We walk her to the bottom of the security line.

"May I see your boarding pass?" the security guard asks.  He checks it over.  "Okay, you're all in order.  You can line up there."

"SHE'S ONLY 14!!!" I blurt out as she walks away from us.

She's not in yet.  There are a few people in front of her.  I'm holding David's hand so tightly, I've cut off the circulation.  Just as she's reaching the door, one of the female security guards asks to see her boarding pass again.  The uniformed officer takes the pass and checks it with the first guy.  She returns to Rissa.

"You'll be heading to gate 227.  When you get out of security, you'll turn to your left," the officer says.  Rissa nods and thanks her.  I share a moment of eye contact with the security guard and mouth THANK YOU to her across the queue line.  Then Rissa's through the door.  I can't see her.  I CAN'T SEE HER!!!  David moves me further around so that I can at least see the back of her head as she's moving by the conveyor belt.  I lose sight again.

"Where is she?!?"

"She's going through the scanner," he says.  He's half a foot taller, and can crane his head much further, than I.  "She's through.  She's putting her shoes back on.  She's got her bag now.  She's opening it.  She's putting her boarding pass into the zippered front...  There she is..."  He indicates this tall young woman, shoulders back, head up, striding towards her gate.

"You okay?" David asks.

I start to nod my head, but then shake it.   My bottom lip starts trembling.  My morning coffee threatens to travel back up my esophagus.  "I think I might throw up."

"Let's have a bite to eat," he says.  "Your blood sugar's probably low.  We can wait until she's on the plane."

"Okay," I say.  "She didn't wave after she went through security."

"No, she didn't," he says.  "She probably couldn't see that far - she didn't have her glasses on."

He's right.  She can't see that far without her glasses on.  That was why.  It wasn't because she didn't need us any more.  She just couldn't see us.  That was it. 

After the waitress takes our order, I rest my head on the table.  This is so much worse than her riding from the Downsview subway south across the city, around Union Station  to meet us at Wellesley Station when she was 12.  She was 1/2 a foot shorter then - she wasn't mistaken for a university student then.

"I need Gravol."  I'm up, out of my seat running across to the last-minute shop.  Organic Gravol is all they have.  Here I wanted something to knock me out - the anti-nauseau equivalent to Xanax - and what was at the shop?  Organic, made from dried, crushed ginger, Gravol.  "You don't have anything that will put me into a short-term coma??"  I buy them anyway.  I head back to the restaurant and down one more than the recommended dose, hoping that might do the trick.


David looks down at his phone.  He holds it out to me.

I'm at the gate now parental units.

"Do you want to text her back?" he asks.

"Yes!!!"  I take the phone, but can't make my fingers work.  My organic drugs have yet to take effect, I'm still shaky.  "Tell her to fake a seizure if anyone gets close to her."

He rolls his eyes.  Texts back "yay."


Boarding now.  Love you.  MWAH!

            Text us as soon as you land.


"That's it," he says.  "Off she goes.  You okay now?"

"I'm fine," I say.  "But she totally started the crying.  It wasn't me, you know."

"I know."

We leave the terminal, heading towards the parking garage.  17 feet away from the terminal, I stop dead.

"You want to make sure the plane leaves the runway?"

"Yes please."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Some things have to be documented.

"You guys just don't understand!!"

"Nobody else's mother does this, you know..."

"Yes, but this needs to be documented!  I've been suffering for at least two weeks now!"  I'm sitting at the computer with the web cam.

"She's right Heather, this is weird... even for you."

"Why are you guys laughing?"

"Why?  Because not only are you taking a picture of an ingrown hair you pulled from your neck, you're taking a picture of that ingrown hair, while listening to I'm Kissing You from Romeo and Juliet."

"I'm multi-tasking!"

"But this," I say, brandishing my tweezers, "was in my neck!  THIS!  A freaking Brillo Pad hair!  Feel it!"  I run over to David, thrusting the closed tweezers at him.  "Feel this!  Just FEEL it!!"

Eyes wide, face covered with 'just humour her,' he feels the hair caught between the tweezers. He raises his eyebrows.  "That is, indeed, a Brillo Pad hair.  I can see why having it in your neck would bother you."

"I know... right?  Rissa, you should take a look at this!"

"No, I"m good thanks."

"Just feel it.  So you understand my pain."

"No, really...  I'm okay Mummy...."

"Heather, stop terrorizing her."

"I'm not terrorizing her."

"You are chasing her around with a neck hair held between tweezers."

"You guys just don't understand.  I've been waiting at least 20 minutes to even see if this was what I thought it was."

David looks at me like I'm nuts... again.

"During the movie (we'd been watching Terminator 2), I was picking at it and felt something, and I looked down and thought that it might be an ingrown hair, but couldn't be sure until I did a proper examination in brighter light, so I waited a whole other 20 minutes, with it balanced on my index finger, until I could go upstairs and grab the tweezers and make sure."

"You sat, holding a potential ingrown hair on your index finger for 20 minutes?"

Even I, at this point, realize that I'm sounding a little... odd.

"I'd been losing my mind - it was like I was growing a second head, out of my neck."

"And that's what was causing you to lose you mind, huh?"

"This time, yes."

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Don't think of it as an infestation - think of it as having hundreds of new pets...

What's most difficult, is telling them all apart.  I've had to invest in a high-resolution magnifying glass in order to differentiate.  I'm thinking of sewing wee little smocks with their names on them.  Alistair, Bernice, Connal, Dee, Ernest... I'm going for asexual in style - I don't want to limit them.  Should they decide in 20 days that they don't like the names I've given them, they can let me know what they'd like to be called and I'd be cool with that.

If I were truly practical, given their numbers, I could farm them.  Raise them, kill them humanely and then create a new niche Canadian niche food market, but who am I kidding? Now that I've named them, I can't just lead them off to slaughter.  I'm just too darned attached.  Who can resist Freddi with the little red eyes and luminious coat?  And George - sweet little George with the maginificent forelegs? 

I'm feeling a kinship with Snow White - although my human-to-wildlife ratio doesn't have bluebirds, bunnies and deer.  She'd have one lousy bluebird on her finger - me, I have easily 3 dozen fruit flies perched upon mine.  I even have them lining up all colour-coded in their wee smocks.

"No Hank, you're there, next to Iggy, who's beside Jem...  That's right... Who's a good fruit fly?  Who is?"

I've been keeping the fruit bowl full, just for them, but I wanted to give them a real treat - something to show them I cared.  I've been known to stop drinking the last inch in a beer bottle, just to set it out for them, but now... sob... I realize that their appetite for hops is killing them.  Let's face it, in the summer the wine and beer flows more freely in our home, I find them hanging out around the empties - determined to grab what ends up being their... sob... last taste...   I knew I'd have to say goodbye, just not this soon...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Where can a gal get extract of bourbon?

My friend Matt made me a drink a couple of weekends back: bourbon, ginger ale, lime juice, mint, a sugar cube and ice - you know, to cool it all off and make it perfect for sipping in the backyard.  Just typing the ingredient list sets my salivary glands headlong into a sweet drool.  I made the drink at home and miraculously managed to replicate its golden goodness.  Problem is, thanks to my purgatory in peri-menopause, bourbon (and all of its  alcoholic friends) gives me crazy-ass hot flashes and my hyper-sensitive hypoglycemia turns ginger ale and sugar cubes into glycemic spiking insurgents.  Although on the plus side, I can drink something made of lime juice, mint and ice.  File that away for later.

The sugar's not a problem - I can work around the sugar - club soda, ginger root and stevia can replace the ginger ale and sugar cube.  It's the bourbon.  I want the taste of bourbon without the alcohol.  Obviously I just have to figure out a way to make extract of Bourbon!  Come on Internet - don't let me down!

"How to make extract of bourbon?"

I don't want to make bourbon-flavoured vanilla extract - I want to make bourbon extract.

"bourbon extract"

I don't want to buy bourbon extract, but just for the sake of comparison... HOLY CRAP!!!  4 oz of bourbon extract is $8.25?!?

Wait a sec - to get extract, one usually uses alcohol as the liquid vehicle to concentrate the flavour.  How can I concentrate the flavour of bourbon without keeping the alcohol?!?

Do a reduction!!  Okay, no problem...  This sounds good...

"how to cook alcohol out of bourbon"

Take just a moment and let your gaze fall upon #3 in that instruction list... "Quickly touch the flame to the surface of the liquid and remove your hand from the pan."  Shall we place bets to see how long it takes Heather to light herself on fire attempting that manoeuvre?


Okay, wait - just wait!  Extract might actually work!  It offers a highly concentrated taste of whatever flavour you're jonesing for.  Which means you don't need the same amount to give the full flavour of the actual item.  So... 1 tsp of extract of bourbon for flavouring would be equivalent to... no freaking clue, because NO ONE IN CANADA USES EXTRACT OF FREAKING BOURBON!  But Canadians do use Rum extract - which if you're substituting for light rum is a 1:5 ratio - unless you're supposed to use dark rum, in which can you need two times as much rum extract to get the taste of dark rum - in which case you might as well buy the bourbon and deal with the night sweats.  I'm going to err on the less is more side and bet that 1 tsp of bourbon extract might equal 2 tbsp of actual bourbon - which is a full oz of bourbon!   And one tsp of bourbon extract would have only 16% of the alcohol found in actual bourbon - surely to God that couldn't be enough to give me hot flashes! 

Except that I'd have to special order the bourbon extract.  What can I substitute for bourbon right now??

SERIOUSLY??  We're back to vanilla extract?? 

I'm not saying it's even close to bourbon...
but it might just make do until I hit menopause.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

They need a warning label for this!

Just a while back, I had a bra-piphany.  I was saved.  I learned that I could spin my bra so that I wouldn't have to do it up in the back, thereby saving me from further damage to the rotator cuff on my right arm and also saving me from having to replace my entire bra collection with front-closure brassieres.  Only took me 35 years of bra wearing to be set straight on this account.

"Bright girl, shame about the stupidity..."

This new-fangled bra spinning worked spectacularly through the late spring... "Hey look at me, not needing my husband or child to help me into my bra!!  Boo yeah!!"

Now though, it's summer, and summer is Strapless Bra season.  The modern strapless bras?  The ones that work?  Have this sticky pseudo-gel stuff (akin to what they use to keep perfume samples in magazines or on the tops of stay-up stockings), on the inside of the underband to keep your girls supported, with minimal re-adjustment of your bra.

Strapless bras have to be tighter around your ribcage than your average bra, so that they'll defy gravity's effects upon your ta-tas.  I put the cups to my back, and tighten the band snugly - this is the time do it up on the furthest hook and eye, you know, just to be safe... and then I try to spin the sucker.

"Oh, for the love of Howard Hughes... Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow!!  Sweet merciful Mother of Support!"  I look down, trying to see if I'd actually torn skin from my injured torso.

"What?  What did you do??"  Rissa is now in the doorway.

"Bra burn!  Bra burn!!!"  I point to the offending band with its dangerous gel.  "They need a warning label for this!  How could they not have a warning label for this?!?"

Rissa is biting her lip to keep from laughing.  "Do you need some help?"

I'm a BIG GIRL, I can do this.  It's just a freaking bra... Reach back and... I slump.   "Yes please."

"Asking for help is very mature."

"Shut up."