To avoid dwelling on this anniversary of body mutilating surgery, I’ve decided that today is my Implant Birthday. Yay, cake time! They’re two year olds now, this pair of perky pals who fill out my sweaters and precede my arrival into rooms. Because they share this birthdate with some snazzy ladies, tagging my ta-ta toddlers Betty and Michelle puts a silly spin on an otherwise morbid memory. As an early Implant Birthday gift, I brought these gals to Hawaii, where they enjoyed a weeklong vacation from the sub-zero temps that transform them into ribcage-anchored icepacks. Fruity, rum-laced cocktails and palm tree panoramas aside, the silicone sisters and I were just happy to warm up.
Kauai was a lovely distraction. With views like this, I hardly thought of Cancer at all:
And with an entire population in an eternal good mood, mahalo-ing me at every turn, it was no place to be morose. I pinned a flower in my hair, shimmied into sunset-colored dresses, and began drinking at lunchtime. Bernie and I use plastic surgery conferences as an excuse to exchange frosty New England for tropical paradises. At this meeting, our fellow luau-ers included the best and brightest micro-surgeons in the world, and drunken evenings with these types lead to bizarre, fuzzy memories. I avoided anyone toting offspring, schooled a Polish face-transplanter in air hockey, and name-called a smug, young doctor who didn’t appreciate me monopolizing the attention of his Chief. He was much nicer when we played air hockey, so I’m hoping his colleagues don’t make Asshole Khaki Pants stick. (Yup, that. And air hockey.)
Betty and Michelle were happy to note warmer temps on our return yesterday, and frankly had grown a bit tired of being mahalo-ed at every turn. The part of me that (after fourteen drinks) can call someone Asshole Khaki Pants wonders if “aloha” essentially translates to “up yours, jerk-face tourist” with certain inflections. Also, a girl can drink only so many Mount Waialeale Coolers.
Today was always going to be unavoidable, whether it arrived under a rainbow atop whale-watching bluffs, or here with my laptop at the kitchen table. Maybe I’ll always distract myself with drinks and silly social diversions in the days preceding, and then take a teetotaling breather in the aftermath. Or maybe…someday… I’ll forget all about Betty and Michelle birthdays. What remains with me… forever… are the sweet words so many of you delivered two years ago, starting with Drew’s:
“We will love you most on January 17th… until January 18th, when we will love you more.”
I re-read those today, and made it through without a single umbrella drink. Betty, Michelle, and I are so lucky to have you… my very own “randy bunch of sailor-mouthed, porn-peddling, anti-Cancer warriors.” Not an Asshole Khaki Pants amongst the lot of you.