Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why I should proofread my clothes, or ERAUQS EMIT

I love clothes that have words on them, possibly because I'm a writer. But I have a terrible history with these clothes.

1. When we went to South Dakota in 1997, it was amazingly hot so I wanted to buy another sleeveless top. Luckily it was right after the Sturgis rally, so there were tshirts of all kinds on sale for practically nothing. I'm not a motorcyclist so I didn't expect to find anything, but lo and behold, there was a lovely burgundy colored sleeveless top with a rose on the front, and it was edged with lace. In my size! For like $2! So I bought it and wore it. And wore it. And wore it. We were in Bismarck, ND, on our way home, and a fellow stopped me in the motel lobby and said something about Sturgis. I was astonished! Was he psychic? No! It turns out that my lovely tshirt had something, well, motorcycle-ish on the back. None of us had noticed it for all that time. As my dh pointed out, considering what some of the other tshirts we saw had on them, we should just consider me lucky on this one.

2. Pajama pants were all the rage when my son was about 10, so I headed off to the local discount store and bought him several pairs with cute pictures of surfboards and popsicles. About 2 weeks later, after my son had worn them to his friends' houses, my dh said to me, "Janet, did you READ those pants?" I won't say here what the words were, but suffice it to say, NOT appropriate for a 10 year old! My son loves that story.

3. My daughter danced in the Nutcracker with an international ballet company and they sold sweatshirts to commemorate the event. I got it, put it on, wore it proudly--Why, yes, my daughter danced with the Moscow Ballet!--until someone said, "Doesn't 'December' have an M in it?" You got it. It was spelled DECEBER. I couldn't wear it after that. And no, they wouldn't reprint or give me my money back. Not everybody appreciates the importance of spelling.

4. I love NYC. I have friends there, and my dh was born there and I have been there many times. So when a certain company came out with a top that celebrated NYC, I bought it. I hadn't worn it, but yesterday was a NYC sort of day in my mind, so I put it on and wore it. At the end of the day, I went in to brush my teeth and saw, in the mirror: ERAUQS EMIT. Yes! ERAUQS EMIT! I was horrified! TIME SQUARE! It is not TIME SQUARE! It's TIMES SQUARE! I cannot wear this thing! It's all over the top: TIME SQUARE. TIME SQUARE. TIME SQUARE. I have emailed the store and asked for my money back.

Sigh. From now on, I'm writing my own clothes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

40 Teal Balloons

I was at an amazing funeral today for an amazing woman. She was young, just over 40 years old, and taken from us entirely too early due to ovarian cancer.

She isn't the first friend I've lost from ovarian cancer. She is the fourth. The fourth. They were four too many.

Ovarian cancer comes quietly. The teal bracelet on my wrist, which I've worn for 3 years, says: It whispers, so listen. It comes to the body quietly, and too often the symptoms are mistaken for other things. Bloated? Blame it on your diet. Pains in your abdomen? Cramps or indigestion. Fatigue? Well, you're tired. Loss of appetite? Aren't you dieting? Need to pee a lot? How much water or coffee are you drinking?

There isn't a screening test like a mammogram or a Pap smear. The CA-125 test can help but it's not perfect.

Many doctors aren't quick to look into the possibility of ovarian cancer. You need to be a pushy broad.

You have to fight like a girl.

Please, take a few moments and look at
Learn the complete list of symptoms, and if you have them and you have your ovaries, get to a doctor right away. Be insistent. It's your body, it's your life.

Today at the end of the funeral, the family released 40 teal balloons in Pam's honor. Teal is the color of ovarian cancer awareness.

Please, please, please. Think of those 40 teal balloons, and the grieving family she leaves behind. If you can financially support research, that's wonderful. If not, there are other things you can do.

You can share what you know about ovarian cancer. It might not be you who needs that information--it might be a mother, a friend, a wife, a sister. Be an advocate.

And, of course, you can pray.