All women know that being a woman is a pain in the butt sometimes. While our men can jump in and out of the shower, towel off, run a hand through their hair, and throw on some clothes in order to walk out the door . . . we . . . just . . . can’t!
The shower alone takes way more time than I like (and I have short hair, to boot!). Shampooing, conditioning, and shaving our legs all adds up—though I will admit to only once-a-week shaving in the winter. Even a low-maintenance gal like I am still has to take time to slather on moisturizer, put on some tasteful make-up, and blow dry my hair. At least getting dressed is easier than it was just a decade ago, thanks to pantyhose being out of fashion, not to mention no girdle to shimmy into!
Women also draw the short end of the stick thanks to our inner body parts. We’re the ones that suffer the menstrual cramps. We’re the ones that are (lucky?) enough to give birth—usually after hours and hours in labor. And as we age, we get all the fun of hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and insomnia. All thanks to being female.
We also tend to be the most stressed in our families. While my husband doesn’t seem to worry about much of anything, I worry about if we have our tickets to the event we’re driving to. Did I unplug the Keurig before we left for the airport on vacation? Did I sign all the permission slips and pack the right stuff in lunches and get the bills paid and remember my grocery coupons (and the grocery list!). When he might be out late without me, I have to worry about him making it home. Did he run out of gas? Was he mugged? Did he have an accident? He should have a spectacular funeral—because I’ve planned it a good three dozen times in my head over the years before he walks in, happy as a lark, oblivious to all my worrying on his behalf.
I just completed my well woman exam last week, another thing I never seem to hear guys thinking about. I was poked and prodded, feet in those stirrups, and glad to hear all my labs checked out. Just another fun day in the life of being female.
But tomorrow is the un-fun thing women do that men would definitely be sissies about.
First, I hate the not being about to put deodorant and perfume on. It’s like forgetting to slip on my rings or earrings because I feel half-dressed without these essentials. Then it’s the actual, physical, lift your boob and place it on the (always cold) plate as you awkwardly hug the machine, twisted like a contortionist auditioning for Cirque du Soleil. THEN your boob is squished and squashed and mashed and painfully flattened as you’re told to hold your breath for the X-ray. Repeat, angle after angle, before the sweet release.
Nope, not fun at all. Being a woman is certainly not fun on these occasions.
Yet tomorrow when I go in for my mammogram, I will say a little prayer of thanks that this process is even possible. That going through a bit of being uncomfortable for a few minutes is worth it. Because early detection saves lives.
I have a good friend who has battled breast cancer this past year, and I mean literally battled it. She has gone into this war with courage, humility, and a positive attitude. She has been lower that low but always fought back with a brave smile. She has conquered this beast with grace and a stunning sense of humor. I admire her every day for fighting through her struggles and coming out victoriously on the other side.
I hope never to take the journey that she’s been on. I hope to receive a clean bill of health and a shot at another year of life that’s cancer-free (Even if I do over-worry and sweat the small—and large—stuff sometimes).
And no matter what tomorrow brings, I hope to always appreciate being a woman. Despite all the little things, I like belonging to the sisterhood of women everywhere.