Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Act Normal

So why is a nice, used-to-be-a-Catholic girl drinking a double vodka martini at 3:00 in the afternoon?

I'll tell you why.

Because last Tuesday I got a call from the people who did my annual mammogram.  They said the result was "abnormal" and that they needed to do "some more images".  And maybe an ultrasound.  Oh, yeah, and maybe an MRI and/or biopsy.


"Why?" I asked.  Which was a perfectly legitimate question, I thought.  And I asked it politely, even though my brain was going supernova at that minute and I couldn't breathe.  Let's see a show of hands out there of  you ladies who wouldn't have had the same reaction.

Naturally, they got all vague about it and referred me to my doctor, who was equally vague.  I couldn't figure out if my doctor was being vague because she figured I was basically a goner, or because she lists "running" as one of her hobbies on her online profile.  It's a tough call.

Also, naturally, they couldn't fit me in for the "more images" until this Tuesday.  So I've had a bad week.  But they did promise me that the radiologist would be right there to read the images and give me the good/bad news immediately, and that was something, at least.

What did I do for seven days?  Well, I prepared myself for the absolute worst case scenario, figuring that anything less would be a nice surprise.  And I decided who I was going to leave my Ferragamos to.

And I tried to act normal.  Like I even know what that is.

Today was D-Day, and zero hour was 2:00 this afternoon.  My husband, Anthony, said he would wait in the car.  I said, "Like hell, you will," but nicer.  Like a normal person would.  I think.

Let me tell you, without giving too much information, Round Two of a mammogram makes Round One look like a tarantella.  I'm saying.  If men had to have this test on their coglioni, they'd all be history.

Then they made me sit in a room to wait for the results, which was the longest ten minutes of my life.  Fortunately, there was a "People" magazine there so I could numb my mind.

Finally, the sweet lady who almost ripped my boobs away from the chest wall ("Stand back, just a little.  I don't want to catch your rib between the plates."), came in with the results.

"All clear."
The Ferragamos were still mine.

Anthony actually kissed me in public.  Then he suggested that we go out for some soup and a milkshake.  A real party animal, that Anthony.  I let him know that I preferred a stop at the liquor store.  Seven days is a long time.

Hence the vodka martini.  And tonight, we're going to feast on Melrose peppers.

Melrose Peppers
Melrose peppers are long, thin sweet peppers that got their name because Italian people in Melrose Park, IL used to grow them a lot and sell them at South Water Market in Chicago.  They had brought the seeds with them from Italy, though I haven't a clue what they call them there.

You can be legally declared brain-dead and still cook Melrose peppers.  You don't even have to trim them.  Just wash, throw them in a big roasting pan, sprinkle with some sliced garlic, rub with olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour a little more olive oil over them, and then roast in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, until the peppers turn sort of brown.  I like mine real brown; Anthony likes his on the green-side.  Pull the stems off before eating.

Melrose peppers make great sandwiches and frittatas.

Melrose peppers are considered exotic delicacies in most of the civilized world, though the people in Melrose park would be surprised to hear this.  They can be green or red.  We always buy them green.  Melrose peppers are hard to find at the store, so buy mass quantities when you do.  After they're cooked you can freeze them and they'll stay good for three blessed, wonderful months.

Ordeal officially over, thank you St. Anthony.  Now I need to go wipe the lipstick off the vodka bottle, and get on with my life.
I'm not going to tell you who almost got the Ferragamos.