Well, it’s official. The plastic surgery phenomenon has arrived in our neighborhood. It really shouldn’t have come as such a surprise. As a group we’ve all talked about what we would have done if we could afford it. I even entered myself into one of those massive make-over shows. I purposely wore my horrible, pink muumuu for the extra horror factor. I never heard back. At first, I took this as a good sign. Apparently my problems weren’t severe enough to warrant a televised make-over event. Then I began to worry. Maybe my problems were so serious that the show wrote me off as a lost cause.
It’s not surprising that instead of just talking about it, one of us finally did it. They, meaning the two huge new additions, were revealed the day of our annual Fourth of July barbeque. They came attached to Melinda, a usually quiet, single, neighborhood mom. Had any one of us known that she was going to choose that day to reveal the twins, we would have at least taken some defensive action. We would’ve at least attempted to compete. We would’ve pulled out our best Victoria Secrets push-up bras, worn something more flattering than our usual sweat pants, or at least threatened our husbands with bodily harm if they dared to stare. We had no inkling of what was to come.
When Melinda did arrive, the barbeque was in full swing. Every kid in the neighborhood was splashing around in the pool, I was serving drinks, and my husband was busy grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. It was then, in the middle of all the hustle and bustle, that Melinda removed her swimsuit cover-up. My husband dropped a platter of meat, our neighbor John shot beer out of his nose, and ten women stared in disbelief.
I’m not sure how long the silence lasted. You couldn’t quite hear crickets chirping in the background, but it was an awkward amount of silence. It took the action of my sixteen year old son to motivate anyone to speak.
“Melinda,” my son said with an enormous grin and wide eyes, “Would you like a hot dog?” Realizing they were all about to be upstaged by a high school junior, the pack moved in.
“Oh, Melinda! Let me get you a drink.” One man said as he sent my son flying across the room. (It may have been my husband.)
“Melinda, how is your vacuum working? Remember when I fixed it for you last year?”
“Can I get you some apple pie Melinda?”
Melinda! Melinda! Melinda! For the next hour we watched our husbands make complete fools out of themselves. We decided the show had gone on long enough. We went to claim our selfish husbands. We didn’t need to be too worried. Soon Melinda covered up her ample assets, called out “Ciao” over her shoulder, and was gone. Ciao?? Please, she was from Oregon. Apparently she had more parties to attend that day. No doubt to unveil her new party accessories. The party was soon back in full swing, but the damage had been done. Ten women went home feeling they couldn’t measure up, and ten men had to hear about it.
Later that night as we were cleaning up the remnants of the party, the subject of Melinda’s surgically enhanced additions came up. “I don’t think anyone really noticed,” my husband said suddenly very intent on scrubbing the pots in the kitchen sink.
“Really,” I said. “Are you aware that Phil is painting her house next week and you and John are due at her house tomorrow morning to fix her front porch? He had the good grace to not argue with me.
“Just once I want to be the woman that everyone looks at.” I said.
“You are that woman.” Bryan said. Sometimes that man can touch my heart in a thousand different ways without even trying.
“Remember that time you dyed your hair red and it came out that funky shade of pink, and you had to go to church looking like an Easter egg. Everyone was looking at you then.” As usual, one brief touching moment, quickly destroyed by the biting Aldridge sense of humor.
I went to bed that night convinced my husband would never understand, and that he had the emotional capacity of a door mat. “Listen,” he said pulling me close, “If you’re really serious about this, we could use what we have in savings and split the cost between our three good credit cards. Then after a year or so you could have the second procedure done.”
I rolled over and looked at Bryan. “What are you talking about?”
“Well,” Bryan said, “Even with our savings and credit cards, we’d still only be able to afford to have one side done, but I’m willing if you are.
Needless to say, I didn’t get the surgery, but I did get an idea. This year’s Fourth of July party is going to be a little different. First of all, the ten breast obsessed men from last year will be on their best behavior owing to the fact that they’ve been reminded of their shameful actions for the last year. Second, I’ve got an ace up my sleeve this year.
So Melinda, you might not get the reaction you’re hoping for this Independence Day. You see dear, men are fickle beings and are prone to jump from one interest to another. It is true, the majority of the housewives in the neighborhood cannot compete with your surgically enhanced bosoms. But we know our husbands and we know what truly pleases our men. You see Melinda, the way to a man’s heart is not through saline and silicone. It is through a brand new John Deere EZ Track 54 inch 22 horsepower riding lawn mower with detachable snowplow. Even you cannot compete with that. Ciao Melinda!