RAOK

I regretfully report I have but a sporadic history of performing random acts of kindness.  My good deeds are usually of the garden variety:  feeding coins into an expiring parking meter, holding open doors, letting other people go in front of me in line, taking pictures of tourists (with their cameras), helping a fellow parent with a rambunctious child, handing out extra coupons/tickets, or being extra polite or friendly when the other party is most definitely not.  I don’t volunteer when I’m in a hurry or struggling with my own rambunctious child, and the gesture is never extravagant or particularly noteworthy.  I have been on the receiving end of many RAOK, and every single time, I am reminded of why I should offer more often.  Just like today.

Regardless of what I wrote in my Unimast post, I have been more self-conscious about my appearance over the past month.  Truly, it’s hard not to be when the landscape has changed because the mountain has been replaced by a valley.  For comfort’s sake, I have been sporting jog bras for the past 4 weeks, compensating for my new deficiency with a carefully arranged sock or some other convenient stuffing, just like a hopeful prepubescent girl.

Enter Whole Foobs.  No, that’s not the real name for the breast prosthesis boutique I had visited just before my surgery (see Foobfest post), but it really should be.  (And perhaps Foob 4 Less for a sister outlet store.  With advertisements on the Foob Channel.)  Anyway, I returned last Wednesday to be fitted for my prosthesis and accompanying bras.  With more purpose and less jest than my last (whole body) trip, I earnestly investigated my choices, understanding they would have to serve me for at least a couple and perhaps many more months until I can have the reconstructive surgery.  My needs more apparent than during my first visit, the products seemed less comical, the proprietress more compassionate and genuine, my mission more directed.  The mirage offered by the new fake breast soothed my wounded ego and permitted me the opportunity to reemerge from my recent wardrobe of loose t-shirts and baggy tops, chosen for masking ability rather than fashion sense.

And then came today.  Now more confident with my new acquisitions from Whole Foobs, I dared to wear one of my favorite summer outfits:  a swingy, clingy, empire-waisted dress the color of sunshine paired with strappy white sandals.  Just before noon, I was finishing up shopping at Trader Joe’s before dashing home to meet our youngest after his playdate.  As I reached for a carton of organic free-range eggs, my grocery list reverie was interrupted by a woman confiding to me in a hushed tone.  She complimented me on my outfit (Me!  Unimast!), saying that I looked stunning!  With a spring in my step and my crushed ego re-inflated, I promised myself to pay it forward.  Who knows?  Maybe I can make another cancer patient’s day, too.

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