Saturday, June 23, 2012


Yes, Darlings: I had a tummy tuck, one of the rare cases where the plastic surgeon improves things through subtraction. I am now the proud owner of a concave tummy - tummy - tummy - oops,  it echoes. How embarrassing!

My decision to “slice, scoop & stitch” was the direct result of a previous weight loss, namely, the 220-pound husband I divorced. So here I was feeling free for the first time in two decades, but taking serious inventory of my body.

I've always been slender, but, due to kids and epic neglect, I had added a pound a year. This resulted in a kangaroo belly pouch, the gated community where my body fat went to retire.

On the bright side, my bust was now a whopping 36 inches.

Bad news: so was my waistline.

OK, Mama wants her body back. 
“But won’t it hurt?” asked a fearful friend, one who had passed two human beings through her own body. Well, much like having babies, some things are worth the risk. I had to ask myself, how much is it worth to feel good about my body, whether with a lover or not? To walk proudly, instead of schlumping around with my apologetic “Sorry-I-used-to-be-hot” gait? To be able to swan into any clothing store and buy a medium without trying it on? To be able to see the tops of my thighs? And what if I live to be 101, like my grandmother, Bubbe Shirley, may she rest in peace? Well, when I prorated it the cost of the surgery out over the next half a century, it turns out I will be paying less than a dollar a day for these marvelous privileges. That’s far less than I pay for my daily frappacinos.
Talk about bargains!

On the downside:

- I, who had never had a scar in her life, would now sport a hip-to-hip Frankenstein line at the bikini line, starboard to port;
- to my horror, the doctor drew lines on my skin with a Sharpie to mark where the cutting and scooping would take place - all those swirls and angles made my belly look like a John Madden playbook;
- a couple of uncomfortable weeks out of commission, spent not being able to straighten up and draining little bags of liquid into measuring cups;
- some pain, but the Percoset haze makes it hard to remember (actually, that was a bonus!);
- a few grand less in the bank, which I would have spent on therapy anyway.

Ooh, I almost forgot the biggest bonus of all: no need for any future boob jobs! Now my party girls, buoyed by twenty solid years of hot fudge sundaes, look positively zeppelin-like in contrast to the ironing board belly below. Yippee!

Conclusion: Darlings, it’s so totally worth it!
OK, the flat belly wasn't achieved by sweaty workouts, but my tummy tuck feels like an accomplishment! Now I walk with a spring in my step; I gleefully burned my billowing, non-date-granny panties. Beneath my now-fitting clothes, I wear lacy underthings purchased from my new friends, Frederick and Victoria.

There was, however, one awkward moment . . .

When I re-entered the dating arena, the issue of how to break the news about my new body to a potential beau did nag at me. Do I lure him into a clinch and then surprise him? Or do I give him fair warning up front? (So to speak.) It’s a fine line to tread: I’m risking either “Eureka!” at the flat tummy, or “Yikes!” at the scar. Hmmm ...

On my first a blind date after the surgery, the unsuspecting fellow and I had been chatting for nearly an hour when I simply could not contain my secret another minute.

“I just want to let you know,“ I began, “that I’ve recently had an operation.”

“Okaaaaaaaay,” intoned the poor man, in that slow, cautious way guys have when they’re wondering how to appear sensitive while simultaneously calculating how fast they can sprint for the door.

I couldn’t resist: “I’m now officially a woman!”

I got a real good look at his bridgework before he vanished. Alas, there would there be a no second date with this guy.
Did I mention that I simply can’t pass up a really good chance to mess with people’s heads? Unfortunately, there is no corrective surgery or even meds to deal with that one.
It occurred to me: Why should I worry about whether gentlemen would like my new body, when there are more important things they need to  be concerned with? Like a profile that reads, "Tummy-tuck-ilicious brunette seeks sensitive man for cruel mind games." 
They can't say I didn't warn them.