mayo clinic

Crazy Bra Day

I straightened out the shoes on the back mat Saturday. I hung curtains on the last few naked windows. I did two loads of laundry, hot glued a broken toy, tightened a loose bolt on the table, checked the mail, hit the store for soup and Kleenex, and played Guitar Hero with my daughter to make the world go away for a while. Yesterday I called my mother, talked to my aunt (which I’ll blog about, because damn), did some research on a novel, actually wrote for a while, watched a movie, made dinner and wished for Monday to wait a day. Throughout the weekend there were twitters from various people, some emails, and a few phone calls.

One in particular made the rest of the weekend just as insignificant as it really was.

So many people are worried about the big picture. They panic about what they can’t control and worry that what they do control doesn’t actually affect anything. Well, screw that. The big picture doesn’t happen without the little pieces. The Mona Lisa didn’t happen without the paint. And what do you suppose it would look like if DaVinci had run out of brown paint? Better yet, if he had run out of brown paint, would he have worried the shop didn’t have more? Would he panic there could be a global shortage of the pigments necessary for that particular shade? Or would he have just gone and found it, controlled what he could, fix what he needed, and then gone back and finished painting that ugly woman. Yeah, I can just see him crying in his beer at a local pub because he ran out of brown and was too afraid they wouldn’t have more, so he never bothered looking. Screw that. He went and got the paint.

That phone call though—the one that made me realize how truly insignificant most of what we do on a day-to-day basis is—really was important in and of itself. And not because it was pertinent to the body on the other end, or even myself, but because it was something more people need to think about. It’s about the little things, and more importantly, the little things you can control.

Most of you have no idea the medical nightmare I’ve been in for two years, because that’s not me. That’s not this blog. For the record, this year is much better than last year was. But I bring it up now for a reason, to tell you what I did during that and ask you all to join me in repeating that insanity. See, I spent the Halloween season of 2007 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. I didn’t know if I was living or dying, how long I had, or even what I had. I spent several weeks being medically raped in various ways by specialists, all while wearing those oh-so-sexy open-backed hospital gowns. I couldn’t control the procedures. I couldn’t control the hospital lingerie. Hell, I couldn’t even control my own body deciding I was the enemy. But I could control my attitude… and I fought back. Every time they put me in one of those nasty gowns, I fought the system with a smile because my exposed butt was covered with glow-in-the-dark Halloween panties. Not exactly what you would normally wear to the doctor’s, right?

Now, keeping that in mind and jump back to that phone call this weekend. This friend has got some things she can’t control running her mind into circles, her emotions into the ground and her physical strength into extinction (as lack of sleep is apt to do). But she can control a few things. I told her about my Mayo undies and ordered her to go shopping for a crazy bra. Fun color, fun style, beads, bows, whatever. Something she wouldn’t normally wear under her business clothes. And then wear it, and smile inside because she’s controlling something she can. No one knows. They don’t have to. She does.

But it goes beyond her. As I said before, far too many people worry about what they can’t control. And again, screw that. I’m declaring today National Crazy Bra Day. Control what you can. Enjoy the little stupid things that make the big picture more colorful and full of life. Laugh at a bad joke and smile at a stranger… and wear the craziest bra you own under your work clothes. If you don’t own a crazy bra, how about some insane undies? Of course, so the men aren’t left out, we can expand that thought. Wear something rebellious: they make glow in the dark undies for you too! Or go with mismatched socks, a Looney Tunes necktie, a bad hat, whatever. Do it to make a stand for the little things.

Do it because you can.

Because all those stupid little things we can control are important. It’s not the famous painter or the ugly woman in the Louvre that’s important. It’s the brown background and brown dress and brown hair and flat expression with just a hint of a smirk… Ever wondered why she was smirking? Perhaps it’s because underneath that boring 16th century garb, she’s wearing a pair of hot pink bloomers!

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