Valentine’s Day, the “C” Word and ENORMOUS knockers

“O-M-G sweetheart, your tits look ENORMOUS!”. These words are screeched across the photography studio floor as the make-up artist approaches me to touch up my brows and attempt to “frou-frou” my less than mane-like locks.

These words could be considered inappropriate as I’m at a photo-shoot organised by Breast Cancer Care to feature in a double page spread for The Mirror. Three of us “cancer survivors” are being featured bemoaning the difficulties of dating after breast cancer. The headline will read: “Breast cancer was tough….but trying to date again is just as hard”. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Being sick and losing one’s tits and hair are considerably more challenging than the dating scene. But hey, this is for a good cause and I reflect as I get my picture taken that my tits might look huge but one of them is as fake as the eyelashes I am wearing.

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(C)2016 DAVID ENGLISH – FOR AMBER GRAAFLAND – CANCER SUFFERERS. PICTURE SHOWS Penny Rutterford

Rather by accident I seem to have become a spokesperson for one breasted single women since I shared a particular dating horror story. One year on from that excursion a journalist got back in touch for an update on progress. Progress? I’m afraid not. I’ve been a date-free zone since that one encounter. Although it would be easy to blame the lack of one breast for my less than successful love life post-divorce, I guess I have to acknowledge that pre-cancer and pre-marriage I was never too expert at the dating scene. One dinner date proved disastrous when my chosen topic of conversation was how to avoid being picked up by police when “cottaging” in a public convenience. Don’t ask. It seemed like knowledge worth sharing at the time. He fled the scene exclaiming that he thought I was “coarse”.  Another promising rendezvous fell foul of an easy misunderstanding. As he confessed to his long-held bachelor status due to the “C” word, I failed to realise that he was alluding to his “commitment” issues and not that he was…let’s just say I imagined a word that is seldom spoken in polite company, also begins with “C” but has many fewer letters. I foolishly and naively voiced this misunderstanding. As it turned out, after choking on his lager, he did indeed have trouble committing to future dates, and as we did not become an “item” I am not in a position to pass judgement on his character.

I have a different “C” word that continues to stand in the way of my confidence when it comes to contemplating finding a mate. My default position when facing personal difficulties is to take a vacation. This Valentine’s Day I spent overseas at a popular Winter Sun destination in the company of a fellow single female friend. This friend is positive about online dating and has successfully ventured on a few dates. However my sole attempt at engaging in “online chat” in preparation for a potential date ended before it started when, having asked me out on a date, the man in question decided to cancel.  Why? My own particular and peculiar sense of humour strikes again. As the pre-date chat developed he surmised, perhaps correctly, that I was the Kenneth Williams to his Hattie Jacques. The date was off. That’s the closest I have got to a First Date for over a year unless you count a recent dinner with a male mate in the well-known “First Dates” restaurant, a mate who admitted that before I had breast cancer he’d never even noticed my tits. So perhaps I am merely inflating the issue – that make-up artist might be right and I am allowing my tit(s) to be ENORMOUS and they/it shouldn’t be holding me back.

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