...And Forget to Ask About the Specials
The scene: An elegant Italian ristorante on the good stretch of Ventura Boulevard. (Let's call it Il Primundo Novo al Allegro Grappa.) A rare date-night opportunity while Morticia and Gomez are at the middle school dance for three glorious, drama-laden hours. Candlelight. Genuine faux-Italian background music and a platoon of grinning waiters displaying theme-appropriate levels of swarthiness.
Jon Bon Jovi (not my husband's real name) and I are shown to a table for two in the front window and we begin to settle in. I slip off my coat and reach around to hang it on the back of my chair...reaching...reaching...a little further...and...
My chest seizes up.
Not in a "next comes the pain down my left arm/cardiac event" kind of way. And not in a "zing! went the strings of my heart/Judy Garland" kind of way.
No, more of a "I just broke my boob" kind of way.
"Hmprhzork," I say, and spin back to a frontal position with both arms across my chest as if 1) I were pledging eternal allegiance to Emperor Vorgon of the Quang Galaxy, or 2) I have just dropped my nunchuks.
"What's the matter with you?" Jon Bon Jovi says, flipping open the menu.
"I...I just blew out a boob," I wheeze.
He slaps the menu down and leans across the table before realizing he has stuck his chin in the genuine Italian candle. He huffs and moves the candle, then leans in again. "How did that happen? I mean," his eyes dart left to right and he lowers his voice, "is that even possible?"
"I don't know! I didn't invent the dang things, I'm just an owner-operator!"
Wincing, I hunch my shoulders forward and rub my chest with my forearms, tongue lolling in the corner of my mouth.
"Stop that!" he says, opening his menu again and trying to cover me with it. "Do you want people to think you're a Kardashian or something?"
"But it hurts!" I attempt to sit up straight. "And it's my dominant boob!"
Jon Bon Jovi freezes. "I'm sorry, your what?"
"You know, my dominant one. The leading lady. The first string. The prima ballerina. The big dog. The--"
"OhmyGodstop," he says, falling back into his chair. "You don't really have a, um, dominant one...do you?" He looks at me like he's wondering whether I'm the kind of person who has a favorite kidney. (Which would be weird. Right?)
"Well, of course I do."
Jon Bon Jovi takes a deep, cleansing breath - the kind he takes when the children and I pause the TV to explain "America's Next Top Model" to him.
"Okay, then. So let me ask you this: what do you call the other, ah, non-dominant one?"
"Hello?!?" I roll my eyes. "It's called the back-up boob? Was I your first girlfriend or something?"
He shakes his head and tosses his napkin in his lap. "Next you'll be telling me they have names."
"Don't be ridiculous," I say with a snort. "They're nicknames."