The Breast Blog: Being a Breast Health Ambassador in The Breast of Times

Friday night, I was a special guest at a lavish International Women's Day dinner, held in a fancy banquet hall in Guelph. Net proceeds from the event were being directed to the Breast of Canada Calendar.

From the minute I walked in the room, I was quite overwhelmed. This was the first time I was playing the role of benefactor. (Should there be a next time, I will be much better prepared.... I hope.)

I kind of live in a bubble with a bunch of artists here in G-Town. Which doesn't mean anything in particular and in this case, I only mention it to create some context. The dinner guests, based on their appearances only, were not from my creative world. At least none were recognizable to me. Which isn't a bad thing at all....I'm just saying...I was in unfamiliar, perhaps more conservative territory. And, I noticed that the women were not flocking over to see the calendar. Which is a sign of something, only I'm not sure what. So I concluded, based on past experience, that perhaps, I was about to be a Breast Health Ambassador.

You see, I was asked to make a 15 minute presentation. A few days prior to the dinner, I decided that rather than put myself through the public speaking wringer, I instead would show a documentary video that a group of women students from Seneca College had made about the calendar project. "The Breast of Times" ran a brisk 13 minutes. In my wisdom, I figured a 2 minute intro followed by the video would be the perfect 'show and tell' and save me from sweating bullets at the podium.

The videographers chose to focus on the 'sexuality of the breast'. Video clips included one of our topfree photo shoots, lots of interviews and several minutes of face time with me. All in all, the tone was serious and edgy, but also brave and honest. They gals got top marks in their class for their revealing take on breasts.

All my prior wisdom seemed to wash away now that the actual event was unfolding. Did these women want to be exposed to the subject matter? I found it fascinating, but that fact was amounting to squat and I was having to do a lot of self talk to keep calm. Trying to staying grounded and appear like a confident benefactor, as the clock ticked toward show time, took considerable energy.

I was placed at the head table, with the Mayor of Guelph. My palms dripped sweat, soaking my linen napkin. Small talk was beyond me as I second, third and forth guessed myself about showing the video. With no plan B up my sleeve of course.

I don't intentionally set out to be controversial. Really. I don't.

As dessert was being served, my 15 minutes arrived. I asked for the lights to be dimmed, pushed play and trusted.

I was the last person to leave the parking lot later that evening. As I drove the 15 minutes trip home, I laughed, howled in fact, at the strange, weirdness of my life. No doubt, the evening would be talked about, by those in attendance, for some time to come.

Pulling into my driveway, I reached back to collect my bag....the one with the money in it....only to find that it was not there. The same four letter word left my lips several times in rapid succession and I spun the car back out the driveway. When I reached the big empty parking lot of the banquet hall, there it was. My bag, sitting on the ground, in the very middle of the lot, like a lonely figure waiting for a lift. I pulled up close, opened my door and pulled it in.

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