In this consumer culture that is the United States, I know a lot of people who collect things. Antiques, cars, motorcycles, thimbles, samplers, bookends, dishes, books–the sky’s the limit! I collect pottery. And when I see sugar/creamer pairs its like hearing the Siren’s Song. Some collections are smarter than others. Remember the Beanie Baby craze in the 1990s? I worked with a woman whose boyfriend’s sister collected hundreds of Beanie Babies. She insisted they were an investment. I swear, on my darkest days that one can make me laugh out loud.
Today my friend Crystal sent me a picture. Seems she’s got a new collection going: drains.
I’ve never had surgery that necessitated drains, so I can’t imagine what this is like. I’ve read blogs wherein women have talked about them and it doesn’t sound pleasant.
They need to be emptied everyday. She carts them around in a special camisole with pockets. She needs help to shower so she can maneuver these things. They also need to be aspirated in the surgeon’s office–and the pain in one during that process was so overwhelming that she passed out on the spot!
And today she learned that when they’re no longer needed they’ll just be pulled out during a visit to the surgeon’s office.
Wow. Save the best for last, eh?
Here’s the thing: Poor Crystal can’t even display these things like war trophies. I mean, when you break a leg, an arm, a wrist, or an ankle you at least have a cast someone can see. Casts are the scars of war. Anyone wearing a cast looks like a hero. Some old broad with a walker looks like a warrior if something is casted. But what’s Crystal going to do? Go for a walk in the mall with her drains hanging out?
“Dude, check it out. That bitch must be carrying over 120 ccs of fluid!”
When someone is sporting an ace bandage or a cast it’s an instant conversation opener. “Too bad about that wrist.” “How did your break your leg?” “I’ll bet that itches something awful, huh?” But drains following a mastectomy?
“You don’t got no boobs? You got drains?” “Hey can I see your drains?” “I knew this woman at work that would get like a gallon out of one drain every day.”
I think that Crystal could start a whole new trend in drain signing. Why not? Your kid’s friends come over for video games, just whip one out and ask them to sign it! While at the surgeon’s office, get the staff to sign some. And with four drains you could group signatures. One drain for the medical professionals, another for the kids, maybe another for your friends who visit.
Once the nightmare of having them is over, then you bleach ’em and save ’em. Crystal makes beautiful cards so I can see some serious scrapbooking potential with these things. Hell, they’re plastic so you know they’re going to last 500 years. Instant family heirloom.
Once Crystal starts this trend she’d probably get really good aerobic exercise too. “Scorchy, want to sign my drain? No really, I want you to. Here’s a pen, sign it! Hey where are you going? Come back here! [running] SIGN MY DRAIN!”