One comment we got sick of hearing when we were in the process of adopting SS was "just like Angelina!" There were many other asinine ones, like "what is wrong with an American baby?" My answer to the latter became, "do you have all day?" The Angelina comment was particularly offensive because it insinuated that the manner we decided to add to our family was merely the product of wanting to emulate a celebrity. We are aware that we humans are not particularly smart (just look at the state of our world), but those comments put our species one step below amoebas.
A coworker who I considered a friend topped the Angelina comments one day. At the time I was proof reading her masters thesis, and she would drop by my desk frequently. One morning she approached me and seemed to be in a particularly good mood. She excitedly told me that she found out the agency Angelina used for her adoption. I had no idea how she allegedly got the information, nor did I care. Maybe it was out there, but again I did not give a flying fig. She handed me the contact information and a name. I politely thanked her, and explained we had an agency, after researching for almost a year. She would not be deterred, and reasoned we could say we were not satisfied with their work, then we could simply switch to Angelina's agency. Obviously ignorant about the process, as in a contract was involved. As a last argument she said "but not only can you be like her, your baby can be from her same agency!" I really wondered how this well intentioned woman was about to earn a masters degree. Then I realized that I had been doing a lot of editing, for very simple grammar, format, references, etc. Also, it was a masters in social work. At times like that all we could do was laugh. Thankfully we have not heard that comment in a long time. I had not thought about it for so long.
Back in March my OB requested that I undergo BRCA1 testing, due to my formidable family history. She told me that approval would take six to eight weeks. I was surprised when my test was approved in two days. Scheduling an appointment to discuss the results proved to be more difficult. There is no way P would allow me to go alone, and we certainly did not want SS with us. Then there's my doctor's very busy surgery schedule. I have been asked if I was scared. Given my upbringing I accepted at a very early age that it was not a matter of if, but of when. So no, not scared, and I went into this cancer free, so no. We had our appointment today.
I was awake at 3:00 a.m, and came downstairs to read. As a habit I also turned on CNN for white noise. I had not been reading for more than half an hour when the news of Angelina Jolie's preventive double mastectomy was heavily dissected. There were also talking heads discussingwhat else but the BRCA1 test. Are you freaking kidding me? Today of all days? I found myself rather amused by the timing. I am a creepy stalker, first I adopt internationally "just like her," now this damn testing. P had a good laugh about the timing as well.
On the drive to the doctor's office P once again asked me if I was scared. Nope, not really. I thought the most difficult part would be talking to SS about the results, but did not share that with P. Then he asked me to look at the silver lining of a positive result. SAY WHAT? P said that it would be so cool if I had the mutant gene. He had already thought about what he was going to say to SS. Dude, you have a speech? I know we have butted heads lately, but I had no idea he was already planning my demise. P explained, "See, I'm going to tell SS, Mama is a mutant, just like the X-Men. How cool is that?" Gotta love a man with a plan.
At that moment a part of Jolie's eloquent op ed column came to mind. She talked about the importance of having a partner for support. Jolie shared that Brad Pitt was at the surgery center every minute of the surgeries. More important, she said "We managed to find moments to laugh together." And for the first time since I heard that incredibly offensive adoption comment I found myself thinking the impossible; dude just like Angelina (with absolute self deprecation). P and I laughed together, come on, not only am I the mother of a super hero, I could become a super hero. That is one cool silver lining. I am so glad we had that moment.
The result? Much to P's disappointment I do not have the mutant gene, which completely floored me. I had to look at P's reaction to believe I heard right. There's the proverbial "but," and for me it is simply closer monitoring than the average woman receives. I can totally live with that, and I'm having a mammogram Friday. If there are any concerns, I will have an MRI. I can live with that as well. As we were waiting for the elevator I told P how sorry I was to disappoint him by not having the mutant gene. In his best disheartened mood tone, and with a pout added for good measure he said, "It's OK Baby, you will always be my mutant." We entered the elevator, leaving behind the very befuddled woman who was standing next to us.