Saturday, October 9, 2010

Care to Wear Pink? And other topics...

Pink has never been my color and quite frankly, I've always considered it a little too girly for my personality and politics.

In fact, prior to this weekend, my only piece of pink attire was a "Keep Austin Weird" baseball hat given to me by a dear friend. I wear it partially as a joke because my dad's name is Austin and he's a bit unusual, though in a good way (sorry, Dad).

But, as you may have noticed, it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and lots of folks are donning pink. Last week, one of my work tasks involved spending the day with the Governor and his Executive Council (which in NH makes many of the decisions governors in other states make on their own, FYI) and one member of the august group had a dark pink strand in her bangs as her way to help raise consciousness about this terrible disease that has impacted far too many women.

Then there are the companies cashing in. Buy a pink version of Dannon yogurt and log in online and the company will donate 10 cents to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (and Dannon no doubt will capture your information for future marketing). Buy something made by Proctor and Gamble, and that mega-company will contribute a whopping 2 cents per item (and also capture your information). I suppose if pink products raise awareness of the importance of breast exams and that too many women are being diagnosed with, and dying from, breast cancer, it's a good thing. However, the cynical me wonders if any pink products also contain chemicals that lead to breast cancer because, yeah, I do believe toxins added to our environment might be be to blame for nasty elements lodging in fatty tissues like breasts.

But when I found out my local Fire Department was taking part in "Care to Wear Pink" and all the firefighters will be wearing pink shirts on their calls this week, I wanted one, too, because the money goes to support Portsmouth firefighter Sarah Fox, a young mother of five who has terminal cancer, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation (which has a slightly higher charity rating than the previously mentioned foundation).

Firefighter and paramedic Sarah Fox is just 38 years old and as of last spring, was told she had less than a year to live. She received her breast cancer diagnosis literally hours before her twins were born on Oct. 10, 2007. After chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, she was back at work by August 2008. Then the pain started and what she thought was a groin pull turned out to be a significant tumor. The breast cancer had metastasized. Although she has health insurance, the co-pays and other family expenses are formidable. The Portsmouth Firefighters Charitable Association has staged a number of events to raise funds on her behalf.

In this case, I very much like the idea of "spending local" and supporting someone connected to my community. I hope you'll do the same in yours during this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

If you'd like one these $15 shirts, they're on sale at all Portsmouth Fire stations and To learn more about Sarah, visit the Firefighters Charitable Association site or click here to read a local newspaper article about her.

Calendar Girl...If you saw this photo in the Oct. 4 date block on your calendar with the caption "Call your mother!," wouldn't you do it? After all, how could anyone miss such a ridiculous and unflattering photo?

Apparently you can if you're one of my beloved sons. When the phone didn't ring last Monday, I knew that once again this year they'd failed to spot the "call your mother" photo randomly inserted to gauge their use of the calendars I created for them the past two Christmases following many hours of labor. (Beginning with birth, these children have not always adequately appreciated my labor on their behalf, mind you.)

It appears I'm going to have a whole lot more time to devote to things other than calendars this Christmas season -- like figuring out another way to get them to call me. Since neither calendars nor guilt seem to work, I'm open to suggestions (and not above blackmail, by the way).

Speaking of Holidays...Spooky is October's theme at the other place I blog, Working Stiffs, and I am having a difficult time coming up with anything scary or otherworldly to discuss. Apparently I'm not interesting enough to have such experiences on a regular basis, unlike my fellow bloggers who have been visited by dead heroes, pets and relatives. But I have to fill the space. Husband No. 1 suggests something related to our Lhasa Apso because according to legend, this breed was used to guard Tibetan temples against evil spirits. And while our dog often barks at the wind, it will take some imaginative writing to make a cute canine named Buddy into something scary. If you get bored this week, stop over at on Tuesday to see if I've succeeded.


Anonymous said...

Here's how you get them to call:

Send them each a "thinking of you" card and write a little note that says, "thought you could use this check for $50!" Then, don't include the check. They'll pick up the phone immediately!


Kaye George said...

How funny, about your dad, Austin, and the hat! I agree--if they need something they'll call.
Kaye in Austin, home of the weird