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Another one from the archives. I always liked this one because it made me look at myself, my life and my world from a positive perspective. It truly changed my attitude and helped get me through some rough times…Enjoy the repost. – Cari

A New Perspective: What I Learned From
A Guy Named Chet and a ’71 Ford Truck

A funny thing happened at the plastic surgeon’s office a few days ago; I got handed a fistful of “before” surgery pictures and wanted to cry. Not tears of happiness. No, I was genuinely mortified by the images staring back at me.

  • Why wasn’t I happy to see my amazing transformation?
  • Why couldn’t I see how far I’ve come?
  • Why didn’t I understand that I don’t even remember those arms or those breasts?

Well, for starters, I look old and haggard (because I didn’t realize my face would be included in the shots, so I wasn’t smiling), I have a turkey waddle under my chin, and worse – my body is skinny, bony and downright ugly. I realize these are harsh words, (especially coming from someone who supposedly has a good self-image of her new body), but those are the words that came to mind.

On the one hand, I was thankful that the droopy, deflated breasts are no longer hanging around, and my wingspan has been replaced with lovely, toned arms – but I just couldn’t erase the picture of the person with the non-existent hips, bony shoulders and boyish frame.

That is, until an enlightening little conversation with a “wise guy” from my Thursday night support group. We couples (he and his wife, and my hubby and I) were taking in a show at the theater downtown. While waiting to take our seats, I happened to mention my eye-opening experience.

Well, Dave (that’s the wise-guy’s name) thought about what I’d said, and offered this sage tale (to see if it might strike a chord):

Way back when Dave was a skinny young kid, he had a neighbor named Chet. Now, Chet was a funny guy who loved drinking beer and washing and waxing his beloved 1971 Ford F-150 truck with camper shell every single Saturday. The odd thing is, Chet only ever waxed the hood. (Contrary to what you might have guessed, the beer had nothing to do with this seeming lack of attention to detail.)

According to Chet he just waxed the hood because that was the only part of the truck he ever saw when he was driving it.

It didn’t make sense to him to waste time, effort (and beer) waxing something he couldn’t even see.

Which brings me to my little epiphany: I have been worrying about stuff that I can’t even see – not when I’m walking, not when I’m bathing, not when I’m sitting, not when I’m driving – as a matter of fact, it’s pretty hard to see that stuff at all.

Ironically, the only way I can see it is if I’m in a try-on room with a 360º mirror, or if someone is pointing a camera at my naked self! Trust me, when I’m in the try-on room, I am not looking at my bony back – I’m looking at how fabulous my clothes look on me – and I don’t tend to indiscriminately disrobe in front of random photographers.

Which brings me to part two of my little epiphany: Would I rather look good naked or clothed? Well, since my hubby says he loves me no matter what, and my plastic surgeon doesn’t get a vote, I’m going to say that it’s best to look good clothed.

The moral of the story? I’m going to stop worrying about what’s behind me, and start concentrating on everything in front of me – like the future!

No more waxing the whole car; I’m just doing the hood – then hitting the road.


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