Skip to main content

Ocho II

Little did I know when I looked at Ocho’s 8 fingers for the first time that afternoon at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company that they would make him particularly sensitive to other people’s bodily trauma.

Ocho was in the room when my plastic surgeon carefully unveiled the new girls. They didn’t look like boobs, actually, but they did look like the cupcakes I’d recently made for my brother’s bachelor party. I think I mentioned I was my brother D.’s best man.

Pumped-up pecs, poor sense of direction and propensity for foul language aside, I’d angsted for months about the bachelor party, which—in addition to the obligatory college buddies—was also going to include my 15-year-old son and my ex. That didn’t sound too awkward. Pause. Not. (No more awkward than seeing Borat with my son and my parents…)

Brilliantly, I decided instead to hire a professional poker dealer and have a poker party for D. and his friends on the coast at Ocho’s. “I feel bad,” I told Ocho. “I feel like I’m denying D. the real deal: a bachelor party at the Mitchell Brothers with a bunch of college buddies, a stretch limo, and a stack of fives.” To make the poker party a little more guy-friendly, I purchased a bottle of Macallan Single Malt Scotch (15 years old), pulled out the vodka, tequila and Jack Daniels left over from my 1989 wedding, and baked cupcakes.

Cupcakes, you ask? My ex, who is not usually so detail-minded, asked me who was going to jump out of the cake at the poker party. “Hello??? That would be me!” I laughed. But even with my totally wrong sense of humor, that image was so disturbing that I had to come up with something, and come up with it snappy. The answer? Boobie cupcakes.

On the day of the bachelor party, Ocho and I went to Trader Joe’s and purchased potato chips, pistachios, pretzels, pop and other items that begin with the letter P. I made the cupcakes and let them cool. I asked, Ocho, who’s a graphic artist, how to make boobie-colored frosting. He put white frosting in a plastic bowl and began adding drops of green and yellow and red. The resulting color was pleasingly peachy. He then offered to make a cup of “nipple pink.” “Puhleeze,” I emoted. “If these are the only titties that are going to be at the party, they have to be realistic. I need to make the nipples out of something other than frosting.” I drove to Longs and returned with a bag of nipple possibilities. I tried little pink marshmallows: too squared-off. I tried pink M&Ms: too round, and too small. I tried pink gumdrops: troublingly large and glittery. I drove back to Longs, and after spending another 20 minutes in the candy aisle, left with a bag of Good n’ Plentys and 8 rolls of Necco Wafers. Back at Ocho’s, I cut a pink Good n’ Plenty in half and glued it to a pink Necco Wafer with a small dab of Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Icing. Bullseye! The perfect nipple.

That night at the poker party, I realized no one was touching the cupcakes, even after getting Good n’ Lubed on the Macallan’s. “Hey, Dave," I asked one of D's friends conspiratorially. "Are the cupcakes kind of disturbing?” “No, Jill.” he said. “I’m feeling strangely aroused by them.” I appreciated the sweet answer. But I did notice that after the party, there were still 24 boobie cupcakes on the titty bar.

Back to Dr. G’s office: “That’s amazing,” Ocho said, when he saw the newly constructed nipples. The areolas had been created out of a skin graft taken from my left thigh; the projecting part of each nipple had been created out of my own breast skin—cut into a half star shape then folded like origami and stitched to form a little nub. I was grateful for Ocho’s response.

Later, Dr. G noticed Ocho’s fingers. He asked how it had happened. Ocho told him about the rocket and how he’d put a bit too much explosive in it before lighting the fuse. Dr. G was impressed with the work Ocho’s plastic surgeons had donein 1967. “You must have a particular sensitivity to what Jill’s gone through, having gone through something physically traumatic yourself,” he said.

Dr. G was right. Meeting Ocho and having him as my partner during the past 17 months has been what my friend A. calls “one of those God things.” He’s not only been particularly sensitive, he’s been absolutely remarkable in every way.

He even ate one of my cupcakes.

(BTW: To solve the mystery of the plastic, see-through coffin on the sushi counter, referenced in the Ocho post of September 18…it housed a dead uni, or sea urchin. The damp little orange blanket on top of it was there to keep it moist. And the spoon lying on top of both was for the sushi dude to gag himself with whenever someone ordered uni.)


Popular posts from this blog

Roots: Part III

"The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you." ~Kendall Hailey, The Day I Became an Autodidact

(Confession: I found this quote this morning on Quote Garden. I had to Google Kendall Hailey. And I had no idea what the word autodidact meant until I located it on

I met Ocho on Many of you probably have never had a Match date, so let me describe for you a few that I experienced:

Tom smelled myseriously of Clorox bleach and wore a fanny pack. I might have been able to handle the fumes (hey, it's a turn-on that a guy can clean his house, right?), but the strain of imagining what was in the fanny pack (Handi-wipes? Anti-bacterial gel? Latex gloves?) was more than I could bear.

Bob, who was as tall as a 4th grader, over the course of two hours and a plate of fettucine alfredo asked me 20 times if I was bothered by the fact that he was so short. Answer: No…


I love my daughter.

Last night we went to Cheesecake Factory in Palo Alto and sat at usual table by the window. We ordered our usual stuff and did our usual thing: which is to make each other laugh.

Katie downloaded the "Fatbooth" App to my iPhone and took a picture of herself that she then "fatified." Then she texted it to my fiance, Kevin, who was down in Anaheim with his son. "Look who's excited to be at Cheesecake Factory!" she wrote underneath her morbidly obese photo.

I laughed until I cried.

I have always loved Katie. I loved her when she was little: From the second she opened her newborn blue eyes and excitedly took in the world around her, to watching her drive her Smurf car--naked--in a continual loop around the kitchen and family room, to pedaling her in a Burley at Sun River Oregon, to holding her in a backpack at Costco while she whacked my head, to watching her wrap her "abba" or blanket around her neck at Tahoe to stay warm.

And …

Obon for Mrs. Edwards

I'm sitting here in my cubicle, watching the cars drive by; watching our IT manager brave the rain in a noble attempt to get some winter exercise.

And I marvel at the ordinariness of their driving and walking. I wonder how, knowing that Elizabeth Edwards died from breast cancer yesterday and that millions of women will die from the same disease, they can drive and walk with what seems like pure oblivion.

I wondered the same thing, when as a mom who had just returned to full-time work two months prior, I listened on the phone at work to my radiologist gently tell me that my ultrasound/biopsy revealed the fact that I had 10 lumps in my right breast. "Infiltrating lobular cancer," she said. Not, "Infiltrating lobular carcinoma." I listened as I stood in the corner of the stairwell by the elevator. I listened as I watched someone drop a pat of butter on the carpeted floor as they walked back to their cubicle with their lunch. I listened as I watched the receptionist…