Dear Abby: Please tell "Inhibited and Embarrassed" not to worry about her mastectomy scars. Her potential lover might have a few problems of his own. She'd be lucky to find anybody in even near mint condition. Many of us, both male and female, in the fifty-something age range have had organs lopped off, bypassed, reamed out, and otherwise rearranged.
Any man who would reject a woman because of her scars or an absent breast is a man from whom she should be fleeing as fast as she can.If I were a widower, I'd consider myself lucky to meet a gem of a lady who had a record of a successful, loving marriage, had won a battle against cancer, had endured the trials of widowhood and who now has the spunk to remarry. A great big hug to her and congratulations to the lucky man who finds her.
- S.G.B. in California
Dear Abby: My wife and I have been married for 45 years. She lost her left breast to cancer 30 years ago.
Last March, she lost her right breast. Did it make any difference to me? Not a bit! I thank God every day for her life. I love her for what she is, not for what she looks like. Besides, we have known each other since we were 13 - and she didn't have any then, and it didn't make any difference.
- Bob Long, Sacramento
Dear Abby: First of all, let me tell you that I am a male and a nudist, and I have seen women of all shapes and sizes - some have had mastectomies. There is one thing I learned from being a nudist, and that is to respect people for what they are, not for what they have, or what they look like. People who carry scars from surgery shouldn't feel embarrassed - they are "badges of honor" awarded to survivors of a life-and-death battle.
- Nashville, Tenn.
Dear Abby: Some years ago, I met a woman I found attractive. She was hesitant to get involved, and finally confessed that she thought I might be turned off by the scars she carried following her mastectomy. I told her I had a few scars of my own across my back and across my chest from a VC grenade ambush I earned along with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. I confessed that while recovering in a VA hospital, I worried that my scars would turn women off. I worried in vain. We accepted each other for what we were - not how we looked. This is the second marriage for both of us, and we couldn't be happier.
- An Officer and a Gentleman
Dear Inhibited and Embarrassed: Your body is not disfigured - it carries a badge of courage and triumph over disease.
Your husband had the sense to realize this, and you should not settle for less now that he is gone. Physical attraction is mental and emotional. If someone loves you with his whole heart, mind and body, it will not matter that you are missing a breast, an arm, a leg or any other part.
You have nothing to be ashamed of. I am a 53-year-old man, and if I were not already "involved" with someone I love very much, I would be delighted to meet you!
- Jim Macomber, Tacoma
Dear Readers: "Homefront," my favorite TV series, begins its fall season tomorrow night, Sept. 17, at 8:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on ABC. Try it; you'll like it!
Want your phone to ring? Get Abby's booklet, "How to Be Popular" - for people of all ages. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)