Let’s talk about my breasts.
I inherited many traits from my parents; intellect, wit, and the ability to whistle and walk at the same time. Two things I did not inherit from my parents, but rather, from my grandmother are these enormous nancies on my chest.
Grandma, bless her heart, was a fun person to be around, but there was never a photo of her smiling. She was too busy trying not to step on her melons…and I’m not talking about the ones growing in her garden.
This grandma was not my mother’s mother. Oh, noooo. THAT grandma was blessed with 6 gorgeous daughters whose tahitis probably never saw the inside of an underwired bra. Normal, everyday mammies. The grandma with the Howitzers was my father’s mother. I’d read somewhere that a woman’s bust line is genetically determined by her father’s side of the family. Thanks, Dad.
Back to my own Twin Peaks.
I was fine till, I believe, 10:31 am on July 23, 1970. I remember that moment as if it happened just yesterday. I was walking down the street towards the community swimming pool, swimsuit and towel in hand, when suddenly I felt a tearing pain in my chest and the sound of buttons popping off my blouse. I looked down, and there they were, like alien spawn emerging from an unsuspecting host. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. But the realization dawned on me at that moment that I now had not only developed boobies, but large Tetons. And the swimsuit I was carrying would not hide that fact. I turned around, went back home, put on a loose sweatshirt and begged my mother to buy me some real bras; you know, the kind with cups and adjustable straps. That fall, going into 8th grade with my new cans meant a school year of being teased and tormented by boys and ogled by male teachers (and maybe the female gym teacher, I don’t know. I don’t WANT to know).
As my teen years passed, I found that having a rack such as that brought a lot of (mostly unwanted) attention from the male of the species. WHAT was the big deal? I thought. A fulsome bodice, I discovered, gives a woman special, magical powers over man. Just by laying his eyes on a set of maracas that size instantly lowers his IQ 50 points. Big bubulas could be bartered for dates, rides in fast, hot cars, front row seating at concerts and keggers. The downside of massive mambas as a teenager was unsolicited attention from creepy guys, pimply jerks, and other girls’ boyfriends. Looking back, I see now that my two best friends were very flat-chested, thus boyfriendless, so there was no jealous cat-fights between the three of us, just an everlasting discussion of “Why couldn’t I have been born with…?” I’d always tell them if there was such a thing as Tittie transplants, I could be donor to both of them and we’d all be happy.
I could not, and still can’t, understand why women would want bigger bazookas and even go through the pain and expense of implants to get them. They don’t realize how good they have it; not having back aches, permanent bra strap canyons on your shoulders, stretch marks circling the globes in a constant search for unmarred territory. They get to buy the cute bras; bras without steel belted cups and bras made from soft, clingy-lacy fabric, not tent canvas. They can own bras that can be folded and carried discreetly in one hand. Flowery, pushup, fun to wear bras. And, blast them to hell, they can go braless with nary a care in the world that their nipples will be peeking out from below their shirt hems. And, if they choose to breastfeed their babies, won’t have to worry about their lactoids hanging like flesh pancakes after the baby is weaned.
Self-examination of my bubbies was a joke. Like looking for a needle in a haystack or searching for a speck of dirt on the face of Big Ben with just your fingertips, it is a daunting task. Something you need to set aside a long weekend to undertake. So eventually I gave up examining the girls for possible lumps or suspicious bumps. My husband was of no help; it was like asking Steven Hawking to climb Mount Everest alone. I’d had a baseline mammogram done about 10 years ago, and kept putting off having another one done since. Not because of the pain involved in the procedure; it didn’t hurt a bit. I just didn’t like the sight of all that flappage spread out between two sheets of glass…made me think of pressing flowers, only uglier and more expensive. My doctor finally put her foot down and said I must have a mammogram done…a lot can happen in 10 years, other than gaining length to these torpedoes.
So, I caved and had it done. The radiologist compared the mammograms and found a suspicious spot on my right hand gal. He ordered another done, only this time the radiologist took shots from about 10 different angles, including one where she twisted that jemima upside down, then flattened it. That was the first time I’d ever seen the bottom side of my nipple without looking in a mirror. It was like seeing the dark side of the moon. This was followed by an ultrasound, done by–you guessed it—a technician who toted a set of A cups.
During this time, I never worried about cancer. I was actually looking forward to having a radical mastectomy…I would have the left one removed as a prophylactic measure, then have a new set of hooters constructed. B cup, if you please, and make them snappy!
Alas, this was not to be. The radiologist, damn it to hell, said the spot was “probably benign”, and to come back in 6 months for a followup mammogram. I am thankful there’s no cancer, I am thankful I won’t have to undergo major surgery. Maybe someday I will be able to afford reduction surgery, which would make both me and my husband happy (he is a member of the Itty Bitty Titty fan club, ironically), and I’ll be able to wear a tiny lacy bra. Or none at all.