The Girls have always looked straight ahead, determined and focused, but lately they're looking slightly down as if scanning for loose change on the sidewalk. I had heard that pregnancy and maturity would change my bosom, but like most of the things that people tell me, I didn't believe them. Now, I'm dreading that The Girls will soon be ON the ground searching for a lost contact lens.
The Girls first made their debut in 5th grade. I thought I could will them back into my chest cavity, or more like if I ignored them, they'd go away. This means that I went without "support" much longer than I should have. When my mom finally took me to buy The Girls a sling, I became angry. If she'd just ignore them too they'd go away. Why was she feeding their ego with attention? I willfully remained naive about my body looking any different. I decided to go with a theory akin to another I had held onto tightly for also too long just a few years earlier: if my eyes are closed, I'll become invisible. So, I thought "as long as I have a big shirt on, they don't exist."
There were several theories I held onto for way too long in my life. A few:
~ As I mentioned, if I close my eyes, no one can see me. (The reason I was ever caught or found, is because I peeked to see if the other person was gone and caused the invisible shield to break.)
~ I was a boy, and I could pee like one if I just practiced. (If only the bathroom door facing the kitchen table where everyone was sitting for breakfast hadn't swung open just then.)
~ If I stare at the sun long enough, I can change it to another color. (I'll never know if I could have avoided wearing glasses by not spending so much time proving this theory.)
~ If I spent enough time meditating on it, I could will my body to grow to 6 feet tall. (I'm 5'3" and I still think it's because I lost focus.)
~ If I'm not careful when playing with my parents' clock radio, I'll screw up the time in the entire world by one hour. (This I, of course, shared with my class at Show 'N' Tell the following Monday.)
~ The time/weather guy on the phone is rude and doesn't stop to listen when you attempt to tell him that the time he's quoting is incorrect because I messed with my parents' clock. (Luckily, the multitude of phone calls I made to him were free.)
~ Santa takes his sled and reindeer on test runs at dusk. (I made sure to tell my 5th grade teacher I saw him flying over our backyard.)
So, see, my big shirt theory was going to fix this problem. (Think about the last time you saw me, you didn't even KNOW I had boobs! This bright girl is always thinking.)
In 5th grade, I went to the principal's office to pick out a prize from a jar and a kindergartener looked at me and turned to her friend and said, "she's in college." I just thought it was because I was soooo tall. (I was still faithfully meditating on my height then.)
In middle school, my friend Aleshia told a boy on the bus that I was actually in high school but just riding the bus with the middle schoolers. Yeeah.
In high school, I couldn't understand why I was so popular in the mostly male Army JROTC program or why older students were surprised when I mentioned I was a freshman. I figured it was because I did my make-up just right. Do you notice a pattern of denial?
By this time, I had largely ignored The Girls since all the other girls had "girls" of their own. But it wasn't long before MY girls came up in conversation. I was in JROTC and my military dress shirt and jacket had to be ordered in because I could not fit in the ones already in the supply room. This brought the long ignored elephant in the room front and center. I became embarrassed and fell back on my trusty, if-I-wear-a-big-shirt-no-one-will-notice. I figured it had only failed because the shirt wasn't big enough, so I upgraded to size XL and XXL shirts to hide in. Near the end of my senior year, I was describing my dress for the prom by following my silhouette with my hands to demonstrate how the dress was fitted and one of my guy friends said "you have a small waist!" It had never occurred to me that the big shirts did not hide my chest, they just hid the rest of my body.
Fast-forward to 2004 when I'm 29. One would think denial would have jumped ship long ago, but it was indeed still a dear friend in my lingerie drawer. I was hanging out with about 9 other women in my old neighborhood when one of the teeny tiny slim girls mentioned something about being a 32 C or something. I looked at her small frame and laughed at the disillusioned girl. I said "You're not a C! *I'm* a C!" and continued chuckling at the poor misguided soul. Her eyes lit up and she yelled "Hey, everybody! Hey! Adhis thinks she's a C!" All the other conversations in the room halted and everyone turned to us. I thought "just wait until everyone corrects her on her bra size." Suddenly, the room exploded into a caucaphony of WHAT?!'s, whatever's, yeah-right's, and HAHAHAHAHAHA's. Confused, I pointed to the friend and mocked "SHE thinks she's a C!" They looked at her and said, "She probably is. YOU need to get measured!"
I moved out of that neighborhood a month later. I didn't want anything to do with such ludicrous women! (And we had just bought a house, but ignore that part.) About 5 months into my new neighborhood, I don't remember where, I don't remember how, but somehow, my chest became the topic of conversation. (I don't know why boobs come up in conversation with a group of women; I really don't. I just know it isn't me who starts it.) I shared the story of the crazy women in my last neighborhood. This caused a crescendo of laughter. In the following months, I regularly got nagged with "did you get measured yet?", "There's an Oprah this week about women who wear the wrong size bra," and "Are you going to go in soon?"
Well, hello, nice to meet you, too. Since I couldn't afford to move again and buy another house, I got The Girls professionally
I was 3 or 4 cups off. I didn't even know bra cups went past D, and I just drove right past it. I just didn't know. It's hard to know someone when you've ignored them and shamed them into hiding for years.
So, what's the point? The Girls are looking down! And it's all my fault. I ignored them so long that now they're depressed.
Maybe if I cross my fingers and wear flower-print shirts, they'll head back north at the sign of spring. Yeah, that'll do it.
[Posted song: "Brick House" by The Commodores]
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