[EDITORIAL NOTE: Kathi of My Sister Was a St. Bernard has sent in her photo for Where Elders Blog and there are two new quarterstaff photos. Here is one from AQ of Always Question and the other from Wally Blue of The Resident Curmudgeon. Yours are welcome too.]
Yes, readers, the topic today is breasts. You know, those two things that sit on women’s chests also known as tits, boobs, bazooms, bosom, hooters, knockers, jugs and a hundred other names. Crabby Old Lady’s personal favorite, a fitting description of her non-pulchritude, is titties.
Last week at The Elder Storytelling Place, Camille Koepnick Shaffer related the adolescent drama of her first brassiere – a rite of passage for every young girl on her path to womanhood, and Crabby has her own first-bra story too:
Her mother had small breasts and as they walked together through the lingerie department toward the counter in the back, bras of amazingly big sizes (to young Crabby) were laid out on display tables. At a volume that apparently sounded like a police siren to her mother, Crabby asked, “Do people really come that big?”
When they reached the clerk at the counter, her mother spoke in a volume to match Crabby’s, “Do you have bras for beginners?” Crabby Young Lady, of course, was mortified.
Back in those days, the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe – who was chubby, even fat, by today’s standards – was the feminine ideal all women aspired to. It didn’t take long to become apparent that Crabby’s puny titties would never match Monroe’s. In fact, she never outgrew a beginner’s bra which, until she discovered foam inserts, looked wrinkly through the fabric of anything she wore except the heaviest sweaters. Cleavage would never be part of Crabby’s life.
Early on, then, she determined to ignore her titties (no point in wasting time being miserable over something that cannot be) and when, in the 1960s, feminists began burning their bras as a symbol of throwing off male, cultural oppression, Crabby got rid of those, for her, needless harnesses and she has been happily bra-less ever since.
That doesn’t mean she could stop thinking about her silly, little titties. During the standard recrimination period as her marriage was breaking up, Crabby’s husband once shouted, “And I never liked women with small breasts, anyway.” Funny now, adolescent-sounding. But Crabby assures you it was not, in her then-dubious sense of female confidence. It cut her to the core although, in due course, she recovered.
But involvement with her nearly non-existent breasts didn’t end with her marriage. Every mammogram (agony when there is nothing for that cold, metal, grapefruit squeezer to grasp) showed tiny, white dots on the x-ray that each physician assured Crabby must be biopsied to determine if they were cancer.
Those poor, little titties have been chopped open six times only to find on every occasion that the spots on the film are unimportant calcium deposits. Crabby Old Lady can read those pictures now as well as any radiologist and no one has been allowed to cut into her titties for two or three decades. Nor will they, until she sees something different.
Meanwhile, in the wider world beyond Crabby's personal tittie travails, breasts – mostly naked or barely covered – became a cultural fetish. What would spring break - and even TV, these days - be without wet teeshirt contests. Wonderbras and their ilk have created cleavage where none naturally exists (where were these when Crabby still thought she needed them?). Most cable news anchorettes appear to be hired as much for their unmistakably impressive chests as their facial beauty. And there is hardly a woman cop or lawyer in television dramas whose shirt or suit jacket isn’t open nearly to her navel – even in court.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast implants are the No. 1 cosmetic enhancement requested by women. 347,500 were performed in 2007, in the U.S.
What does all this concentration on big, bazoom-sized breasts mean, Crabby Old Lady wonders – if anything? Without wanting to give away too much of her personal history, no man has ever fled when he got her clothes off and if any didn’t enjoy themselves, they were, unlike her husband, gentlemanly enough not to mention it. Oh, and not one didn’t come back unless Crabby intended it so.
Which brings her to the present day.
Although Crabby’s lifelong determination to ignore her baby boobs failed, she is nonetheless chagrined to discover in old age, that even her little titties are not immune to gravity. She didn’t expect it, but sag they have and she feels a bit like Maxine:
On the other hand, Crabby believes she (and any other old woman) would look silly with perky, upturned tits, so she waits gleefully for that eighth and most satisfying deadly sin, schadenfreude, to overtake her when, one day, a pair of surgically-enhanced, 75-year-old, artificial hooters eternally pointing north, rolls into view.
[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Claire Jean takes on the irritating phenomenon of minor memory lapses in Where Did I Leave My Glasses?]