March 3, 2009
I feel like I hardly know you. Sure we’ve been together a long time, but, like a lot of long-term couples, our relationship has evolved, deepened and matured.
In those early days of teenage angst, when we were first introduced, I hope you didn’t pick up on my disappointment. No, it wasn’t anything you did, per se; it was just, well, honestly, you were a little smaller than I’d anticipated. While the other seventh-grade girls celebrated their new breasts with elaborate fittings at the local department store, my Mother marched me unceremoniously into JC Penny’s and handed me a bra in a box. My friends came back to school in a happy whirl of lace and underwire. I was still assembling the box’s contents—a tumble of rubber bands and cotton triangles. When I finally got the contraption on, I was horrified to see that you both barely filled out the cups, causing material to bunch at each tip like two, tiny deflated balloons.
Okay, maybe that was a rough patch, but you and I soon settled into an easy camaraderie. Of course, no one saw much of you during the ‘80s, including myself. I was too busy dressing in elephantine sweaters to look like Jennifer Beals. But, under all those yards of material, I knew you were there. So did the boyfriends and, later, the girlfriends. Yep, you’ve seen it all. You stood by while I figured out my sexual orientation, then waited patiently as I thumbed my nose at my childbearing years, even though it meant you’d never get to nurse a baby.
Ironically, I only started fully appreciating you when I hit my mid-30s. Something shifted and I re-discovered these cool things I have called breasts. I splurged on form-fitting shirts and sweaters. And, with Mary’s encouragement, even bought a semi-sexy, halter-style yoga top last summer. When I wore that top for the first time, I noticed your graceful curves and understated femininity. For the first time in my life, I took joy in you.
Discovering a long-neglected part of your body at this age is akin to driving a late-model car and suddenly remembering it has a sunroof. One small spark of newness is all it takes to infuse every ride with a little more oomph. That’s how I’ve felt this past year with you, my breasts–a little more oomph. I’m sad to be losing you, but I’m happy that I enjoyed the ride, even if it was a short one.