Hi there. Today I’m discussing breasts – or to be more specific I’m discussing my breasts, so if reading about certain body parts makes you want to run for the hills, you’d best be lacing up your sneakers and heading out, because I’m about to ‘get real’ here. *For the readers who are leaving my page now, I totally understand, I promise that not all of my future posts will be about bodies and body issues, and I hope you’ll come back to visit again soon.
But for today, it’s back to breasts.
First of all, let’s look at a couple of definitions of the word ‘breast’:
Breast (according to The Free Dictionary online): Either of two milk-secreting, glandular organs on the chest of a woman.
Breast (according to Sylvia Morice online): Either of two no-longer-milk-secreting, glandular organs on the chest of this woman that at any given time can morph into several different possible shapes, ranging from round to oval to tubular to almost flat to almost inverted, depending on position of breast and body and the indifferent, unkind forces of gravity at work.
Can you spot the subtle difference between the two definitions?
As a skinny teenager my breasts were rather insignificant–I waited a long time for them to fill out and when they and I finally matured they did fill out and they became fairly decent breasts.
They weren’t large but they suited my frame, and they were firm enough that when I pressed my chest into my husband’s chest he well-and-truly knew that he was feeling breasts against him.
For the first six months of our children’s lives my breasts did a great job at providing them with their sole source of sustenance, and afterwards they pretty-much returned to their normal size and density and hadn’t given me much reason to talk about them for years.
But that has all changed now, as my breasts have somehow turned to jelly. Yep, jelly, and not the yummy, semi-solid crab-apple tart jelly that everyone loves, either.
No – they have become that lime-flavored molded dessert that sat for too long on a Thanksgiving Day buffet table until the heat and humidity and passage of time turned it into a squishy, wiggly blob that nobody in their right mind would take home as leftovers. What??? When did this happen and why am I only aware of it after-the-fact? Can’t I return to being blissfully ignorant about this new state of my breasts?
Apparently not. Not since a recent bra shopping trip left me traumatized and forced me to wake up and smell the lime jelly dessert. And I don’t even like lime jelly dessert.
But I’ve lost weight recently and out of necessity had to go shopping for new undies unmentionables, my mother called them.
I chose several unmentionables in various band and cup size combinations and headed to the changing room, fully expecting my now-smaller chest to slip effortlessly into the silky, sexy bras I held in my hands. My buying decision would be quick and painless, I thought.
In the change room I slipped a pair of smooth black straps over my shoulders and bent over at the waist to allow my breasts to gracefully fall into the bra cups. Oh-oh.
Houston, we may have a problem. I fastened the bra hooks, straightened up, looked in the mirror and saw that my breasts oozed over the bra cups like gooey melting marshmallows on the end of a campfire stick. I adjusted, and readjusted, and readjusted again. What???
Probably just the wrong size, so I tried on a bra with a larger cup. And then I pushed and prodded and tucked and poked my breasts, willing them to stay in the cups where they belonged. But my breasts had become like molten lava or like that leftover lime jelly dessert, and they couldn’t be contained by mere fabric and wire. No – my lime jelly molten lava breasts escaped over the top and the sides and the front of the bra and poked out under my arms. What???
I sighed a big sigh that included my squishy breasts, and ended up buying a couple of sports bras that held my breasts in place but did absolutely nothing for my self-esteem. And then I headed home, frustrated and upset at this new breast-reality.
And now? Now I notice ALL THE TIME that my breasts no longer do what they should do. I notice when I’m in the shower and I reach down to wash my legs. I notice when I’m in bed and roll over from one side to the other but a breast stays put on the original side. I notice when I lie on my back and my breasts disappear sideways under my arms. I notice when I’m donning one of the kind-of sexy bras that I finally found that kind-of fits my run-away breasts after I tuck each one into its designated cup and push down any squishy-lava-jelly-marshmallow bits that try to escape.
I realize this issue isn’t huge in the ‘big scheme of things’, I know that I’m lucky I’ve never lost a breast to accident or disease, and I understand that as we age we lose muscle tone, our skin loses its elasticity and our body parts change in ways that will often surprise and possibly shock us. I just didn’t expect that it would happen to my breasts yet.
But I’m adjusting. I can now talk about it and write about it, so that’s something. I’m learning to live with breasts that have a mind of their own.
This morning I finished tucking my breasts into my bra and then, while I was maneuvering my left arm into a long-sleeved top, my upper arm began to wiggle, and while I watched, it jiggled for at least 30 seconds on its own accord – not a breath of wind in the room. I checked my other upper arm and the same thing happened.