Ericka at Alabaster Cow and Cheryl at Mommypants recently started a brand new writing club for aspiring women writers: The Red Dress Club. I am honored to be a member and to be participating in this week’s writing meme. The assignment is to write a short piece of fiction beginning with these two words: “Your mother.”
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“Your mother has fake boobs,” I boldly declared.
Chase looked up from his computer screen with a blank stare. Bingo. I had his undivided attention now. After blinking twice, my statement seemed to register in his male brain.
“I said; your mom has fake boobs.”
Matter-of-factly, Chase responds, “no, she doesn’t.”
“Your. Mom. Has. Fake. Boobs.”
Now he’s just confused.
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
I knew exactly what was going through his head. He was flabbergasted and more than slightly offended that someone would accuse his dear, perfectly mannered, confident and gorgeous mother of having a boob job. After all. Only strippers get boob jobs, duh. Some men, like Chase, really have no idea. He just assumes that if the woman doesn’t talk about having fake breasts, it didn’t happen. Cause there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
He was also slightly bothered that I would even broach the subject. No man wants to spend too much time thinking about his mother’s breasts. I know this, but at the moment, I did not care one bit.
“I don’t think she has fake ones. It’s a fact.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Chase, my dear sweet man. I’ve known it from the first time I met her and she hugged me so tight that I thought I was going to suffocate. And then my hunch was confirmed when she so proudly showed off the pictures of your tow-headed family at the coast when you were four weeks old.”
Chase was the youngest of four boys born in under six years. Beatrice, his mother, popped them out one after the other and never seemed to gain an ounce anywhere on her body save her basketball of a belly. Even a month after Chase was born, she didn’t look like she had birthed one baby. Much less four. Beatrice was thin everywhere and this included her chest. It was the one flaw to her otherwise devastatingly flawless appearance, which had suffered only slightly by 56 years of wear and tear.
“What does this have to do with my family pictures?”
Men can be so dense.
“1980, Beatrice has got tiny little boobies. Existent, but small. Let’s estimate a full A cup. Even when she was breast feeding you. 2010, she’s an aging buxom babe. At least a C cup. But just as thin. Not even any sagging. It’s obvious, babe.”
“I guess I don’t remember her ever having a small chest. Weird.”
“I bet she got them before you turned two. Must have known she was done having kids. Your brothers might remember. At least Patrick.”
“It’s not exactly something we would talk about, my dear. Even if it were true.”
“I gotta hand it to her though, she was smart about it. She didn’t go overboard. They’re not too big. Not distasteful or obviously fake. Completely believable. Unless you see an old photo of her. Or she happens to be ecstatically happy to meet you and hugs you tighter than anyone should ever hug a person they do not know. I have two friends with implants, I know what they feel like.”
Chase raised one eyebrow.
“Are you admitting that you’ve felt up another girl?”
I rolled my eyes. I will never understand his boyish fascination with threesomes.
“Don’t change the subject. You have seriously never even considered the fact that your mom has fake boobs?”
“Sweetheart. I could care less about my mother’s breasts. I don’t wish to discuss them and no, I have never taken a moment to contemplate their size. Yours, on the other hand…”
His eyes wandered to my chest. My flat chest. Yes, they are exceptionally small. Like his mother and my mother, I am not blessed with boobies. And I had been struggling since my teen years to accept this fate. More than once, I had seriously considered going under the knife, but someone always talked me out of it. Usually my mom.
“Its not fair. Your mom has fake ones and my mom won’t let me get fake ones.”
“Your mom won’t let you? Remind me again how old you are? Because I was under the impression that you’re an adult capable of making your own decisions.”
Chase always has a way of calling me out.
“She swore to me that she would cut me out of her will,” I snapped. “What are you saying, anyways? Are you advocating for me to get fake boobs now that you know your mom has them? Does that make them acceptable? Because you’ve always said in the past that you think small boobs are cute and I honestly don’t know if I would have dated you much less married you if I thought you preferred big boobs because that’s just not me.”
I was tearing up and becoming uncharacteristically emotional. Shit. Deep-seeded insecurities be damned.
Ever the patient man, Chase motioned for me to come sit on his lap. Playing the obedient wife, I complied. He gently kissed my neck, each breast, and all ten of my fingertips before searching my watery hazel eyes for some form of understanding.
“Have I ever given you the impression that I do not love your body? That I don’t find you to be the sexiest woman on this planet?”
I don’t know what I did to deserve him. But I still couldn’t let it go.
“I don’t know. Maybe you have done something. What would you say if I wanted to get implants?”
“First of all, I take that question back. I know I have never done anything to give you the impression that I do not love your body just the way it is. Stop victimizing yourself and creating problems that do not exist.”
Fair enough. Chase had a point. He continued.
“I also want you to be happy. If your breasts are making you unhappy, I will support you in whatever you need to do to get happy. That being said, I find it hard to believe that your bra size has anything to do with your happiness. I’ve always loved your body and I’ve heard you say that you’ve learned to love your body too, small boobs and all. Not to mention you’re the one who is always preaching to me that happiness is a choice.”
I could have done without the comment, I will support you in whatever you need to do to get happy, since I would have preferred him instead to have made a sour face, as if he’d just taken a swig of rancid milk, in reaction to the thought of me going under the knife simply for a pair of big hooters. But I recoiled anyways, supposing he could not condemn breast implants now that I’d revealed his mother’s secret.
Without another word, I slowly nodded my head and rose from his lap. I walked into our room, shut the door and peeled off my black and white polka-dotted, spaghetti strap dress. I rarely wear bras at home, but I will never leave the house without one on. Even though I hate them. I find bras to be suffocating. Itchy and sweaty. If I didn’t want the extra lift, I would never wear one since they aren’t really necessary when you have a flat chest. But like I said, I need some help in the boobage department, which my vast array of water, gel and miracle bras have been known to provide
Standing in front of the full-length mirror, completely nude, I inspected my breasts from every angle. From the right, the left, the front. I observed how they hung when I bent over, which seemed to be the most flattering angle. I admired the way they jiggled when I bounced up and down. And I couldn’t help but think, fake boobs don’t bounce like this. I cupped one breast in each hand and squeezed. Fake boobs aren’t soft like this.
But they don’t fit very well into any of my dresses or into society’s image of what breasts are supposed to look like. I was suddenly angry. Angry that popular culture manages to convince us that we’re not good enough. Celebrities. Movies. Television. Magazines. They are all guilty. And I guess I am too. For letting it get to me.
I inhale sharply.
And something deep inside of me shifts. Even though I know I may hate them tomorrow, at this distinct moment in time, my breasts are looking perky, round and most importantly, feminine. Womanly.
Suddenly, I feel sexy. I didn’t know why, but I do. I am empowered by a sudden rejection of societal norms. I don’t care what other people think.
I want to show them off, as if to say, “fuck you” to the rest of the world for always discreetly looking at them out of the corner of an eye, judging them to be inadequate. I put on the lowest-cut dress I own and I don’t bother with a push-up bra. I rejoin Chase in the living room.
“For now, I think they’ll do. Let’s go out.”