My tits are huge.
This is a boast, a lament and a fact.
I suppose I’m fortunate in the usual ways. My face is pretty ridiculous looking but I do have these bangin’ TaTa’s which just goes to show that when god shuts a door he opens a window. I’m also reasonable sure they’ve gotten me in the door with the majority of boys I’ve wanted to date. Women express envy and men astonishment. Usually the men do this through the open window of their cars as they drive by. Gay men on the other hand will just cut to the chase and bury their faces in my cleavage claiming to have come to their “happy place”. I still don’t know why that happens.
Of course I can’t buy a single fucking cute top. Anything with spaghetti straps is right out. Once you hit a certain cup size that shit just looks trashy. Then there is the minefield of womens sizes. I may wear a medium in the middle, even a small but to wedge my funbags in there comfortably I’ll need an XXL. I once tried on a dress in Chinatown. I squirmed into it and stood in front of the mirror and tried to breathe. After a few minutes of careful consideration and growing concern over the rising sound of rending threads I decided it just wasn’t for me. In the process of trying to get the thing off it got wedged over my head, caught on my large immovable breasts. Stuck in a Quipo in the dingy back room of the China Bazaar I panicked and was about to call my waiting friend in to get a bottle of baby oil and get me out of the thing when in a last fit of desperation I tore open the side zipper and escaped.
I don’t really remember the act in which I was birthed but I think fighting free of that dress was probably exactly what it was like. The sweating agony and striving attempt, then the confusion after the light hit my eyes. There may have been crying.
Then there was prom.
I’d made the mistake of borrowing a dress from a friend of mine with a larger ribcage yet smaller breasts. It was beautiful. A strapless gown, all gold with velvet floral details. It was a little loose in the top but I figured as long as I didn’t exhale.
I was not fine. I forgot myself halfway through an enthusiastic dance to Sisquos “Thong Song” and at about the end of the lyric “Dumps like a truck, truck, truck.” I threw my arms behind my back whereupon both my badly concealed titties exploded into the face of my date (who was also my best friends brother) like a car’s airbag in a head on collision.
They talked about me in debate class that day. The rest of my classmates arguing that it did happen, Myself taking the position that no, it did not.
Trying on clothes though has never, ever been as harrowing as bras. Oh, it was easy enough in the dawning days of puberty, cute little floral numbers bought easily at Target. 34 B cups can be bought in any number of styles. But my bad mamajamas just…didn’t…stop…growing.
The choices available to a woman after she surpasses a certain size go way the hell down. After you hit about a D your options become beige, black, white, Fatty McBackfat, old lady and “We’re sorry genetics had dealt you this card.”
As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to terms with the fact that my lingerie will no longer be cute but merely utilitarian. Or at the very least fasten securely in the back.
I turned twenty-six this year wearing a racerback sorry affair of a push up. The left tit popped out at random moments and the whole thing would ride up midway over my rack over the course of an hour. The straps showed in an unfortunate Erin Brockovich kind of way.
I was yanking the band down with one hand and eating a sandwich with the other in my parents New Orleans kitchen where my boyfriend and I vacationed for my birthday. My mother sat on the stool opposite me at the granite island and watched me attempt to punch one boob up into place and catch a falling glob of olive salad with the corner of my mouth at the same time. An olive escaped and bounced off my cleavage and onto the floor.
“You know, How about for your birthday we go shopping? Just the two of us. For new bras. Bras that are nothing like that one.” My mother said and pointed at one twisted, exposed strap.
“Why?” I asked. Mouth full of sandwich, my eyes wide and appalled. “Is it bad-looking?”
“I think we can do better.” She said with a a small smile that is usually used on children who need to be told that paste is not a food group.
We drove to the near by Dillards department store in the wet August heat and entered into the frigid blast of air conditioning. Into the ladies intimates we sojourned, that frilly ostentatious wonderland.
The womens unmentionables are clearly divided into three layers. In the front is what I like to call the princess canopy. This is where women that wear a 4 dress size can shop. Their honkers have remained in the realm of the reasonable. The undergarments of the Canopy are brightly colored birds resting on the racks branches. The Bras here serve function as well as display. Every thing is very lacy, very cute, very elegant. Brightness, lightness and air.
These garments are for women who don’t have titties that hang with the weight of a punishing albatross. Thus, being attractive, the Princess canopy lures big busted women in on false premise. You start out in this canopy level and push your way steadily deeper. Looking for something super cute that will fit and finding nothing you come to the second level, which I like to refer to as the Realistic Understory. This is where your fashionable dreams begin their slow choking death. There are less cute patterns here and less lace to match the increasing cup size. This is also when you begin to realize the facts. You can’t wear any of that sexy shit! You need a fucking underwire!
Not finding anything in the Realistic Understory you go deeper. Deeper, to the Lycra Forest Floor. The product no longer lies to you and you have come to terms with the way things are.
In the very back against the wall the tags all read EE 36 and nowhere do you see the word “SEXY!” Because now you aren’t looking for “SEXY!” you are looking for “SUPPORT!”. On the forest floor the garments are tacked to the wall and most of them have stopped being just bras but full on leotards. Nay! wetsuits!
It’s to the forest floor my mother and I automatically head. We are too old for the transparent temptations of the other layers.
I mosy through the racks.
My mother asks: “Do you want to get fitted?”
“I don’t know that this will end in anything other than tears if I don’t.” I say.
She finds a saleswoman before I do. I came around the corner of a display of Spanks just in time to hear my Mother say, “…about a C…or maybe a D?” to a young sardonic woman with long brown hair in a paisley dress.
“And there she is!” Said my Mother.
The woman took me in at a glance.
“This is your daughter?”
“She is not a C. She is only maybe a D with full coverage and even then I doubt it.” Said the clerk dryly.
I looked down at my lady lumps.
“Ok, then, If you would just step this way.” The clerk held out an arm and ushered me into the fluorescent lighting of the dressing room. Once inside a stall the clerk appraised my chest.
“Ok. If you wouldn’t mind taking off your tank top so I can get a look at what you are wearing now.”
So I did. I took my shirt off and let this lady down. She immediately let me know that I was fucking up.
“Ok.” She said with some of the most intense disapproval I have ever heard in a sales persons voice. She slid two fingers under the band of my bra. “The band is not the right size, you are falling out of the left side and…” Her voice curdled. “…There is a safety pin in the strap.“
I wilted and offered my best “aw, shucks” expression.
“You need to throw that bra in the trash.” She said decisively. “Now. What exactly are you looking for?”
I explained that all I wanted in life was a bra that kept my boobs up high, held them in place but did not mash them down and didn’t squeeze my back fat into what looked like lumps of kneaded dough. The clerk flourished a measuring tape and began her work.
She brought thirty four bras into that dressing room and according to her all of them unacceptable failures.
She’d wrench and adjust, Yank the straps into place. She used words that I did not know applied to underwear. Words like “tacking” and “spillage”.
“The front is not tacking correctly and I’m seeing more spillage than I’d like… Take your two fingers and smooth down the breast tissue.”
I never quite understood why she kept asking me to “smooth” my “breast tissue” because no matter how long I’d tried treating the lumps in my fat bits like cake frosting to be smoothed it never worked out that way. I told the clerk that but she didn’t think it was funny. That woman had but one mission in life and it was to find the one bra in the store that didn’t make my boobs look fucked up. She didn’t have time for jokes.
By the time I tried on the 56th bra my saleswoman was spent. She told me to “hang on a second” and left with no further explanation.
After ten minutes a slim blond woman in her forties came in with my clerk in tow. I was introduced to the new person as Mary Anne, one of the direct buyers for a particular brand of brassiere.
It was going to take two women to find something that would fit. And one of those women had direct knowledge of ThermoBra Dynamics.
I was officially a hard case.
At that point I pretty much stopped existing. My Jub Jub Birds were the only thing at stake here and bore intense scrutiny.
“That left breast is a little larger than the right and that’s what I’m having trouble with.” Said my clerk.
“Ah, yes. That can be a problem with fit. You can match one or the other but not both. You have to make a decision about which will be the most flattering and go with it.” Said Mary Anne to my other clerk.
“Like Sophie’s Choice?” I asked.
“Now the Merveilleux line is what I’m having the best luck with.” The clerk ignored me and held up a beige number she had had less trouble squeezing me into.
Everything after that is a blur. I tried on another fifty bras and was asked a few more questions but the saleswomen spoke in terms I had thought were exclusively the purview of civil engineers.
“She’ll need a steel rebar underwire or the top will continue to be unstable.”
“The weight will have to be evenly distributed through the left and right quadrants.”
eventually we had a breakthrough.
“How does that feel?”
I turned from side to side as the clerks looked on in approval. I did the shimmy I’d been taught. Arms over the head then bend at the waist and shake around from side to side. Great success. My boobs were high up on my chest and going no where.
“I’m still not happy with the left breast being larger…” the first clerk started.
“I’m not happy with my deformity either but somehow I’ll just have to find the beauty with in myself.” I said. My arms were sore from bending them back to reach the bra snaps a thousand times.
Also I was tired of hearing about my mutant tit.
I bought two bras and a bustier complete with something called Comfy Cups which are two separate bra cups. What you do is bend over and plop your boobs into them one at a time and then insert into the bustier to smooth out uneven seams.
Plop! Plop! Like a grapefruit half into a bowl.
I wore one of the bras out and emerged from the dressing room holding aloft the damaged unacceptable bra I had worn into the store.
“Madame!” I said to my no-nonsense clerk who was just taking my mothers credit card. “A receptacle if you please!”
She brandished a trash can and I jumped, shot and scored the shitty ill fitting bra right in.
My mother and I left the Dilliards. As we climbed back into her ancient black Mustang she remarked, “You know, we should really have those two ladies fixing the BP spill. They seem to have the knowledge of engineering and the resolve to get a job done and get it done right.”
“Well, they fixed my spill.” I poked a boob. Encased in its new shell it didn’t even jiggle.
My mother laughed and looked at my bosom. “My god, Leia. Women pay money for those. Did they ask you if they were fake?”
“No, mom. I think that’s in the sales handbook. ‘Don’t ask ladies if their funbags are enhanced.’”
“Good point. So…” she angled her eyes downward. “exactly what size are you now?”
I buckled the seatbelt across my ample rack.
My mother almost swerved into oncoming traffic.