Taxes and death are said to be the only certainties of life. A third unpleasant fact should make that list. An ugly truth that all women know of and most will do whatever they can to avoid, or at best, beat back for as long as possible. I am talking about gravity and its effects on female breasts. My recent experience at Victoria’s Secret literally brought me face to face with the issue.
A close friend of mine stood next to me, looking on with amused interest as I dug through a drawer of bras at Victoria’s Secret, trying to find one to fit me. Buying bras and buying shoes cause the same frustration. How is it possible that every woman in my area has big boobs and big feet? I don’t get it. After a minute of searching, I found a rather boring brassiere in my size. With my hand on the silvery-colored contraption, I’m pretty sure that I, along with everyone else in the store, heard my friend’s shocked reaction upon seeing my discovery.
“Is THAT your size? Oh my god!” rang throughout Victoria’s Secret.
Heads whipped around as if a 90 Percent Off, One Day Only sale had just been announced. I looked around for and Emergency Exit sign, a trap door, a pair of those huge angel wings, anything offering a hasty escape. Finding no refuge, I opted for waiting out the initial embarrassment, while I plotted revenge on my smaller-busted, smaller-everything friend.
After recovering, I proceeded to grab the bra and act like my breasts weren’t the size of human heads. Not being one to let the issue of my endowment, uh, drop, my friend suggested I get a proper bra fitting. Because I am older and stubborn, I refused. Several minutes later, I found myself standing in a fitting room staring at myself in a mirror with the command “Strip” lit up in pink neon across its top. I looked around for a tip jar and a G-string.
A pile of bright colored bras, in my correct size, lay in front of me. My friend and a perky sales associate waited on the other side of the door, donned in all black and sporting a Brittany Spears headset. I selected the first holster, a pretty push-up thing promising youthful lift and support. To my surprise, and eventual horror, it delivered on both. For the first time in X number of years (what’s a number, really), I came face to face with my girls. We needed a moment.
“Are you ready?” came from Perky, still waiting outside. Ready for what, a pound of Godiva chocolates and the name of Joan River’s plastic surgeon? I cringed and opened the door.
“Oh, that looks good,” Perky chirped at me, after assessing my assets.
“Are you sure they’re not too high? And is there supposed to be so much exposed?” I said, more than a little uncomfortable.
She looked at me, with the face of a twenty-something who has never given birth.
“Uh, that’s where they’re supposed to be.”
At Perky’s insistence I tried on a few more, paid for two tubes of lip gloss, and left with undeniable proof of the power of gravity. It’s not like I expected them to look as they did before three pregnancies and my mid (okay, late) thirties crept up on me. I guess I just didn’t expect them to look so…depressed. I suppose I could have treated them better in the past. Maybe if I had they wouldn’t have packed up and headed south.
After lengthy phone conversations with my therapist, my friend’s therapist, and one surgical consult, I still find myself grieving my girls of yesteryear, but I’ll get over it. Things change. I should embrace this stage of my life, right? Okay, so I won’t be waiting tables at Hooters anytime soon. Unless I throw them over my shoulders and put a bra on backwards. Huh, bet my friend can’t do that.