Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may,
I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight…
I’ve just weaned my second baby and am left to sort through the devastating aftermath of my body. My tummy swells with unexpected lumps, my eyes peer out from deep black hollows and my delightful, perky chest is no more. For the past four months I’ve been trying to hide my loss with padded bras and wishful thinking but there is only so much you can do with nothing. Last week, in a fit of acceptance, I bought my first A-cup. It was hard to even find one my size but I ended up walking out of Target with a training bra from the Junior Miss section.
Today I stand with no pads, no foam, nothing to create the illusion of womanhood. My chest has been defeated, deflated and demoralized by the traumas of nursing. At this point, the curves of my post-partum belly provide more allure than my sad, flat chest.
And so I wish. I wish. I wish for the days when I had the “perfect” chest. I was a B on the verge of a C. I could fit into any shirt but still look like I’d graduated from puberty. When I wanted to zing, a form fitting shirt with a cinched waist did the trick. I long for those days. The days when sexy was only a shirt away.
I live in L.A. so the idea of getting a boob job is something that wouldn’t raise eyebrows locally. Cosmetic surgeons are a dime a dozen and I’m confident I could find a doctor both proficient at his craft and reasonably priced. But does it have to come to that? I harbor a pathetic hope that someday they’ll just come back to me. That one morning I’ll wake up and find myself complete again. The B cups in my dresser drawer wait patiently for the day they’ll be called back to active duty. I couldn’t bear to break their little spirits. I have to think they’ll be filled again someday.
I remember when I was 12. One of my friends, Andrea was zipping into puberty before the rest of us and had a blue lace bra to show for it. At slumber parties she would lead us through muscle exercises designed to increase our breast size. I would only halfheartedly participate. I was suspicious of boobs and the idea of having to harness my chest everyday made my free spirit seethe. Instead, I wore a thick maroon Harvard sweatshirt every day of 7th grade to hide the growing evidence of my womanhood. Every photo from the year 1991 shows me in that smelly sweatshirt. I thought I had everyone fooled. After the school year ended a friend casually mentioned how mean it was the that boys called me “Jello” behind my back in gym class. I’d had no idea. My mother mercifully bought me a bra the next day.
I cried when I put that B cup on for the first time. How I wished my body would remain streamlined and simple.
And now I wish more than anything for my boobs back. The phrase “my cup runneth over” has new, wistful meaning in my life. As I walked by a mirror today I scavenged my brain to remember what Andrea had tried to teach us in 1990. If only I had paid better attention…it was something to the beat of, “I must. I must. I must increase my bust…” but what it was I must do I cannot recall. And so I can only wish.
Starlight, starbright, first star I see tonight…
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