June 11, 2004
I have always wanted to look like one of the women in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Yes, I know that puts me right up there with the other 125 million American women. But there you are: I have always wanted to have a curvy, sexy, slim figure with an ample bosom.
My sister has one. An ample bosom, I mean. My college roommates have them. When we were in college, we called ourselves the Alphabet Girls. I was A. You can figure out the rest.
I don’t know why my sister got all the boob genes in my family. She got the only accessory and makeup gene as well. I ended up flat chested with no fashion sense. The homely sister next to the vivacious, curvy, accessorized and made-up sister.
It’s not just me who noticed these differences. One day my sister came to my office to meet me for lunch. She was in a little red skirt and blouse with long red fingernails. She had rings on her fingers and bells on her toes. Her long curly blonde hair tumbled down her back. After she left, my boss told me “Your sister oozes sensuality.” Another colleague said, “You and your sister are exact opposites!”
So I ended up with no bosom. Ever since I was 13, I have hoped that maybe for Christmas I would find one under the tree. When I was 26, a friend and I looked into implants. We split the cost for her to talk to the best plastic surgeon in town about the operation. After he told her all the horrible things that can go wrong, we decided that surgery was not the answer.
But I kept hoping. In the meantime, I resigned myself to plain white underwear. The cute lacy or satin bras are not made in my size. The only ones I could find that fit were those very stretchy pull over the head kind. Yes, training bras, basically. The good thing was that my sexy body was certainly never a distraction for any of the men at work. The bad thing was is that is was not a distraction for any men anywhere.
One girlfriend told me that I was so lucky “not to have to wear a bra.” Right. It’s so easy for those with bosoms to pretend to envy those of us without. But if push came to shove, they would keep their B-cups and everything that goes with them rather than ever shrink.
It wasn’t until a colleague (a woman with at least D!) told me that my problem was that I was mashing my bosom down and I just needed better undergarments that I decided to take action. I told her that I could never find bras in my size and she told me I hadn’t looked hard enough. It was my desire to prove her wrong that set me on my quest.
My first stop was at a bra store called The Fitting Place. The store was lined floor to ceiling with bras. There must have been thousands of them. I slid past the two very well-endowed women – they must have been M-cups – poking the cups of what looked like a set of inverted bongo drums and asked the saleslady, whose bosom preceded the rest of her by about two feet, if they had any bras my size. She looked at me and said she would have to measure me. We went to the back and she whipped out her tape measure. “36 something,” she announced after she pulled the tape tightly around my ribcage. “I’ll be right back.”
She returned with a 36A. I put it on. The fabric fell and crumpled delicately against my skin. I poked the cup. It caved in. “I think this is too big,” I said.
She left and returned with a 36AA. It fit. Which was really really depressing. But life is what it is. “How much?” I asked. It was $36. $36!! “Holy smoke,” I said. “That’s a little more than I wanted to spend. Do you have any cheaper models?”
“No,” she said. “This is the only 36AA in the store.” Which was even more depressing. A store crammed full of about a gajillion bras and they have exactly one that fits me.
I went to Victoria’s Secret. After opening drawers and thumbing through racks for about ten minutes, I finally caught the attention of a saleswoman. I asked if they had any 36Aas. She gave me a funny look, then went to ask her boss. When she returned, she led me to a corner of the store, bent down and pulled open a small drawer. “Here. These are the only ones we have.”
But they cost about $37.
“Maybe you can find something at Target,” she said, trying to appear to be helpful but really she was just being a bitch.
But to Target I went, determined to find something that would shape, mold and uplift me without breaking the bank. And there was not a single 36AA bra in the store. Fine. I would not be daunted. I grabbed one of each 36A that they had and tried them all. Most of them were too big – is that not truly pathetic or what? – but I finally found a few that fit. One of them even had water-filled pads to give me that extra boost! The regular (unpadded) ones performed some sort of magic on me. I don’t know if they took all my back fat and pushed it forward or what, but all of a sudden, when I put my sweater back on, there were two separate and distinct mounds on my chest. The fabric of the sweater between my two breasts was not even touching my skin!
I bought every single bra that fit me and then went to another Target and bought all the ones that fit me there. I started even wearing a bra at home just so I could have the pleasure of looking at myself in the mirror and seeing – a shape! When my boyfriend came over, I made him watch as I modeled the unpadded and the water bras under a variety of tops. When we went out, I kept looking at myself in the store windows, rotating my body so as to see the change in topography from all directions.
The glamour has gone out of having a bosom now, though. It's like heroin -- you have to keep upping the dosage to get the high. I guess the next step is surgery, but my thrifty Slovak soul will never let that happen.