Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The older I get

The more weird and strange revelations are revealed to me at the damnedest times. Take yesterday as an example. I go to have my very first mammogram at my local hospital's outpatient center. While I'm watching the omnipresent Schiavo case unfold on CNN a very nice and professional nurse/technician is hoisting my boobs one at a time onto a metal plate and then pushing down on them with a plastic plate and telling me not to breathe. Two views of each. My breasts haven't been the center of so much attention since I stopped nursing five or so years ago. It didn't exactly hurt, but it wasn't exactly pleasant either. Anyway, as I walk to my car trying to rip my ID tag off (did they expect me to become unconscious during this procedure?), I am struck by the feeling of ownership. I've been toting these babies around for a good 30 years (early bloomer), and they've never really felt like part of me. In fact, for most of my life, they've been in the damn way. Like menstrual cycles and pantyhose, boobs were just a necessary nuisance. It would have been nice to put the whole Female Experience away in a closet until needed. Like a raincoat. My boobs have never (with exceptions Gwyneth Paltrow can appreciate) been big enough to stare at therefore they were/are non-threatening to other women, but boys seemed to like them. But I wanted to be loved for my brain. At first, anyway. Call me beautiful AFTER you tell me how smart I am. Not that I'm either, but we can pretend, can't we? So, these are MY boobs. Not my babies'. Not my husband's. Mine. Like my hands. My eyes and ears. MY boobs. Yes, I know. I'm a bit dense sometimes. The obvious never fails to escape me. I guess it was a feeling of empowerment that caused me to notice, doing something positive for my health. I've had approximately 50 pelvic exams (no, I'm not that old - I have 4 kids, dammit!), and never felt empowered. Only squishy. I guess boobs feel more like attachments, more like accessories; vaginas are internal, ergo they are inner, like small intestines and pancreata. They can, however, be accessorized.

I am 41 years old and I just found out I have tits.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005