Princess Leia or The Girl I Never Was…

“From what I can see of the people like me, we get better but we never get well…” Paul Simon 1981

The original Star Wars movie came out the year I was born.  Yeah, yeah, I’m dating myself.  I didn’t see it until years later, of course, but that didn’t stop it and its sequels from becoming a force of influence in my life that I likely, to this day, don’t fully understand.  This could be due to the fact that it was SO AMAZING (YES, I am a huge fan, but not in the obsessed “I hate the travesty that has become the Star Wars franchise aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh” kind of way) or the fact that the mass-marketing monster we have come to know and love was flexing its remiges in anticipation of its historical flight into global domination, OR the fact that my mother happened to choose an obscure biblical name for me and then shorten its unfathomable and unpronounceable 8-letter garble to sound like “LEIA” (for those who may not be familiar –and… are you really out there? – it sounds like Lay-uh).

I loved Princess Leia from the first moment I saw her.  I begged to be taken to the drive-in showing of Return of the Jedi at age 6.  It was magical and I remember that trip very fondly.  It wasn’t just her ball-busting attitude or her faux-demure sexiness; here was FINALLY someone with whom I shared the same name!!!  It was the most novel and validating thing that had happened to me at that point.  Other kids grew up knowing another Jennifer or Sarah, another Kelly, Jessica, Amy, Kim, another April, even the occasional Misty or Tiffany.

Not Leia.  Not Lay-uh.  Not me.

Not until I discovered her.  She was everything I wanted to be, a princess, a bad-ass, a big bun-wearing icon with a space gun!  Oh, the famed gold bikini didn’t hurt anything either and no, I was never smart enough to find and wear one while my body could still sport it without guffaws and jeers.  A year ago I did finally (as mentioned in my Halloween post) don the big buns and white, TOTALLY see-through, neck to floor dazzler that is more my body’s speed these days.  It was liberating and somehow just felt right.

Liah as Leia

And yep, that’s my border collie dressed up in the same costume as me.  No need to comment.  I know.  My husband also dresses up as Darth Vader every single year.

Beyond the name, I simply identified with the galactic goddess and never got over it.  I loved Carrie in a few other of my youth-years faves such as The Burbs, Loverboy, and who doesn’t love When Harry Met Sally?  I fell so hard over her that I even gave my first daughter a nod to her with her middle name, though I was too much of a coward back then to admit to anyone that it was a factor in my choice.  Interesting what anxiety /depression/mental illness will do to your concept of self and
confidence.  I haven’t thought about that in years.  Funny.

I was delighted to see her begin to show her mettle with other projects over the years (Postcards From The Edge is still a major favorite – though I was just beginning to experience my pre-pubescent angst and perhaps couldn’t truly identify with its themes, as I get older and crazier it speaks to me in all sorts of new and amazing ways – like everything, I guess) and recently after my (breakdown?), well, let’s call it when I “broke”, I finally read Wishful Drinking ( I am a voracious and eclectic reader, however recreational reading has been a rare luxury for a long time as I had been pursuing 2 degrees full-time while working 2 jobs, one full and one part time for several years before I “broke”) and confirmed a lifetime of suspicion.  We are meant to be.  Like Alanis and the 1994-era me, we have a bond.  As another favorite, Emma Thompson, said in the gooey shame-fest Love Actually, about yet another lifetime favorite, Joni Mitchell… “I love her, and true love lasts a lifetime…”

I think I laughed for the first time in months when I read Carrie’s beautiful little memoir at 3am in a bout of insomnia … I couldn’t put it down.  I cried.  I ached.  I belonged.

She refers to her addiction (s) pervasively throughout the narrative and then on page 239 … Eureka! She nails it. She describes her weekly meetings and realizes that she doesn’t have to like them, she just has to go.  I was floored… I don’t have to like it, I just have to go.  (Not to addiction group – I don’t believe in it.  Period.  Nor is addiction my crowning issue but if it were I think Rational Recovery would be more my bag, baby.)  No, it was everything else that it clarified for me… therapy, getting out of bed, showering, getting dressed in clean clothes, working out, writing… EVERYTHING ELSE.  I don’t have to like it, I just have to do it.  So succinct.  So purely enlightening it was like the beam of a light-saber turned on in my dark room (I was reading on my iphone as I often do with books I must read immediately and cannot wait to order from Amazon) and along with the oh-so-familiar hum of its energy… I came back to life.

Now don’t get wild here, I am not well.  I am not even better on some days.  But I am willing and that’s an amazing place to start.

Thanks Carrie.  You rock.

Champagne Thought Bubbles…

My therapist says …

“You can’t change what you’ve done but you can change who you are.”

God*, I hope so.

 

*I say this, always, as an expression; Never as an incantation, nor a prayer, not to blaspheme, not an insult, not in any seriousness, nor to any particular ‘God’ especially yours. So if you have issue with it… pray on it, meditate on it, whatever it is you do to be an exemplary “insert your religious/spiritual identity of choice here” and please, with all due respect, keep your yap shut about it to me because to me it is simply and unequivocally an expression, harmless in intent and only imbued with what power we assign it through our connotation. In addition to which, if you are so offended by someone of differing belief’s use of a term that means something different to them than it does to you, then IMO you have bigger issues to deal with than me and my little blog and ought to put your passionate efforts to use in more productive ways.

A CIGARETTE IN MY CAR AT THE TOSTON BAR

Warning:

 If you are a girl under 25, or a girl over 25 with the sensibilities and/or emotional maturity of a girl under 25, this post will likely offend and affront you so please read on with caution as no amount of righteous commentating will have any effect on my opinions or, I suspect, the opinions of other women my age.  Yes, yes, we know that there are a paltry few of you out there who really and truly may not fit this stereotyped roundup and branding, rest easy.  You may keep your outrage.  This is observational only and frankly we’ve got 10+ years on ya, so the potential that we may have ‘observed’ more than you have in our time is quite high.

As young girls will sometimes do, I spent a good portion of my late teens and early twenties being a bit of an emotionally overwrought batshitcrazy ‘romantic’.  Whenever I have a chance to speak to girls of this age range, I am never surprised by the fact that this state of boycrazynutbagism (BCN) is still rampant.  Of course, we ladies of a certain age understand the inevitability of the profuse and passion-filled denial of their, even temporary, residence in this ‘greymushed’ state.  They are all grown up.  Just as we were… wink, snort.  (While I am woefully unfamiliar with the emotional tribulations of boys and men, if you have insight into similar types of suffering/disorders that afflict the males of the species please feel free to share this information with me as any areas of common ground between the two can only be beneficial.)

In the early onset of my affliction with BCN, I presented with restlessness, insomnia, bouts of blatant overconfidence interspersed with chronic self-consciousness, alternating uncontrolled fits of crying and rage, and a general moroseness. (The last of which lasted… well… into the present)  I was as yet unaware of the type of labeling that could result from such uncontrolled emotional ‘dervishism’.  (On a side note, if you have been reading my blog regularly, you may notice that I have a great propensity for making up my own terms.  Please feel free to comment, suggest, or ask what the hell kind of cockle-brained meaning I might be assigning them as I am certain it isn’t always obvious.) Once you have been ‘labeled’ in any way, it can become an Odyssean quest to erase the stigma.

 A few labels that may be assigned to someone suffering from BCN are: melodramatic, crysack, neurotic, emotional wreck, social doughnut-hole, drama-queen, stalker, and a host of other terms that get progressively worse as your symptoms progress.  A main danger of BCN is that it can easily morph into CSBS (crazystalkerbitchsyndrome) which you can recognize by its inherent ability to almost instantly repulse the male of the species (it is believed that in addition to the repellant qualities lurking in the behavioral symptoms there is also a pheromone component to this phenomenon).  CSBS is even more dangerous because of its long-term effects, which with time and progression will eventually drive off even the females of the species, who have built in defenses against its symptoms.  Both of these disorders also share the unfortunate symptom of complete lack of awareness and/or acceptance of your state, in this way they seem similar to an addiction (hmmmm).

I spent unimaginable amounts of effort and time in what I like to think of as ‘covert ops’.  This basically means that I made ridiculous and I am certain, failed, attempts to hide the fact that I was suffering from these afflictions.  This type of emphatic denial is a tell-tale sign and one we must be prepared to recognize in those around us, be they loved ones or not, in order to either aid them or hightail it in the opposite direction as though our ass hairs were on fire.  I strongly recommend the latter as the former often requires drastic intervention ranging from medication to exorcism.

During the latter years of my tormented dementia (separate from my current years of tormented dementia) I had a long, tumultuous, and mostly immature relationship with a wonderful young man who I met during my first semester of college.  He was a good kid; raised up right, mostly emotionally stable, and as different from me as you can imagine.  We had our trials and we had our triumphs and I look back fondly if not ruefully.  I had many cringe-worthy moments in those days (as I still do, not attempting any type of self-aggrandizing here) but a favorite stems directly from my BCN/CSBS suffering so I will include it here to illustrate the dangers of these disorders.

It happened one weekend that the LOMLATT (loveofmylifeatthetime) had planned to spend the weekend in his hometown without me.  Spending the weekend in his hometown which was just a quick hour and a half away was a very usual occurrence, though I was most often included.  Unfortunately I occasionally acted like a spoilt child throwing down BF’s (bitch fit) for days in advance of the rare ‘no girlfriend’ trips.  Sometimes I would attempt to be a normal human and slap on the BGP’s (big girl panties) and smile and encourage the trip, which is what I did on this occasion.  I was however very jealous and suspicious in those days (which I believe leads you into direct contact with assbags who will lie and cheat and hurt you and turn you into a creature that you cannot yourself recognize – but that’s another story) though this particular boy never deserved it, and would eventually almost always work myself up into some kind of frenzy, which I did on this occasion.

 I had spent the day in a psychotic cleaning episode, which was how I typically dealt with stress of this sort, and then decided to head out to dinner and drinks with some girlfriends.  Somewhere over the course of the next few hours I had convinced myself that the LOMLATT was only home without me in order to facilitate some sort of tryst with a former flame and I was going to deal with this in the most logical manner possible… drive the hour and a half to his hometown at 8:00 at night and confront them with my self-righteous indignation!  As it was summer in the mountains, the sun would be up until almost 10pm so I had daylight, a full tank of gas (which in those days cost me somewhere in the area of $20) in Wilma the Wonder Ovary (my super-cool white Subaru sedan), a pack of Camel Lights, and a healthy dose of fury on my side. 

I headed out full of adrenaline and red wine (ya, ya, I DO know) with Alanis (dating myself here) blaring on my tinny unbalanced stock speakers, lighting up a cool Camel and throwing back my head to sing.  I smoked and sang at the top of my then strong pink lungs for approximately 40 minutes or so feeling powerful and badass, before approaching a roadside bar of the hillbilly variety (IMO) at the base of a curving overpass.  Chain-smoking furiously and unapologetically while driving takes some planning and skill, I would pull out a new cig, light it with my old cig, and then toss the old cig out my window with a practiced flick. This way I wasn’t required to use the cigarette lighter which I was convinced was inefficient and also I felt cooler which was of the utmost importance.  I rolled down my window to the exactly perfect position, not so much that I get blasted with wind and not so little that I couldn’t get the cig out easily, all the while wailing “and I’m heeeeere… to remind you”.  I pulled, lit, and flicked.  What I did not realize was that I had inadvertently hit the button to roll down the back window at the same time and as luck would have it (or maybe fate?) the rushing wind sucked my still lit butt back in through the back window where it lodged under my driver’s seat and began to smoke.  I fairly quickly realized what was going on, stopped singing, and began a futile reach-around attempt which earned me a set of burned fingertips and a panic attack the likes of which even I was not ready for.  I was swerving and swearing and pretty quickly the food-grease, spilt booze, paper, and who knows what else laden carpet had ignited and I was forced to pull over directly opposite the roadside bar where 3 or 4 cars lingered. 

Like a lunatic being swarmed by Africanized bees I jumped out and opened the back door bending in my embarrassing ‘daisy dukes’ and frantically pawing for the rogue cig while beating at the carpet fire with my purse, which was the first thing I grabbed in my crazed ransacking of the backseat that was not made of paper or plastic.  I did manage to beat the small fire out with my handbag, bursting open every container inside in the process so now I had a gooey plumeria scented menagerie of sloppy wet crap in my purse to boot.  I sat down against the back seat huffing and sweating like I had just run a quarter of a mile and lolled my head back at which point I noticed the 5 agog bar patrons standing in the gravel parking area across the street from me sporting expressions of shock, mirth, and I am certain, awe.  I looked around me and saw the entire contents of my backseat strewn in the dirt around the open back door; McDonald’s trash, receipts, old cigarette boxes, magazines, newspapers, plastic bags, plastic cups, and other assorted bits.  I imagine that those folks enjoyed quite a show and I can only count my blessings that in those days every 8-80 year old didn’t have a smart-phone at the ready to capture and share such impressive moments. 

I decided at that point that heading home was probably in my best interest and I did exactly that.  I never told anyone the story of the cigarette in my car at the Toston bar until many years later when I finally understood the catharsis of healthy self-deprecation.  I have since begun to realize that I find nothing as hilarious as my own chaotic decision-making, apparently this is a view shared by many.

As the years went by I, thankfully, began to see the drawbacks of my emotional situation, the effects on my relationships were disastrous and the effects on my sense of self even more so.  I began to metamorphose.  Sadly, with my as yet unrecognized mental disorders also present, I went the way of the erratic ‘judgementalist’ with no concept of a middle ground and careened to the other end of the spectrum so spectacularly that I ended up as what some consider robotic and aloof.  So removed from emotional attachment that when others (this is quite rare) discover the Lake Vostok-like depths of my emotional reservoir they invariably go into some form of shock, panic, and/or disbelief.  This also has not had the most beneficial effects on my life/relationships.  I cannot recommend a sojourn into the waters on either side of this continuum and if you find yourself drifting too far in one of those directions please seek immediate attention from a mental health professional, naturopath, witch doctor, or exorcist for THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE!

Living the Dream…

While watching a movie with my bbf, I heard one character tell another…

“I was just thinking… your life is ass”.

This is a statement of such utterly cryptic beauty.
It resonated with me in such an exquisite agony of clarity that
I had to swallow my tears. Then my two year old climbed into my lap, put her sweet chubby little hands on either side of my face, smiled lovingly into my eyes, and released tiny bubbly fartlets all over my leg.

Yes.

My life is ass. Literally.

The Madness of the Masquerade

I can fake my way through the day, the month, the year.  I have been doing it my whole life.  I hide every part of me that is real, revealing flashes only in a dance of veils.  Just a whisper of skin… a hint of calf here, a shoulder there, sometimes unwittingly, sometimes perhaps in a silent plea for help.  So quick that its easily missed and if the observer does chance to catch a glimpse in periphery, they question what they saw… discounting by nature.  Recreating and reformatting the information to make it graspable, to be able to accept it and move on without rocking the landscape of their knowable universe to its foundations.

I am not real.

I write today from a deep and cavernous chasm of sadness.  Days of depression are an unpredictable and sickening carnival ride.  I have never liked carnivals. Or rides. 

Kinetosis is a maddening bitch.

 I don’t seem to be able to identify a pattern or set of circumstances that trigger me…

I wake up and I feel as though the weight of my comforter is too daunting and I must remain in bed.  So I do.

I wake up and I feel ok. A few hours later I begin to feel defeated and contemplate driving my car off the nearest embankment.  (I have thought about this in various scenarios since I was a child and I have theories about it which don’t stem from any suicidal tendencies so please don’t harp on that most tiresome and hackneyed topic simply because it is the assumed conclusion that requires the least amount of effort.  That will annoy me and I may use my unholy powers to reach through the digital matrix and bitch slap you,  more on driving off the road in a later post)

I wake up and I feel strong.  I feel certain that I blink my eyes and the day is gone. I feel a great rending within; a physical agony that precludes function.

I get up only because I know I should.  Because somewhere in this viscous nightmare is a girl who is desperate to get well.

The concept of therapy hovers in my mind as something suspicious and potentially dangerous.  What is the draw? Are we simply seeking validation and a path to justify or explain away our poor choices, or is it something more? Is it truly an opportunity for personal enlightenment and healing?  Do I simply want to pay $135.00 an hour to have someone’s undivided attention?

Thoughts like this, while constantly present, aren’t currently preventing me from seeking treatment for my psychosis though they are fueling my already skeptical neurotic inner sub-letter’s monotonous stream of condescension.

On the topic of endless condescension, I find it baffling when my fellow humans (and even more baffling when I do it) create personas for me based solely on “things as seen from the omnipotent perspective of [insert name of the most exasperating ass-clown in your acquaintance here- I’m using me… ] CB the Destroyer.”   Perhaps not baffling as much as so infuriating that I would gladly trade a limb or possibly even an organ for the ability to set something [someone?] on fire with my mind.  Coming from a person who is, albeit attempting reformation, an admitted and outstanding counterfeit of such enormity that she has frequently been victim to her own magnificence, I certainly cannot do anything but stare in slack-jawed drooly wonder at someone who thinks they have some cockle-brained insight into someone else’s persona beyond the most shallow and superficial. 

SIDE NOTE: If you identified with, or even understood, that last paragraph’s mobius strip of slop trough floating flotsam crazy then you may want to consider some immediate and lasting therapy of your own. It is 2 am, after all, and I refuse to hold myself to an unrealistic height of explosive genius expectation at this hour.

In all reality, I do think it a bit more than egotistical to presume to know another person better than they know themselves.  While we may not want to, or in some cases be able to, admit or understand everything about ourselves on a conscious level, no one knows all our secrets and thus cannot know us better than we do.  Perhaps cannot truly know us at all.

Frankly, I am undecided as to who does more damage to my timid attempts at repair, the sub-letter or the crushing press of my fellow “humans”.

“The Unfairness Doctrine: A Halloween Tale of Horror”

Once upon a time there was an exasperated little girl who wanted nothing more than for the Danvers-bound addlepates around her to recognize that while on the outside she was a grubby, dirt-munching little scrapper who may not have brushed her hair for three solid weeks, inside she was a cotton candy scented pink princess politely knocking on the door with her fairy wand, waiting to be let out. 

I have a sister 14 months my junior who has, from birth, been a vision of such feminine loveliness that the natural result in someone of an alternative persuasion (in literally every department from looks to beliefs) such as myself was, is, and always will be, involuntary retching.  As a child, she photographed like a china doll and behaved like a minion of Loki.  I introduce you to this paragon of Hellenistic beauty because she plays a major part in my story of pre-adolescent injustice.

  Baby china doll and jealous big sis…

While still toddling my sister and I were dressed identically on a regular basis.  Especially on holidays and Halloween was no exception.  One year, there were two lovely satin clad butterfly fairies and the next year BLAMO! Prima Ballerina and Drum Majorette.  Prima Ballerina had a pale pink tutu with a starchy silk bodice that made whispery crackling sounds when you ran your hand over it and a stiff “powder-puff” style skirt of net and tulle.  (check out this cool page for more info on Tutu design and history http://www.classacttutu.com/hints-history-of-tutus ) Drum Majorette wore a disco gold leotard with red braided epilates and white satin detail.  The costume was completed by high white boot covers and a baton.  (please don’t infer that the costume was anything other than darling, mother had eccentric tastes and what she chose was always unique and mostly spectacular)

 

Now you may be thinking, “what’s wrong with a Drum Majorette, that costume is adorable!” [retch, retch, retch]but let me assure you that to a repressed princess in a tomboy’s body it was a message that Prima Ballerina was in the feminine club and Drum Majorette was firmly in the tomboy camp – NO COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES!

Then elementary school began and DP’s “oh, what fresh hell is this?” became the battle cry of a struggling, awkward little alien who never could seem to do anything right.  School was a mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting enterprise for me, but more on that in another post.  What really became the dollop of horseradish on my sundae of manure was the Halloween “costume parade” which consisted of a seemingly never ending line of elementary classes marching in a circle around the school parking lot (seriously, I cannot figure it out either) over and over and over and over to ensure that the parents who bothered to show up got as many wretched photo-ops as possible since in those dark ages of technology getting a picture of a moving child without a missing limb, smile, or head was a feat worthy of braggadocio.   

The Year of the Great Tragedy, my sister and I were in the same school and so our classes would perform the humiliating Halloween asphalt death march together, at least I wouldn’t be alone.  I was filled with elation and anxiety as our mother announced that she had our costumes ready, this would be my vindication! After a half a year of desperation and loneliness fueled by the rejection of my peers, my day had finally come! My mother’s creativity and eye for detail would guarantee me a costume of such uniqueness and charm that no one would be able to resist a place at my side! I would be “Queen for the Day”.  My sister and I jumped and danced around the room with glee, though I have no idea if she was suffering from similar woes, was caught up in my excitement, or simply loved seeing stuff come out of brown paper bags.  Mom pulled from behind her back a pointy crown as tall as Abe Lincoln’s top hat and covered in tin-foil, a matching wand with a star at the end followed.  These items were homemade by mom, btw and very cool.  “You’re going to be Glinda, the good witch of the North!” she crooned excitedly at my sister, who squealed with delight as Mom pulled a perfect pink tulle skirted (sensing a theme here, people?) gown out of her brown bag.  I was jazzed; Mom really seemed to be on the right track this year! What could be lurking in the bottom of that brown bag? A Dorothy costume perhaps, complete with red sparkle shoes the likes of which no one at Adams Center Elementary School had ever seen?  As Mom reached into the bag and began to draw out the first piece my anxiety and expectation soared to echelons nearing apoplexy –  in the background my sister was already stuck head through arm-hole in her stunning new gown – and finally there it was… my perplexity momentarily stilled the anxiety that was running rampant, what was going on here? That outfit is … green?

I waited for her to pull something else, anything else, out of the pathetically wilted paper bag … nothing came.  “Look here!” she said to me, with obvious delight, as she laid out the outfit for my perusal, “Isn’t it the most beautiful costume you ever saw?” I, slowly and with great trepidation, walked over and peeked at the truly gorgeous, made with obvious skill and care, Peter Pan costume. 

PETER FREEKIN PAN? Darling baby sis is our hero, the angelic and wondrous Glinda, and I am the naughty little boy who never grows up.

Well, as you can imagine the parade was a nightmarish whirl of fairies, princesses, ballerinas, and me.  I was mulish and sour and my candy turned to ash in my mouth. 

After this I cannot remember another Halloween costume I wore (I literally cannot, I believe strongly that I must have blocked them out, I even searched for photos to try to find some more or jog my memory to no avail) until 7th grade.  That was a disaster of such epic proportions that it deserves its own story so we will put that one on the shelf for now and just say that high school and early adult Halloween celebrations meant a time of rebellion for me, I was a slutty “insert your favorite cliché here” everything you can imagine, as well as Madonna, Cleopatra (that one was amazing thanks to a loner from my, to this day, Halloween loving mother), a Charlie’s Angel, and even one year Elphaba in a silent middle finger of justice to the Year of the Great Tragedy.  (Thank you, thank you, Gregory Maguire; you will never know the depths of my gratitude)

A few of my Halloween Follies… in order of appearance: Charlie’s Angel, makeshift Madonna, Cleopatra, Elphaba…

 

 

Finally, in my “adult” life (I use this term loosely because I am nothing close to an adult) I have settled down to costumes for fun rather than for vindication.  I am Princess Leia quite often (and if you don’t get this reference STOP READING MY BLOG IMMEDIATELY and go fix your damage) though this year, since my wig had a catastrophic mishap, I am going as Angelica Teach and not because of the sexy pirate wench costume, but because I get to have a big sword.

Also, in the interest of being honest, last year I made my baby daughter dress as Yoda while my older daughter dressed as the Monster High fashion savvy werewolf girl, this year my husband and I chose a velvety green dinosaur costume for my youngest, while my older daughter is going as the (ugh, again?) Monster High version of Cleopatra.  Don’t think that the tragic hilarity of this is lost on me…

baby dinosaur 2012…

 

Boobs. Can’t live with ’em.

The year I got my first period I re-read “Are you there God, it’s me Margaret” 4 times. My fondest desire was to get “it” and get boobs. Big ones. Lofty aspirations, I know. Is it any wonder I’ve ended up where I have? Both of these adolescent yearnings backfired so spectacularly that “be careful what you wish for” became, to me, the understatement to end all understatements. (It also planted the preposterous notion that I had a minute amount of “conjuring power” which led to some hilarious moments in my bathroom)
Beginning in 7th grade I “developed” as my Mom put it back then. Developed? Seriously? Yuck!!
Back then I hated the way she phrased everything. It was gross and embarrassing enough that she felt the need to refer to it in the first place but to further cement my unprepared, self-conscious humiliation by saying things such as “my daughter has developed” (I must insert here that these phrases were most often uttered in a Morticia Adams-esque dramatic stage whisper…. shudder, shudder) in what I can only assume was either a misguided effort to appear the mature contemporary mother or, the more likely, a strategic dangling of gossip-bait in an attempt to curry interest and/or attention out of anyone from her co-workers to the lady in the bank drive-through. It was always a point of humiliating contention with my sister and I that our Mother rampantly and with great relish, discussed anything and everything that happened to us with anyone and everyone as though it were a personal triumph/tragedy/anecdote that simply could not be contained. She was Pandora on self-administered sodium thiopental.
(members of my family might enjoy revising these details to suggest that I sprouted Jessica Simpson-like double D’s in 6th grade, to create a more riveting tale… but let’s remember who lived this story)
Back to the boob issue…
I -STAGE WHISPER- developed and developed and developed. I was (I believe in being pragmatic so no pretense of humble bullshit here) a cute girl with a rockin figure from the get-go. Funny how you never appreciate how great your body once was until its 6 sizes bigger, mushy, lumpy, droopy, and stuffed sausage-like into some contemporary version of Victorian textile torture.
I was thin but muscular and sported the coveted hourglass with near perfect proportions including a fairly large set of eye-catching boobs.
The boobs were a pernicious influence on the creation of my self identity and only recently have I begun to understand the disservice this did me. Coupled with my mother’s life-long obsession with the boobs she never “developed” herself, the chest, and the attention it drew, was a recipe for psychological disaster.
Considering the already tenuous hold my lump of grey mush had on shit, I suppose this dollop of emotional whip cream could have done worse damage than leaving me an identity quagmire scented suspiciously like BDD.
“The boobs” have gotten me boyfriends, girlfriends, insincerity, dumped, loved, hated, hired, fired, propositioned-good and bad, and soul vandalized by creepers who wouldn’t dream of spewing such vile insulting hate-trash to anyone else (I’m certain my sisters in DD plus boob jail will attest that the audacity of working, shopping, eating, walking in public etc. with large breasts is akin to wearing lingerie and loitering on street corners in the minds of many misogynistic hate mongerers).
Learning early on that you are a stupid whore simply because of the way your body happened to -ugh-“develop” is more of a roadblock to future success than you might think.
I know you’re thinking, “gee, that big-boobed dummy should have just been smart enough to realize that she could use her body to her advantage!” And YES! I could have used “the boobs” to get ahead in a multitude of ways – from harmless flirting (OK, of course I actually did this, what girl with a brick house brought up in America wouldn’t? ) to sleeping my way to, well, …somewhere ( this I actually did not do, though as with many accusations in my life I feel like if I were going to be accused I should at least have gotten to enjoy the rewards, sheesh).
Or I could’ve realize the dream of every big breasted dummy in America and become a stripper.
Unfortunately it took me a ridiculous amount of time to realize that I could have gotten further another way. Silly little me went about my life trying to be kind and funny and likable – which, lets be clear, got me absolutely NOWHERE- before trying smart and bitchy and cut-throat, which ALMOST got me somewhere, but my confused inner big-boobed psuedo-whore panicked and unleashed a firestorm of self-doubt and loathing that neatly derailed that train.
I can hear the Misogynarmy now “Phew! That was close! One of them almost got away! See prodigies, trainees, and our offspring who don’t know any better than to follow in the footsteps of social retardation outlined by your parents…. this is why we start beatin’ those whores down young!”
Suffice it to say that, along with a Molotov cocktail of other emotional and psychological problems, this factored into my epic failure at life in general.
On to less sad sad crap.
After the birth and breast feeding joy joy ride of my first child, I was perturbed to discover that my already ample breasts had actually gone up a size for good. This was, at the time, ok … I was ambivalent about it in the exact opposite way that I was ambivalent about my ever expanding ass.
8 years, 40 lbs, and an after 30 2nd child later I was no longer ambivalent in ANY way.
Gone forever were the lovely perky tatas of my misbegotten youth!
My breasts had expanded to a size so embarrassing and unimaginable that even my dearest friend Victoria couldn’t clothe them anymore. I was depressed, trapped even… held captive by the contents of my closet. Nothing fit these monstrosities and if anything did it was because I bought it 4 sizes too big to account for the problem and it subsequently hung off everywhere else like a tarp.
I decided that the semi-deflated carnival balloons I was folding into my darling new beige lunch lady bras everyday were not only a threat to the environment but to my mental and emotional well-being.
They had to go. Within 30 days, I found a plastic surgeon, got insurance approval and had surgery scheduled for the following month. Then I had my pre-op appointment at which the kind surgeon explained that since my freak-ass anomaly tits were still producing breast milk (though I had not breastfed at that point for approximately 14 months) I couldn’t have the surgery. I went to my family doctor, discussed my problem and decided to wait it out. Surgery was postponed for another month.
At the beginning of the year, I had made some changes based upon my family doctor’s suggestion that I lose 20 lbs before surgery.
My body was out of control, among other things that we will discuss later. I needed to do something, so I found a determined and dedicated personal trainer on Craigslist who would come work out with me at home so I didn’t have to battle my growing agoraphobic tendencies, and I began to work out.
I worked out 4-6 days a week, and within 4 months had lost 20 lbs.
I am very proud of this.
Unfortunately during this period I also realized that the breast milk was never going away (YES it is still with me today). I cancelled my surgery and accepted the loss of critical mass that my work-outs had produced. At least they were no longer in danger of a supernova.
Currently in my mid-thirties, I have no doubt that “the boobs” and I are not finished with our adventures, but I have experienced such a kaleidoscope of
Yankovic-like weirdness due, in part, to their existence that I feel, at least today, that we have come full circle. No pun intended.