This one is dedicated to Robert Cormack
I do much research and study. I think it makes me feel older rather than younger. I tackle tough topics containing material I’d rather not know. I hit a tough one last night. I know covering it will be a bear. I found it here:
It schooled me as to an actual term used to describe what I know is happening in our world. It educated me a bit more and dropped a cement wall on my head. I knew, somehow, I had to push it off.
Then it hit me and I smiled.
I’m pretty well known for my fiery defense of the little guy and my muffins by a group of friends. I made a double batch of muffins, packed them up, and went to meet the guys.
“Bras should be deemed a health risk for those over 65,” I loudly declared.
I passed out the muffins and the banter with a smile. There were guffaws and snickers and muffins, and the world righted for a while. Some of the conversation went like this:
When you’re climbing up to 70 Años, even your jowls start bruising your knees. Having two perky things on your chest accentuates that droopy face. Those proud peaks are a lie and everybody knows it.
If you let them hang loose, you can sling them over your shoulder when they get in the way. Okay—I can’t do that yet. But at least I wish I could take them off and slide them into a hatbox. They can be so damned inconvenient.
Whoever invented the bra should be drawn and quartered. (I had to look.) It was Herminie Cadolle of France in 1889. Some New York socialite came along and patented Herminie’s idea in the early 1900s. Figures. (Those who cannot think—take.)
My oldest friend is of the male persuasion. He is 77. We’ve been friends for almost 40 years. To this day, I catch him sneaking looks at my mammary glands.
“Stop that!” I sputter.
He grins sheepishly and apologizes.
Another friend I’ve known since fourth grade. When she graduated from puberty, I used to tell people she was taller lying down than standing up. She was 4’10” standing up and about 6 feet lying down. Yea, yea, yea. That’s an exaggeration. But you would’ve thunk it with the stares she received. She told me today that in her skinny days, people used to tell her they wouldn’t have known she was there if she hadn’t turned sideways. I don’t envy her burden in more than one way—she has back problems and taking them off is considered to be cosmetic.
Last year, I went to a local warehouse grocery and bought three sets of PJs. They were cute and looked comfortable. I put a pair on that evening and scowled. The material was not flimsy, but it was clingy. You got it—nipples. There they were—every dimple and pimple. The next day I packed up the two unopened pair and went back to the store.
The man at the return desk asked me what was wrong with them.
“I don’t like the way they showcase my nipples,” I said.
We furthered our discussion of nipples and he mentioned that it would be okay if they were where they belonged.
The statement bothered me though I didn’t know why. Then it hit me—my nipples are exactly where they should be—just not in regards to the masculine ideal.
I fed my children with these things. I had always been cutting edge. When my babies decided it was feeding time and we were company over someone’s house, I would be ushered to a room by myself with my babe, pull out his meaty bottle and feed him. You could be arrested for feeding your child in public back in those early days. Companies pushing formula feeding took that freedom away. Something as natural and old as time itself had become a crime. Their original purpose had become obsolete. But I have always been of the mind that nothing is better than mother’s milk.
I wrapped up my part of the conversation; said my seeyalaters, and left.
And I wasn’t wearing a bra.
Copyright 2019 Joyce Bowen