Vanity, Thy Name is Mom101
I recently sat in a manicure chair, reading that Melaine Mayron, who played Melissa on Thirtysomething (God how I loved Thirtysomething) copped to getting a breast lift after having kids. My first reaction was "Ugh!"
My second was, "Ooooohh..."
It's a funny thing, these boobs of mine. They were s-l-o-w to come in the adolescent years, then burst forth with a vengeance. No sooner was I wishing away my A cups that I was wishing away the Ds. But I admit the mammary ups were greater than the downs (so to speak) and plenty of ex-boyfriends will back me up on that. They even got me out of a speeding ticket once, loyal friends that they were. Nothing Bad Lieutenant style--just some back arching and a big smile did the trick one Friday afternoon while I raced up a stretch of the Taconic on the way to the Berkshires, right into the speed trap of a young flirty officer.
For a good two decades, my boobs were easily my best asset, particularly in the we have nothing here that will fit you ma'am, have you tried New Jersey? years. Just drop me into some flowy Eileen Fisher pants and a plunging v-neck and my ego was still intact.
But two years ago the girls found their proper biological function as source of food and comfort for my daughter. Next thing you know I'm standing in the mirror trying on my bikini for the first time in an age, looking at my DDs and wondering when exactly they developed such a strong affection for gravity.
I may have cried a little.
Tube socks with a rock in them was how I once heard postpartum breasts described. So sad. So true.
"Well girls, " I now say to them as I scoop them up and deposit them in the underwire harness of doom, "we had a good run there for a while." And we did. I try so hard not to mourn their sorry new state, to feel grateful for the times we had together.
Yet I mourn. Oh, do I mourn.
And so I consider the boob lift.
Until recently, I thought voluntary plastic surgery was only for Those Women. You know, the ones with three homes and four nannies and egos rivaled in size only by their retinal-damaging engagement rings. Plastic surgery (with some exceptions of course) is a vanity move, pure and simple. And there's something about the idea of voluntarily having someone cut me open under general anesthesia that seems selfish now that I've got kids counting on me to actually come home after the procedure. Or forget the risks, and just consider the expense. Or the recovery time. Or most troubling, the message it would send to my daughters if they found out.
(Of course they would find out. Because the only thing bigger than my boobs, proverbially speaking, is my mouth.)
Perhaps I am dissuaded by my own mother's anecdote about a humiliating pre-surgical consultation. As she tells it, the doctor took a fat black Sharpie and marked up her naked breasts with circles and arrows like a C-student's essay in need of correction. When she turned to see them in the mirror, she burst into tears and ran out of the office without looking back. The episode furthered her resolve to teach me to love my body, or at least to value who I am inside more than what I look like outside. And this she did.
But then I think about how nice it would be to score me some perky tatas.
A lift is less an exchange than a minor alteration, I justify. It's not that I covet what Angelina has, I just want what I used to have myself. I want to skip down the street with my children, knowing the breasts are bouncin' and behavin'. I want to look in the mirror and see the me I think I still am instead of the saggier (older), more compromised (older) me I've become. I want to retrieve the tanks and stretchy tube tops from the "donate" bag in my closet.
But I don't know that I'll ever take the plunge. For one, it will strip me of the opportunity to make fun of Those Women, and I don't know if I could live with that.
Besides, there's something about the old nip and tuck that somehow feels like cheating.
In which case the only real solution is to continue down my current path of waiting for my chest to magically revert back to its former glory on its own, without surgery. Or exercise.
Now would be good.