Talk about a stay of execution.
I’d been feeling really tired for the last week or two. Like, exhausted. (And no, I’m not pregnant. Waah.)
As there seemed to be no other ready explanation for it, I came to the eventual conclusion that I had a terminal illness. Probably breast cancer. What can I say? I’d been reading a lot of Lisa B. Adams’ blog. I’m impressionable. If only my wild imagination had powers of good, like coming up with awesome screenplay ideas or new ways to save the coral reefs, what a star I’d be.
But it doesn’t. And I’m not. I just get a lot of diseases.
This latest one terrified me. But it also got me thinking about underwire bras.
I’ll explain: I’ve eschewed them my entire life. Mostly because I don’t have the boobs for them, but also because I’d heard somewhere, a long time ago, that they might be a cause of the aforementioned illness.
Cut to today. I’m sitting on the couch. I’m feeling tired. I’m worrying about breast cancer. But I’m comforting myself with the fact that, while there is, of course, a chance I have it, it’s not high. I’ve never, after all, worn underwires. At least I have that going for me.
Then, just to be sure, I reached under my shirt. And I froze.
My hand touched hard steel.
In that moment I realized something. Something awful: that not only had my breasts changed irrecoverably when I gave birth to my daughter, but that my relationship with them had too. We were so distant now–like married people asleep in separate rooms–that I didn’t even know what they wore. They were like teenagers, sneaking out of the house in one outfit, then changing into another when my back was turned.
“When,” I almost shouted at them, “did you start gallivanting around in that getup?”
I was seriously losing it. I was apparently in possession of a whole drawer full of garments I am deeply opposed to. How did this happen? Last time I checked, my bras were all of the flimsy cloth variety. True, they provided no support and little “nipple discretion,” but neither were they life threatening!
I must’ve purchased the underwires in some kind of lingerie-related blackout. It wouldn’t be the first time. I shopped for bras last year and accidentally bought a bunch of padded ones. Super padded. So padded that every time I hold MJ she jabs her thumbs into the cups like they’re some kind of finger trampoline. “Boing,” she crows. “Boing boing!”
I can’t feel it. But it still irks.
The pads are bad. The fact that the bras are pushups is worse. And more ironic, as there’s literally nothing to push up. Except the padding itself. Which is, for the most part, too busy being stabbed by my daughter to go anywhere. It just lies there, pleading for mercy.
But underwires? I didn’t think I’d stooped so low.
Clearly my breasts are no longer my own. We don’t speak. We are estranged.
Thank God I have other friends. It was one of them who informed me, this afternoon, that I wasn’t dying. Not now, anyway.
I’d mentioned my allergies, which are ghastly at the moment, and which I’ve never really had before.
“I know,” she replied. “They suck. Doesn’t the fatigue just knock you out?”
I sat up straight, a faint shaft of hope tapping at the uncleaned window of my mind. “Do allergies make you tired?”
“Oh, hell, yes.” she said.
I almost hugged her. “I’m not dying!”I shrieked, and danced–listlessly, but still–around the kitchen.
So the good news is, I may have a clean bill of health. The bad news? The pollen count is really high. I’m trying to use only cloth napkins for blowing my nose. Or rags. Made from old sheets. Which feels like blowing your nose on a bed. It’s sort of a disaster.
Wait a minute. The bras. I need to get rid of them anyway. I could–
Excuse me. I feel a sneeze coming on. I’ve got to get my shirt off and start working on these hooks and eyes.