In my house I am very popular. It's flattering to be so popular but it's a fairly localized phenomenon. I never experienced popularity until I started having children, and I am currently on a streak as the most popular person in our home. That could change at any time, so I take each day for what it is. Sometimes being the preferred person for hugs or help with homework and violin practice is a burden, but most of the time I revel in it. Even the dog will come flop by me if given a choice. I am the one everyone at this address wants to be with.
And I'm pretty sure I owe it all to my boobs.
Ian is the one you want for help with anything technical, and he handles the laundry and most of the meals. He's always up for a board game or a trip to the zoo and is often patient to a degree I can only aspire to. How can I compete with that? The dog is cuddlier than I am. Quinn is cuter. Mona is funnier. Aden is sweeter. But damn it, I have boobs. And apparently boobs rule.
I breast fed my children for a total of almost four years with my boobs. I went from feeling self-conscious and private about them to being able to pull them out anywhere and everywhere to feed my babies. I nursed my kids at the park, in restaurants, on planes, at Target, and once while visiting the Bronx Zoo. (And unlike some people I've read who have had to defend their right to breast feed in public, I am grateful that I never once had a problem or even got a second glance.)
I got used to my babies feeling like they had ownership over that part of my body. But it didn't stop with them as babies. They all like to touch my boobs. It got so weird for me with my girls a couple of years back that I finally started brushing them off while saying, "Grow your own!"
But my boobs make the best pillows, apparently. So I become a cherished spot on movie night or when we snuggle up on the couch. My boobs are like soft magnets that draw everyone in the house to me. My husband has been a longtime fan. I am boobtacular.
The problem is from my end they are just uncomfortable and problematic. They make running painful, they make it difficult to wear button up shirts, and they're probably hard on my back.
But part of this I'm sure has been my bras. I'm frugal when it comes to buying most things for myself, so I haven't had a good one probably since my mom bought one for me a lifetime ago. I also suspected after nearly a dozen years of repeated pregnancies and varying degrees of weight gain and loss I didn't really know my size anymore. I've tried on bras of various measurements at Target until I got close enough, and when they stopped carrying anything I could use (oh, to be a cute A cup for whom all the decorative cute bras are always in abundance) I switched to finding inexpensive bras online. Nothing ever fit the way it should. I kept thinking I would treat myself to something nice when I lost more weight, but I have been plateaued in that arena for so long that I finally decided it's silly. I needed a decent bra.
So I announced the other day while snuggling a couple of my children on the couch that we were going to get my boobs measured for a good bra. Immediately both children leaned back to look at my boobs with critical gazes and started feeling them as if they were selecting ripe fruit. Quinn ran off to find a ruler. They started laying the ruler across my chest and declaring I was thirty inches! No, ten centimeters! No, I was twelve of something! (They may be my biggest fans, but in some ways they are no help at all.)
We went to a mall in the expensive end of town and found a store that did fittings. My kids entertained themselves in a dressing room of their own while a helpful saleswoman measured me and brought me this and that. The interesting thing I learned is that I was, actually, the size I had been using. It just turns out there is a difference between a bra that is a worn and cheap 42DD instead of a new and good 42DD. I left with a simple bra, a sheer and lacy bra that was surprisingly supportive, and one in a leopard print which makes me laugh because why not?
The saleswoman asked if I wanted matching underwear and I told her I'm just not that coordinated. I already find it weird that an article of clothing almost nobody sees can be so decorative. I'm not out to impress the water aerobics ladies in the locker room at the Y. (They're probably already impressed I don't need a walker, so fancy panties would just be overkill.)
I will probably fall back into a cheap bra habit at some point, because honestly, I'm so much happier spending my hard earned money on a nice plane or gouge or a beautiful piece of maple. But it felt good walking out of the store with a bag full of decent support for my boobage.
At the moment it's worth it, though. We popular people need to invest periodically in order to maintain our fan base. These bras aren't just pretty, they are a means of shoring up both figurative and literal support. (I may only hold sway with a limited crowd that I mostly had to help make myself, but I want to keep my status as long as I can! Wonder twins, activate.)