We haven’t always been best friends, but you are mine, my boobs.
When you first emerged when I was 10 you caused me nothing but embarrassment. I still remember being pulled aside by my 5th grade teacher and given “the talk” about bras. One of my most mortifying moments. I was ashamed of you then, boobs.
Boys in 7th and 8th grade saw you as an invitation. A neon sign inviting touch without consent. They’d “trip” in the hallways, hands positioned just so. I hated you then, boobs, and wanted to hide you under giant tee-shirts and pretend you were not there.
By high school, as I was growing into this body of mine and learning how to dress in a way that made me feel comfortable, I saw you as an asset and an ally. What had previously been used to subjugate me became a tool for my empowerment. I could use you, boobs, as a means to my own sexual gratification. And I came to appreciate you aesthetically. You are, in fact, a really damn nice looking pair of boobs.
In my teens and early 20s there were a string of loves and lovers with varying levels of interest in you, boobs. Men and women that I cared for cared for you. Found you beautiful and arousing. Wanted to touch, kiss, or rest a head on you. One of those loves stuck, and 14 years later he still loves you, boobs.
I grew comfortable and content with you, boobs. Although there were frequent disagreements between us. When I became more athletic in my early 20s, any efforts I made toward becoming a better runner were accompanied by relentless aching in my shoulders thanks to you, boobs, whose bounciness would not be contained by even the most constricting sports bras. Underboob sweat in the summer. Being jabbed by underwire that would always eventually escape the cup of a bra. The endless struggle of finding button-front shirts that fit. Boobs, you could be a real pain in the ass sometimes.
2 years ago when I became a mother, you finally had a job to do, boobs. It was your time to shine. For decades you were merely window dressing but now you could actually be of some use. I held that hungry baby to you, boobs. But nothing. Nothing but screaming and crying. The lactation consult, and expert in all things boob-related, explained that there was an incompatibility between your nipple shape/size and my baby’s mouth. Boob, were you aware that you have unusually short/stubby nipples? Yeah…neither was I. So instead you spent 9 months attached a machine that sucked milk out you. Those were dark days in our relationship, boobs. I loved you for providing prefect nourishment for my child. But I hated how you felt so hard, heavy, and sore. How you leaked whenever I exercised. I resented the hours upon hours attached to the pump because you couldn’t successful fulfill your only real purpose on this earth.
I felt my body to be reclaimed after weaning, and our relationship returned to it’s prior love-hate state, boobs. You were nothing more than a permanent accessory once again. Looking nice in certain clothes, being an object of my partner’s affection, serving as a black hole for dropped pieces of popcorn, and annoying me when I try to exercise (small breasted friends, you will never know the joy of your boobs trying to smother you in certain yoga poses).
Then last year, when I found out my BRCA1+ status, you became something wholly new to me. A true adversary. An enemy. A spy who’d infiltrated my skin with a deadly plot. But I found you out and feel like I have no choice but to neutralize the threat. In the past year you’ve been scanned, groped, and poked. Biopsied, measured, and photographed. You’ve scared the shit out of me when I’ve gotten back suspicious MRI results, that thankfully turned out to be benign…for now. But I will never trust you again. And because of that you’ve got to go…before you really try to kill me.
So this is our last week together boobs. I feel like I should put on a sexy bikini and take you to the beach. Or slap on some pasties and take you out for a final hurrah. Or walk around town topless so friends and strangers can pay their respects. But, sorry boobs, I’m not going to do any of that. I might snap a few selfies with you that I can look back on when feeling nostalgic and I’ll give my partner ample time to say his goodbyes, but for the most part you’re just going to continue sitting in your worn out bras, getting little attention, until our time comes to say goodbye next week.
And then, you’re off. For good. They’ll check you for cancer and then…who knows? Chuck you in the biohazard bin or something like that. I’m sorry for such a brutal end to our time together, boobs. But I’ve gotta be moving on with my life and forming a brand new love-hate relationship with my brand new boobs.
Thanks for the good times. Farewell, boobs.