Ah yes, one of my favorite topics. I've written of them at least twice before, so it's not as if I lacked inspiration. But now it's timely, because Susanna Cornett only has a couple more days before her Race for the Cure, and she asked for contributions. So I'm contributing this, in case any of you forgot about breasts.
I probably won't anytime soon. After all, if I don't watch my weight I'll have them myself. But even though men, especially pot smokers, can have them (a condition called gynecomastia), and can even get breast cancer, for some reason women's breasts get most of the attention.
Well, I know the reason, just don't ask me to articulate it. But I've known it for a long time - at least since I was about 5 or so. At the time a relative who drove a truck had parked it nearby, and he had a big Playboy gatefold posted on the back of his sleeper. My parents were looking for me all over (imagine that) and finally found me lying there staring transfixed at the recumbent beauty and the little white dog she was holding up in the air. And you know what - I keep getting Google hits for mentioning DeDe Lind and Sherry Jackson from a 1967 issue - I'll bet somebody out there can tell me who that centerfold was just from my description. Anyway, I can't tell you why I was looking so intently or so long, and I swear that was all I was doing.
Back in those days in Playboy breasts were pretty much the whole show, and what a show it was. This of course led to some really unnatural expectations, tempered somewhat by an occasional glimpse at a National Geographic. These breasts had no veins, stretch marks, scars, sags, pores, dark hairs, blemishes or other things that happen to real women. That was true of other parts of women too, but I had daily experience seeing that to temper expectations.
(Well, I never really got a good candid look at live plumbing until my early teens, thanks to some short shorts and a lack of chairs. Somehow it didn't seem as interesting - but for a coif and some stuff that sounded gross it wasn't that much different from a little girl's, and I had seen those) (and fashion seems to be to lose the coif) (and yes, there has to be a better word than "plumbing" - suggestions?) (Phyllis Levy would have some. If you listened to talk radio in Chicago on Sunday nights in the 1980's, you probably remember Phyllis Levy) (an entire paragraph of parenthetical remarks! Take that, English teachers - you and your breasts too).
So I've looked at breasts from both sides now, from flat to sag and still somehow it's breasts' illusions I recall. I really don't know breasts at all.
Well, I've learned a little. I've learned that there are some things you really can't improve upon (although I like Al Bundy's suggestion for a third breast in the back "for dancing"). Not that people don't try - there are some real butchers out there in the business of breast modifications. And even if they get the esthetics right, other things can happen. If the size of your breasts is a real problem, maybe there's something else you ought to replace instead.
Breast reduction OTOH can be a boon. I know one woman who was carrying a positively bovine rack, but now has had some relief (about 7 lbs worth). The results don't have to leave lots of scars either, unlike the case of the one woman on the documentary Susanna mentioned - the woman mentioned above had to point hers out. Don't take it for granted that insurance will pay though.
I hear that the next best thing to breast reduction is getting a mammogram - they have to mash down pretty hard to get a good shot. But if you do it early and often enough, maybe you can avoid the kind of breast reduction at least three relatives of mine had. A little here, a whole breast there, over years, until they finally died of cancer. And two of their daughters look like their clones...
So in addition to this literary (!?) contribution, I've chipped in toward Susanna's pledges. She has surpassed her original goal and revised it up to $1000 - let's put her over the top!
UPDATE: Last Page has a few words.