Date of writing: September 23, 2014…
I can’t sleep. I’m so excited!! I am two days away from undergoing breast reduction surgery, and I just can’t wait. So since it’s 3:30 AM and I don’t have to be to work for hours yet, I decided to blog about what led me to this point.
This blog is about my gargantuan boobies, and how I had to get them literally off. my. chest.
For those of you who know me – you know that I have been the chairwoman of the Tig-Ol-Bitty Committee since its inception. No lie – I was wearing a C cup in elementary school. Now think about that for a minute. Think about all the running around that kids do. Think about how you, with your adult C cup (or your wife’s) may not like to jump up and down a lot without a bra on. Now imagine an 8-year old girl having to sit back and NOT jump rope with the other kids. Children are assholes and I just didn’t want to be the brunt of the bouncy jokes. Now you may say to your adult self that I should have been stronger. Or if you know me now you can never imagine that I would be too timid to do ANYTHING. Well, that’s Adult Joy. Child and Teenager Joy let her bra size rule her life. Here is a list of things that I DIDN’T do because I thought I was too heavy-chested:
Cheerleader. My friend Melita was a cheerleader in middle school and I was SO jealous. Not in a mean-spirited kind of way, but in a “gee, I wish I could do that” kind of way. But here’s the thing – I didn’t even try out. It never occurred to me that I might have been able to make the squad, because I had never seen a cheerleader with oversized boobs. I also didn’t try to run track, or play sports.
Dancer. I love dancing. I really do. But again – no dancers with giant boobs. A gym teacher actually said this to me in high school. He was very compassionate about it, by trying to tell me that my proportions were probably going to stop me from getting very far in dance, because my balance would be affected. So from that point on, I just gave up trying to be sporty. My last hurrah in dance was when I helped my friend Ayanay choreograph her tryout piece for the Mahogany in Motion dancers at Morehouse College. I helped her with the intro. It gave me immense pleasure to know that she made the team, and I helped a little bit. For me, it was like I made the team. That was a great feeling, even if it was mostly vicarious. LOL! I often wonder how my life might have been different if I had been a dancer, or a cheer leader, or ran track, or something.
The one thing I was good at (that was dance-adjacent) was stepping. That was my thing! I had one thing I could do and I wore it out! Shout out to Takasha and the rest of the D.O.A. crew from high school!! I went on to step with my college freshman dorm, and later with my sorority – at least until my knee crapped out on me for good. Then I coached. Now I just watch So You Think You Can Dance. LOL.
SN: I did like to ride my bike, but one day in the summer before 6th grade, I rode to a neighbor’s house and got bit by their dog. That was the last time my mom let me out. A couch potato was born. Hello, Atari. And I still play video games. Like, I’m probably doing that right now somewhere. Xbox is my competitive sport.
Sigh – I know I am painting a very sad picture, but I need people to understand exactly how this works. And if you have a female child who is developing fast, this might help you a little bit.
So let’s move beyond the high school drama and get deeper into college. It wasn’t until I got to college that I even began to realize that big boobs could be an asset. Aside from the male attention I was getting, I discovered that if I put on my one-and-only interview suit, and went to the liquor store at 6:00 pm, I didn’t get carded. Apparently nobody would think that a 5’7” woman with DD’s, in heels and a suit would be less than 21. I was 18. Ha! Take THAT America! I also got my share of free stuff – extra candy at the movies, maybe a free soda at the bar, or whatever. Perks. Gotta love ‘em. Back then I was a 38DD. Ah, the good old days.
Now, let’s move into Adult Joy – the Joy that most of you are familiar with. Hard-won self-esteem, great personality, seemingly fearless, you know – ME. And by the time I was out of college, I had fully embraced my giant knockers. By this time I was a 38DDD. Extra D means another inch to the boobs. I think they grew because I had tried birth control pills for a year to try to mitigate some uterine fibroid issues (and here’s a big MIDDLE FINGER to anyone who tries to deny birth control to women. It’s not about being a whore – it’s about migraines and anemia and 7 day-periods and a bunch of other shyt. So bite me!!)
Where was I? Oh yeah – so adult Joy is now a 38DDD and I’m cool with it. I can’t close a blazer or wear button-down shirts, but that’s okay. I look like this:
And I looked like this for TEN YEARS. I’m actually 32 or so in this picture. But then, hormones or body changes or something kicked in, and my boobs started to GROW. AGAIN!! (cue Psycho horror music)
The first thing I noticed was that my boobs were sticking out the tops of my bras. I had the quadraboob thing going on. Big-breasted girls know what I mean. My bras were too small. Since when? I’m thinking. Then I noticed that I was starting to get irritation under my arms from the underwires, and I developed other skin issues associated with large breasts. Ugh! Dammit! Why is this happening? I’m still not 100% sure what was going on, but just know that between 2003 and 2013, I jumped from a 38DDD to a 42-J. Yes, that is a J as in “Jesus! Those are some big tit-tays!” LOL
For those that are not sure what that means, here are a few ways to think about it.
1) Each additional letter beyond DDD is another inch in cup size (distance from rib cage to boob tip). DDD is already 8 inches. Count with me. E-F-G-H-I-J. That is ANOTHER 6 inches. I have the equivalent of twice as much boob as I did when I graduated from college. Or add another 6 inches to the picture above.
2) Pick up two newborn babies and strap them both to your rib cage. Walk around for a few years.
3) Try this. Sit in a chair, and put your hands on your upper thighs. At this point, my boobs touch my wrists. When I say my ENTIRE torso is covered in breasteses, I mean it. I mean – look at this nonsense…
So now that you understand exactly how big 42-J is, let me tell you all the funny things that happened to me in the last 6 months that made me decide to finally go through with the breast reduction.
Trauma #1: Vacation Dismay
I went to Puerto Vallarta for my 40th birthday this year, with my girlfriends. And I bought a new swimsuit for the trip. Now, I have been wearing standard one-piece suits my whole life. But I’m feeling fancy so I go buy a tank-top two piece. It’s a boy-short bottom with a little dress-type tank top that flares out from the ribs. Really cute. But I’m not going to even tell you how emotionally disturbing it is to know that you have to buy a size 26 swimsuit top. That’s the size I had to go up to in order for my boobs to fit in the bra part of the top. I was determined to get it though.
Day three of vacation – I take my new swimsuit to the public beach about ½ mile from our villa. That was the LONGEST WALK OF MY LIFE. I am not a gym rat, but I’m not THAT damn out of shape either. Yo, I couldn’t even WALK 0.5 miles down the beach! The tank top tied around my neck – something I had never tried before – and my boobs pulled SO HARD on my neck that it was pulling my whole torso forward and I was literally carrying my boobs in a sling down the beach. It was too much. True story – I had so much trouble walking in the sand with this dead weight on my neck that at one point I just gave my towel to my friends and jumped in the water and SWAM down the beach. It was easier to swim than to walk, because boobs float. I almost took my top OFF, it hurt so bad. (I didn’t. I ain’t crazy). And speaking of swimming…
Trauma #2: Pool Problems
After I got back from vacation I decided that I needed to focus on losing weight and maybe getting some relief from my lower back problems through swimming and stretching. Let’s address swimming first. I have been swimming for years. I actually swam a mile as my new record last year. I can swim. I know I can. But all of a sudden, my new Speedo swimsuit – exact same make and model as the previous version that died in the washing machine – it didn’t fit. The chest stretched so far as to make fuzzy stretch marks on the lycra. YES. MY SWIMSUIT HAD STRETCH MARKS. I wanted to swim though, so I figured I would go ahead and hit the pool, and worry about the suit later. Mistake. I start swimming and I slowly realize that my stroke feels strange. I am not coordinated like I used to be just last year. Only 6 months since I’d done my mile in the pool. Nobody forgets that fast. Then I realize – my boobs are messing with my stroke. They extend out under my arm and were totally screwing up my rhythm. I adjusted by torqueing my upper body more in order to clear my boob, when – surprise – my left breast decides to just jump out of my suit. So now I am trying to swim in a public pool with one toddler-sized titty hanging out of the top of my suit. And by the way – I am light-skinned and the suit is black, so you immediately could see that something was ‘off’ under the water. I had to stop every 4-5 strokes to put my boobs back together. Finally, after maybe three laps, I just got out. I gave up. It was like swimming with loose balloons tied to my neck. At least I know I will never drown.
Trauma #3: Yoga Death
This last example is the most ridiculous. I mentioned earlier that I was trying swimming AND stretching to relieve my lower back issues, and at the suggestion of my chiropractor I took a yoga class. Well, the first class went pretty well. I did about 80% of the poses and had improved by the end of the class. I felt good enough about it that I went back. And this time, I tried all of the poses including the one where you really stretch your lower back. I think it’s called ‘plow pose’. So here’s how you do this pose: you lie on your back and bring your legs up off the ground, straight into the air. Then you try to bring your toes down over the top of your head to touch the floor. So in essence you bend yourself in half, with your back on the ground. I could do this. I am very flexible. I bend over and touch my toes all the time. But what I didn’t plan for was gravity. I had to rock back and forth a couple of times to get my but high enough to fold over on myself, and when I did I got an unexpected surprise. Just as I am exhaling to put my toes over my head, here come the boobies, like an avalanche, headed straight for my face. And then this position forced them to be squished into my face. Yes, I motorboated myself. The only issue was that there was no room to move – or breathe. I had just exhaled and my boobs created a seal with my nose and mouth in between them. So I laid there, suffocating, trying to hold the pose for at least a few seconds. And then, in the middle of this quiet meditative room you hear “……..GASP!” Like Wesley and Buttercup coming up out of the sand pit in The Princess Bride.
That’s enough of the traumatization of having big boobs. Here are some other things that I have noticed that I do, that other people do not do:
1) I tend to sit leaning forward; trying to hide my boobs under the table, which in actuality only forces my cleavage forward into eyesight. Whoops. This also makes me seem like I am not taking whatever meeting I am in seriously, because I used to lean on one hand. I have modified this to look like I am totally engaged. But really I’m hiding my boobs.
2) I lean forward to eat because if I drop food, it doesn’t land in my lap. It lands 4 inches from my chin, on my boobs. And I look like a slob. This is why you hardly ever see me eat anything with sauce or gravy in public.
3) When nobody is around… I rest my boobs on the table in front of me to give my back a break.
4) I am constantly adjusting my bra. I thought everyone had issues with this, until someone pointed out to me that I was the only person doing that all the time. Like – all the time.
5) When I try to paint my toes myself, I have to move my boobs out of the way to reach my toes. What I usually do is put one boob on the outside of my thigh, and one on the inside, so I can lean down far enough to get to my toes. Normally, I just go get a pedicure. It’s easier.
6) We won’t even talk about how many showers I take in the summer to alleviate boob sweat.
Well, a month has passed since the day I wrote this. I had my reduction on Thursday September 25th. They removed a total of 7 POUNDS from my chest. I’M FREE!!!! And as soon as I come down off the painkillers, I might tell you how it’s going. So far – best decision I’ve made since I decided to go to Spelman. It’s THAT life-changing. More to come!
Rant 51 done, and I’m out!!!