This is Day 2 of a 21-day effort to see the good in what might, at first, look like an irredeemable drag. Its name comes from a classic bit of dialogue uttered by actor Kevin Bacon in the comedy classic of my generation, Animal House.
One side effect of carrying around a few extra el-bees is a proportional increase in the chestal area. For the first time since...oh, hell, high school? college? (maybe some of you lurking ex-es could chime in), I have significant boobage.
From the cultural cues that surround us, you'd think this would be a good thing. In most respects, however, it's a colossal pain in the assets. I've always liked small boobs, both from an aesthetic and practical point of view. As have my various partners. (At least, as far as I know. Lurker exes?) Not only did my tiny breasteses look great in and out of clothes, but unlike those of my well-endowed sisters, my own girls required virtually no maintenance from a containment perspective.
No more. I've been sensing for a while now that my old "bras" (aka a wardrobe of dago tees) weren't cutting it anymore. No matter that I wash and dry them on the hottest settings, replace them dutifully each spring, and wear a fresh, tight one each day: I've moved from a barely-A to a big man-handful, and no amount of cotton ribbing and denial is enough to keep things under control. And the few actual brassieres I bought for Casual Mom audition drag are a good six years and 1.5 cup sizes past their usefulness.
Because brother, I hate bra shopping almost as much as I hate bra-wearing. From a physical or political perspective, they're equally annoying. Why the hell should I have to sacrifice time, money and comfort for the sake of propriety, otherwise known as the reigning sex's inability to keep their eyes off the prizes? If I don't mind my tits winding up the low-hanging victims of gravity, how they dangle should be my own damned business.
Alas, I live in a world where others will look, either askance or lecherously, and I'm not enough of a booby buddha to not let it get to me. So for all my feminist decrying, the bottom line is that mainly, I've just been too cheap and too lazy to do anything about it.
Until yesterday. I had an errand to run in that hideous sprawl just east of Los Angeles known as the Inland Empire, home to the biggest IKEA in all the Southland as well as, it seems, some of our more revolting specimens of masculinity. Despite my very obviously being dressed so as to not solicit attention of any kind, baggy cargos, loose, long-sleeved tee and the ubiquitous dago underneath, many of these charming gents gave me the surreptitious once-over. Whatever. Some people really don't have enough excitement in their lives.
Then, in the parking lot of an adjacent mall, one of them openly stared straight at my boobs and, before he was out of eyeline, much less earshot, cracked to his equally vile friend, "See? Like those, bouncing all over the place."
At first, I was incensed. This roly-poly cholo, this marginalized weeble in oversized baby clothes, dares malign me and my few extra ounces of bouncy old lady-flesh? Fuuuuuuuuuuck you, esé. I'm the revolution, baby; I'm an Agent of Change. I'm your mother, your sister, your daughter (well, more like your abuelita, really); how would you feel if some punk piece of trash guero caught one of them in their own vile line of fire?
And just as quickly, the flame of anger burned off and I realized the truth: I was no better, and arguably far worse than they. My lowest-common-denominator thinking, my impulse to objectify them rather connect with any common humanity was as foul as anything I was condemning in them. So what if I wasn't as out-loud-obnoxious about it? That sprung from common sense and an instinct for survival, not anything noble.
Plus, there was the stark physical truth that they had pointed out, however rudely: my containment system was overtaxed, my meatflaps were flopping all over, and if I wanted to continue to fly under the radar, it was time to walk into Ross Dress for Less and, er, take matters in hand. Which I did, albeit in a grumbling sort of way. (If bra shopping is ever fun, it is not under these circumstances.) The universe, sensing my delicate mood, graciously directed me to six models on the tangled rack, three of which not only fit, but set me back a mere twenty bucks total. I did a patented Actor Change™ in the car, and poof!, back under the radar I went.
Teachers: wherever you are, I thank you. I thank you for reminding me that I, too, am a pig, that some hills are not worth dying on and that sometimes, the solution is actually crazy simple.
Two boobs from the barrio put two boobs in a bra.
Nice symmetry, that...
Image by wolfheadfilms via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.