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    BWS Stories - "You're So Vain"...Celebrating Physical Changes

    "You're So Vain"...Celebrating Physical Changes - Mammary Monologue

    Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For book info or for a free subscription to her freelance writing newsletter, visit Freelancing Later in Life at

    Mammary Monologue

    My breasts talk. They don’t actually speak the words out loud, but they do in fact convey mounds—no pun intended—of information. The first to inform me of my pregnancies, their tender condition also alerts me to hormonal haywires and monthly mood swings. A proverbial pair, they provide more news than the AP and Reuters combined.

    Thrilled when they sprouted—about the size of bean sprouts—around age eleven, I had no idea the role they’d come to play. Not every role was successful.

    Enhanced by my padded bra in junior high school, they were successful at luring the likes of Ricky Cox. A boy like that would only be attracted to a girl with developing breasts. Little did I know that the lumpy, bumpy padded bras of yesteryears told tales of their own under skin-tight turtle necks. “Falsies” became part of my adolescent vocabulary after Ricky Cox dumped me for a well-endowed seventh grader.

    In high school bras were burned and breasts bounced freely. Unaware of gravity’s wrath, I took their fullness and buoyancy for granted. Blessed with ample stares and ample cleavage, I reveled in the glory of my chesty stature. Boys reveled when halter tops were in style.

    My breasts disappointed me in motherhood. Determined to nurture my first-born as any baby-boomer post-hippy flower child would, I failed miserably at nursing my son. Despite efforts at drinking extra liquids, using hot compresses, and employing tactics of massage and relaxation, they simply wouldn’t produce enough milk.

    “The well’s run dry,” the midwife said, shaking her head at my lack of lactating.

    Maturity found me making appointments with my breasts—tracing their streets and avenues each month with a road map. A false alarm sent them to be embraced by the cold steel of modern medicine. I watched sisters young and old face tragedy and triumph in the wake of their discoveries. Mine remained mundane, yet healthy. I’ve thanked them often during our conversations.

    Middle age hasn’t been kind to these maturing mammaries. Scarred with results—or lack thereof—of diets, overeating, and the birth of five children, their firmness is gone and their resilience sagging.

    Still they remain faithful. Soft and warm, they cradle my children and cushion many hugs. I pray that one day they’ll cuddle grandchildren. Presently gravity continues to wage its relentless war. My fighting back is futile. Hand weights and Victoria’s Secret offer temporary help.

    What about old age? Will it take its toll? Who cares? By then I’ll have succumbed to modern innovations like gel bras and cleavage glitter. I’ll do whatever it takes. Undoubtedly one day it will pay off. My breasts told me so.

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