Oh I said it. That’s not a typo up there.
I have (yet another) mid-life confession to make. Let me just start by saying that I have kind of been hiding under a proverbial rock lately, busy with a bunch of writing projects, and decided before this blog started to grow Charlotte’s inter-web, I needed to get something off my chest.
Interestingly enough, it actually involves my chest. The fact that there’s actually something going on up there in (my chest, or chestical area) that I’ve been waiting for since I was 16. You see, I was really excited to learn that I no longer fit in certain bras. And that, for-the-love-of-Victoria’s-Secret, miraculously, I think I MAY have gone up a bra size. And I’m not pregnant. Or nursing. Nor have I gotten any kind of work done. I swear. I may watch Ladies of London and The Real Housewives of Orange County, but I have no plans to join their botox or boob-augmentation party any time soon.
You have to understand that when your boobs (excuse me, breasts, or breasteses) start to grow (especially someone like me who never really had much up top and practically prayed at the altar of padded miracle bras), it’s kind of a big deal.
Boobage. You wait your whole life to have boobage. Sorry, mom, I mean breastage. (Not a word, I realize, but I’ll use it if it means my mom won’t be disappointed in me for writing this out loud.)
I had no idea I could actually grow “up top” AFTER having kids.
Hello Dolly, I’m beyond thrilled this happened naturally.
That is, until I realized what was really happening.
After going through my closet recently, on a quest to find the perfect outfit for an upcoming family wedding. (In D.C. In the winter, mind you.) I realized my push-up bra (from 2011) no longer fits.
“Mommy’s got ta-tas,” I whisper-sang to myself, as my daughter and I played dress up in my closet, trying to find a perfect dress for the occasion.
So I tried on one of my old favorite Pretty Woman-style-minus-the-hooker-plot-polka-dotted dresses without a bra, and thought I’d be on cloud nine.
Until I realized I couldn’t zip it up.
“Could you please help me with the zipper?”
My 11-year old daughter pulled, and stopped. I thought maybe the zipper was stuck.
Well, it was, in a sense.
“Mom, I’m sorry, but it’s not budging.”
I had tried to spanx my skin together with my fingers in that particular area, but the zipper wasn’t moving.
“Mom, how old is this dress?”
There was nowhere for the skin to go but out, dammit.
“I don’t know – I bought it for a special event, along with that one.”
Pointing to yet another formal dress that I’ve worn three times. (Maybe four, if you count that event where I had to leave early.)
“But when did you get them?”
I did the math. And realized I bought them in 2007. But they still looked brand new! Why? Because they have been sitting in my closet for EIGHT YEARS. Eight years. Almost nine! That’s a long time! (A nine year old can give advice on reprogramming an iPhone! I know first-hand, believe me!)
SO I realized it wasn’t that I had grown a bra size. I realized I had OUTGROWN my bras. And my dresses. And in the midst of it all, I had grown a little bit of…BACK FAT.
You know. Back fat?
That extra skin around the chestical area.
That causes a bra size to increase. Not in the cup size. BUT THE AREA AROUND THE BACK.
I remember going shopping with my aunts and grandmother EIGHT YEARS AGO and I would exchange giggly texts with my cousins because we never understood the need for those long, drapey, Mrs. Roper-inspired ensembles. They were for when we got older.
Golden Girl age. NOT 44!
After TRYING to zip up those gorgeous dresses (now being donated to younger friends who still have a sense of a younger-me-metabolism) I find myself at a loss. Although I embrace my body at this age and work out five times a week, I have to face the facts. I cannot save every nice item in my closet and expect to wear it year after year – unless it truly is in my size. And has some give. Which makes me understand, after 35 years, Mrs. Roper’s obsession with long, drapy ensembles.
“Are they shirts? Or dresses?” we’d joke.
I’m starting to understand the need for Golden Girl gear.
Long, flowy blouses, sweaters and jackets that hide the places crying to be Spanxed back together.
They need to cover the spaces that don’t need to be seen.
Yes, I’m fighting the mid-life metabolic pause. But I’m also trying to eat healthy and exercise and maintain my weight.
Not try to lose me in the process.
The next time I see a long sweater or blouse at the store, I promise not to call it Blanche.
Or Betty. Or Mrs. Roper.
I will pull it over my breastage, past the back fat, and embrace that Golden piece of clothing with a smile.