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Breast Ambitions

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 PERSONAL ESSAYS


Breast Ambitions by Lisa Carver

“Fake boobs?! You are going to suffer, take medical risks and pay lots of money to put plastic inside your body!?” That’s what my estranged husband Jean-Louis cried out when I told him my plan. I don’t think I would’ve actually gone ahead with breast implants if he hadn’t. I don’t particularly

mind being told what to do, but just try telling me not to do something and a perverse part of me rushes into action. Warnings are just invitations to a person like me. Once, a doctor I was dating forbade me to eat candy and ice cream. I promptly went on a Reese’s sundae binge and broke up with him on the most intense sugar buzz of my life.

    

It wasn’t only Jean-Louis I wanted to defy. I also wanted to slap the face of destiny. Who says I have to have the same size breasts all my life? Who says I have to accept nature? No, I’ll go out and get what I want! Real boobs are overrated to begin with. “Real” is what someone else (chance, genes, whatever) made. I want to create myself by force. Born poor and discreetly-breasted, I decided to make myself rich and indiscreet. “I hate and renounce as a coward every being who consents to live without first having recreated himself,” said Antonin Artaud. That might be a bit extreme, but when one can get a drug-addicted, impoverished French poet to support one’s views, well then . . .

    

Don’t get me wrong — I love small tits. For twenty-eight years, I was perfectly happy with my breasts. I just decided my breasts and I could use a little distance from each other — about two inches. I saw these imagined bionic tits as dual engines capable of hurling me into the upper class.Why would I want to go there? Curiosity. Rich people have a secret language and secret customs that I know I’ll never get right, but I always wanted to give it a shot.

    

If you’re a poor person, the anarchists feel bad for you, the Democrats feel bad about themselves, and the capitalists just wanna screw you over. Which one would you like to have flirtatious banter with? Growing up on welfare, I never wanted pity, I never wanted help. I wanted to alter reality with force. I didn’t want to complain about the power structure; I wanted tobecome a power structure.

    

So early this summer I marched my supply-side self into the office of Dr. Winkler. The first thing he said to me was, “Let’s see if you’re a candidate for plastic surgery. Open your

shirt.” When I did, he immediately said I was a candidate. A little too immediately, I thought. Hey, they were little, but they were mine.

    

Dr. Winkler showed me a photo album of 4,000 pairs of breasts, before and after. Wow, breasts have a lot of personality! They come in the shape of every piece of fruit in the fruitbasket, and they all aim in different directions. Some point down, some appear to be trying to hide in the underarms, some confront the viewer head-on. And there’s a vast spectrum of nipple color.

    

Dr. Winkler took my future insert out of a drawer and handed it to me — a round, hard sac of plastic and salt water that would be inserted into the sliced-open muscle wall of my chest. My scar tissue would soon be growing on this sac like barnacles to the hull of a ship. Foreign matter inside my body — I felt hi-tech.

    

Dr. Winkler asked if I had any questions. “Yeah — what happened to Tori Spelling?” I wasn’t trying to be a smart ass — I really wanted to know how she could still look so deformed after all those surgical enhancements, and I thought maybe this guy could tell me.

    

“Who?”

    

90210 . . . the TV show . . .”

    

“Oh, I don’t know about any of that. I don’t watch those shows.”

    

I pictured my surgeon so busy boobering he didn’t have any time for TV — slicing breasts open day and night, continuously, relentlessly, humorlessly. It was a reassuring vision.

    

I arrived at surgery three days later at 6:30 a.m. — a half-hour early in my excitement, and $5,000 poorer. A nurse had me remove my clothes, watch, rings, bracelet and contact lenses, leaving me totally blind and naked. She handed me a johnny and led me to the operating room, where I Iay on a hard, skinny table under a hot light, surrounded by blurry faces. Dr. Winkler said, “Any

last questions?”

    

“Yes. What will you make the incision with?” I asked. I was hoping he would say a laser.

    

He said, “A knife. A very sharp knife.”

    

I said, “Okay. Don’t tell me any more.”

    

The anesthesiologist stabbed me, and I barely had time to say, “My ears are flying!” before I was gone. That was the last thing I said as a small-breasted woman. The first thing I said as a robust woman was: “Ow. Owwwww. Morphine. Please. More. Owww. It hurts.” I must’ve liked saying that, because I just kept on repeating it for about seven hours. Then my friends Melissa and Robert came and picked me up. On the way to their house, I started crying every time we went ’round a turn. At first it hurt to breathe; after a few hours I could breathe okay, but talking now became the enemy. When I needed more Percocet, I’d call for Melissa, cursing each syllable in her name. Existence at that moment would have been so much easier if only she was “Jane” or “Fay.” I lay on their couch for five hours in a strange land of Percocet, pain and updates on the UPS labor strikes. It was the only thing I could stand to listen to. Robert put on music at one point and the gyrating, raucous cacophony almost made me throw up. Here’s something you won’t read in Cosmopolitan: my chest muscles were so stiff and any movement was so painful, I couldn’t even wipe myself after peeing. Melissa and I got closer than we ever thought we’d be.

    

At the end of four hours I could move my forearms. After forty-eight, I could separate my upper arms from my body. I looked like a big bug — all hunched over my boobs, arms cradling them. I didn’t want them to jiggle even a millimeter or touch anything. After four days, I could drive, as long as I didn’t need to turn. The Percocet kept me from having bowel movements, so my stomach started to bloat. Eventually I was packing seven days worth of meals. I imagined Pamela Anderson Lee in my condition — a big bug full of shit — and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at her the same again. Pain is so weird. It’s not that it hurts exactly — you’re just in another dimension. There is no such thing as boredom or interest in Pain World. There’s just nothing, in which you float, unpleasantly. I lived in there for a week.

    

Finally that glorious day arrived: the eighth day, when I woke up and didn’t wish I was dead. I examined myself naked in the full-length mirror and was stunned. What a babe! My face looked different sitting above these happy knockers: more womanly, knowing.There was a new layer of sensuality to my being. Looking out from the mirror at me was an indolent housewife — the type likely to wear a silk robe and do something bad with the repairman. I felt very happy, and very dirty.

    

My friend Matt brought me groceries and was the first to feel my new tits. He choked.They’re hard as rocks. Mountains, really, for I am stacked! They hold up my bras rather than vice versa.

    

We went out to buy clothes. Every outfit I tried on, all I could see was those proud bazoombas, and I felt . . . cheap! I felt like I ought to be against the law. I’ve never felt cheap before in my life — and believe me, there’s been plenty to feel cheap about. (To this, Matt said, “You’ve spent a lot of money to feel cheap.”)

    

In the past, when I heard mighty-breasted women professing to feel shy about their endowment, I thought they were all insane. Now I’ve joined them. Every tight shirt that used to make me look sleek suddenly made me look like a 15-year-old mall slut. I ran out of the store without

buying anything. I’ll get over it quickly, I’m sure. Most girls get months or even years to get used to having big breasts — I developed mine in an hour!

    

There is an irony to all this: I have realized lately that my new breasts haven’t improved my social standing at all — I just moved horizontally along the lower class rung. Classy people, it turns out, don’t get boob jobs! Face lifts maybe, boob jobs no way. It’s poor folks who always want things bigger (witness the twenty-four ounce Budweiser). Old money people have small, tasteful breasts kept firm by one-hour sessions with Jakob in and out of the swimming pool. My tasteless, bulging breasts announce me to the world as the tacky nouveau riche that I am (and love).

    

As for my destiny-changing theory: if God is in everything, then God is in my implants too, so I’m not even flipping Him off. I’m not class-leaping, I’m not even all that hi-tech, truth be told: all I am different is big-boobed. And that’ll do.

    

So . . . you wanna feel them?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Carver is the author of the books Dancing Queen, Rollerderby, The Lisa Diaries and Drugs Are Nice. She’s written for Hustler, Index, Icon, Feed, Newsday and Playboy, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.

©1997 Lisa Carver and Nerve.com