“I said I love you and that’s forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.”
~ Billy Joel
We were on the phone when he said, “How would you feel about getting your breasts lifted?”
“I’m sorry, what?”
He thought it wouldn’t be much of a “procedure” and that maybe I would consider it.
“It’ll make you look younger.”
Looking back on it, why did I respond the way I did? I mean, why did I even continue talking to him.
What could I have been thinking?
Maybe I wasn’t thinking. (Give yourself a break honey, you were lonely.)
I do remember having enough presence of mind to know that there probably wasn’t any way I could “explain” to him exactly what all was wrong with his request.
Where would I begin?
How about with something like, “Uh, these are my breasts, not yours to make any suggestion about whatsoever.”
Or how about, “I appreciate that you might want my breasts to ‘look younger,’ but I don’t consider having ‘younger-looking breasts’ to be a particular goal of mine.”
Or how about, “You know what? Goodbye.”
Of course, by not saying any of that, or much of anything at all, I allowed him to think that I didn’t mind his little “suggestion” about such a little “procedure,” and he took my silence to mean he could make others.
“Have you ever thought about having red hair?”
“You know they do wonderful things with thighs these days?”
In bed with the man I’m married to now. The lights were dimmed, we were cuddling, and he was petting me and holding me close to him.
“I’m so glad we’re the same age,” he murmured.
Oh, my god, say that again.
“What do you mean, you’re glad we’re the same age?”
“I love holding your body,” he went on. “I love holding all that it has been and all that it is now.”
He loved how soft I was. He loved my pendulous breasts. He loved my soft skin. He loved that I “bubbled out” in places.
“I particularly like that you bubble out,” he said, grabbing one of those places where I happen to “bubble out” to demonstrate just how much he liked it.
This is a man who has entirely embraced my real, flesh-and-blood body that mellows, changes and ages, that reveals a lifetime of pleasure and pain and does more than merely “represent” me—the body that is me.
This is a man who understands that my body tells my stories, holds my secrets and reveals what I have grieved over, hoped for and dreamed about.
Looking back at the Get-Your-Boobs-Lifted Guy, I realize now that his rejection of my body exactly as it was, with its signs of wear and tear, its hollows and plump spots, its full expression of my personality, was an implicit rejection of me and that very personality.
He was offering me a conditional, “I’ll love you if, let’s airbrush out the flaws” kind of love—a love that had less to do with me and who I was as a person than it had to do with him and the fantasies that existed in his head.
Sad to say, he wasn’t the only one I’d known who had “ideas” about my appearance. One of them didn’t mind sharing his credo that “The woman should never weigh more than the man.” Another said he was sorry, but he just couldn’t be with me because my ass was too big. And another was at the entire other end of the spectrum altogether claiming that it didn’t matter to him at all what I looked like, saying, “I love you, not what you look like.”
Needless to say, I am now reveling in the attention I get from my Same-Age-As-Me Man, the one who realizes that my body is not something to be shaped or dyed or operated upon to suit his desires. The one who also realizes that telling me that it doesn’t matter at all what I look like is akin to telling me that to some extent, I don’t exist.
Besides, it would be a lie. It does matter to him what I look like.
What I look like is me. It’s all of me, and that’s what he loves unconditionally.
All of me.
Exactly as I am.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Toby Israel