Last Saturday, I pulled all my dresses out of the closet and put them on, one by one, to see how they fit my new physique. Let’s face it, my torso is crafted somewhat differently now. A double mastectomy will do that for you. I was somewhat surprised to find that dresses I never thought would be passable fit great and some that I thought for sure would be keepers are headed for the thrift store. Life’s like that, full of little surprises.
Me being me, I can never just let something like that go. It intrigued me, the various ways that exercise could have played out. It is a very different scenario to shop in a store for clothes when you have no breasts than to try on your own dresses, one at a time, dresses that pre-surgery looked fabulous (why else would I have bought them?) and now have the potential to hammer home the obvious, again and again and again. Yet nothing happened. No mood swing into the Netherlands, no reflection staring back encouraging self-doubt; just an incongruous happiness and feeling of freedom.
I am still baffled that not having breasts doesn’t bother me. There I was, trying on dress after dress, and all I could think about was that they looked better now than when the girls were trapped in there longing for freedom. The dresses that didn’t work I considered taking to a seamstress to take in the chest area, but decided I didn’t like them enough to make the investment.
Still, fit or not, it turned out to be great fun shopping in my own closet, each familiar dress unveiled as a potential new look and actually turning out to be just that, a brand new look for me. As a bonus, dresses I hadn’t worn in years, because I didn’t have the right bra, were no longer a problem. No more bra straps showing, no more side body flesh smooshed up into unnatural contours that none of us has when were not trussed up in a brassiere. Now, everything sits as it should, no fuss or muss. Clothes fit or they don’t, without consideration for the correct holsters for the ladies. No cramming or squashing or squeezing. Me and the dress, that’s it.
The women out there know what I’m talking about. I’ve never met a bra I really liked, and when you do finally find one that fits, it is guaranteed to wear out in three-to-four months and you’ll need a new one. By that time, the company that makes it will either have discontinued it or made enough changes to it that it’s unrecognizable and unwearable. Sure, we all flip longingly through the Victoria Secret catalogs, but my profession does not include sitting still in my underwear for a camera with most of my breast strategically on display, so let’s be realistic on that front. If you want what she’s wearing, be prepared to be sporting some serious cleavage. It is a great look for date night with your spouse, but not so great a look for the office.
Can you tell I love the new me? Granted, life threw lemons at me so I’m making gallons of lemonade, but consider it. What would life be like without the trappings of convention? Without the requirement of a breast code that ensures we fit into the social circle we have been thrown into? Me, I swim along with everyone else without a sideways glance. I feel like I’m the lucky winner of some sort of free breast pass. It’s kind of cool, if I do say so myself.
Okay, before I sign off, I want to remind everyone, attitude is everything. I think my free pass come from the fact that I have given myself a free pass. I neither call attention to nor detract from the changes in my physique. Honestly, I don’t give them a second thought. I am wearing the same wardrobe pre- and post-mastectomy with the exception of a bag of bras I couldn’t donate to Good Will fast enough. My clothes are an expression of the joy I feel to be blessed to hitch a ride in this body for this life. Are yours?