Subourbon Mom

Mammary Jack-in-the-Box

There’s something about hitting your forties that stirs up a civil war inside your psyche, or at least it did for me. Part of me (a large part) is vain. I still strive to keep the muffin top from lopping completely over my waistband, I hide the gray streaks under a veneer of bleach, and I apply ridiculously over-priced creams to a face that I like to tell my kids shows “I had a fun life.” I go to the gym and flail around on the “I-limp-and-drool” every other day. I even have a pill tray so I can keep track of my vitamins, glucosamine, calcium and allergy meds. At least I’m not on the cholesterol/diabetes/heart medicine train just yet. And, for the most part, I’m pretty happy with how I look.

But I’m beginning to have some setbacks.

At the beginning of the summer I took my daughters to a consignment store called Plato’s Closet. This store is great, stocking name brand clothes for teenagers (and those hopeful they might still be able to wear them) at deeply discounted prices. In fact, I have gotten a few J.Crew and Banana Republic shirts there myself. This time, however, I made a grave mistake. I tried on the tank tops.

While my daughters flipped patiently among the racks, I snuck to the back of the store and spied several cute tank tops that weren’t too young, or too slutty, or splattered with Aeropostale across the front. With a gleam in my eye and a prance in my comfortable mom-approved New Balance sneakers, I dove into the changing room to try them on.

Guess what? They didn’t fit.


Apparently, the makers of teen-age tank tops long ago realized something I had not: Teen-age boobs are not located in the same place on your body as “I’ve had two kids” boobs. In fact, there is anywhere from a half-inch to a THREE-inch difference!

So, still innocent of this bitter pill I would soon have to swallow (right after I choke down another calcium pill because you have to take them three times a day), I tried pulling the tank tops down, only to have them ride up again until they looked like some awkward, Victorian-cut nightie. My boobs were happily bouncing beneath the seam, making me look like a dog who’s had a few too many puppies. So I tried another one that looked more forgiving. With a vague feeling of desperation I made one last try. I took each boob in hand and tried to tuck it into the empty space in the shirt where they should rest. They looked great until I moved, then out popped each one, like a crazy mammary Jack-in-the-Box.

And don’t get me started on the jeans! Thankfully I had sense enough to know they were never gonna fit my forty-year-old ass. I mean, look at how they fit on the teenagers. Low-rise waists can’t hide their hormone-in-the-chicken-and-milk muffin tops, and they certainly didn’t make the tramp stamp folded in half on their lower backs look any better, although I have to admit there is something mildly entertaining about trying to figure out what the stamp actually is when you can only see half of it. Half a butterfly or angel looks a lot like a “W”, which I assume stands for WIDE–hey, if the tattoo fits… Anyway, if fourteen-year-old girls can’t wear those jeans and look good, you know an ass that’s sunk two inches and flattened like a pancake isn’t going to fit.

But I took heart in knowing that:

a) Pretty soon I’ll be like my older brother and will just give up entirely (he admits this–this is not intended as an insult!). Then he won’t be able to make jokes about my not knowing what color my hair actually is.
b) I will never have to worry about whether I have on my good undies (you know, the ones where the elastic waistband is still covered by cotton) when I wear my mom-waisted jeans, and
c) I can afford to buy the good bras and Spanx that put everything (temporarily) where it should be. Deal with that, Teenagers Who Still Have To Bum Money Off Your Parents! I may not have your bodies, but I only have a few more years to fight the good fight. You’re just entering the ring.

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

It’s not “giving up”. It’s accepting who and what you are. Saves alot of energy. Sincerely, your older, and wiser, brother.


Comment by Danny

My dear, older & wiser (i’ll be the first to admit it) brother, No offense intended….I knew you wouldn’t be able to let it go. You’re such a lawyer! 🙂


Comment by libbyhall

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