Mom’s New Boobs

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A year and
a half ago, my 47-year-old mother dropped 20 pounds, bleached her hair and divorced
her

husband of 18 years. My sister and I soon found out that these were just the
warm-ups for the main attraction. She took us both by the hand, and in her most
diplomatic, matriarchal tone said, "Girls, Mommy’s come to a decision–she’s
going to get new boobs."


Now, I have
never been to therapy, but no amount of it could have prepared me for that statement.
We weren’t talking about Pamela Anderson here–this was my white, middle-class,
middle-aged mother, who had always worked very hard to be there for her children
and instill good moral values. I just stared, mouth wide open, at my petite
mother with her French hips and tiny little bust line–annoyed that she
was still having body image issues. She looked the best I’d ever
seen her.


I piped
up with, "Mom, I really don’t think a boob job is the answer here."


"But
honey," she said, "you have boobs."


I suppose
I should mention that my body type is nothing like my mother’s. I am pushing
the Amazon height limit and have come to love my womanly, voluptuous curves
and broad shoulders from my father’s family. At this point all I could
muster up was a sarcastic, "Yeah, Mom, they came with the ass." We
laughed, and I realized that she was going to do exactly what she wanted.


Any kind
of task my mother sets out to do is always well-researched and extremely organized,
so I did my best to keep a straight face when she told me she had found a doctor
in Las Vegas. She found out about this doctor from her manicurist, who everyone
knows are the authorities on plastic surgeons. Apparently he was a perfectionist,
which instantly earned my mother’s respect.


My mother
lives about four hours from Las Vegas by car and could drive herself over, but
would need to be driven back. And, being the oldest child with the least demanding
schedule at the time, I was elected to become the chaperone/chauffeur. I couldn’t
decide which was more insane, driving to Vegas to enhance my mother’s breasts,
or driving to Vegas midday in July.


We had to
go to the doctor’s office before checking into our hotel–as a patient
of this clinic you didn’t stay in a hospital, they put you up in a hotel
right off the strip. What kind of place was this going to be? I was expecting
Elvis–fat Elvis–to greet us in the doorway where the lights were so
bright it made sense for him to wear those hideous aviator sunglasses. Then
a guy in a tux with Wayne Newton’s hair would be escorted by two jacked,
stacked and smacked showgirls wearing the latest models with different
colored tit-tassels for you to choose from as your free "gift with purchase."


Much to
my disappointment it was a run-of-the-mill suburban doctor’s office, no
sequins or spotlights in sight. Although I was reassured when I saw a sign on
the door that read No Firearms Allowed.


I began
surveying the waiting room to see who might be getting what done, and wondered
if they were thinking the same of me. I noticed all of the doctor’s credentials
hanging in a cluster on the wall, like a plastic surgery collage, and was amused
that they were all degrees from Brigham Young University. In the town where
I grew up, the Mormon Church was very present, and I had a few friends in my
circle whose families chose that faith. What I remembered most were the hormone-filled
teenage boys who denied themselves sex until they married–by the age of
20 at the latest. So it made sense to me that a Mormon guy would choose a profession
in which he was able to look at a variety of naked female bodies all day.


The waiting
room experience was over when a very perky young woman named Jennifer–who
was obviously still saving up for her employee discount nose job–brought
us back to the examination room. She told us the doctor would be right in, and
that my mother should change into the one-size-fits-all piece of paper and lie
down on the exam table.


After 20
minutes of me rolling my eyes, shaking my head and my mother telling me to behave
myself or go wait outside, the doctor entered. He was tall, lanky and silent,
and, like most doctors, barely had a clue as to why this woman was in his office.
He scanned my mother’s chart. "…So, Grace, you’re here for
a breast augmentation." Then he began his examining, poking and prodding
my mother’s breasts and nipples. "Well, you don’t have any droop–as
in, your nipples aren’t pointing to the ground." I knew I was a mature
adult, but never thought I would have to live through the experience of a man
analyzing the state of my mother’s nipples.


He asked
her to stand up against a blue backdrop and pulled out a Polaroid camera. All
I could think was how easily this could turn into one of those spam messages
in my AOL mailbox: Before and After Boobies! Every Shape and Size: click
here!
Whenever I’m a little nervous or uncomfortable I have a tendency
to crack jokes, so I shared my thoughts with the group. This did not amuse the
doctor. I decided to keep quiet in the corner.


After the
photo shoot, he handed Jennifer a folder, then looked at my mother and said,
"I’ll be right back, but while I’m gone I’d like you to
take a look through this and get an idea of the shape and size you would like
your breasts to be."


I thought
"this" would be a catalog of medical photographs of women who’d
had this type of surgery.


No.


It was porn.
Playboy, Penthouse, all your standards. Yet another scenario where
my therapy would have failed me. I personally have no problems with pornography,
but was not exactly thrilled about looking at it with my mother. In fact, the
words mother and pornography shouldn’t even be in the same
sentence.


She finally
made her breast selection. So what if they just happened to be attached to a
platinum blonde wearing a dog collar and straddling a treasure chest? Jennifer
agreed with my mother on her new set of C’s and explained how to fill out
the paperwork so that she would be sure to get the 25-year warrantee on her
new boobs. I couldn’t decide if–nor did I want to know why–this
was a good or bad thing.


The doctor,
who had really begun to irritate me, returned with a few saline implants and
apparently a sense of humor, because as he looked at me he said, "Here,
catch," and there was a saline breast flying through the air at my face.
I was so mortified that all I could focus on was how badly I wanted to run out
of there screaming. A few minutes later I politely excused myself to seek comfort
in a Diet Coke, and called my sister to tell her how much she owed me for this.


My mother’s
surgery was a success. I had to listen to an anesthesiologist, four nurses and
the doctor tell me how perfect her boobs looked. I couldn’t believe this
was my life.


My mom and
"the girls," as she so adoringly refers to them, are getting along
just fine now. I’m amazed at how natural they look, although there are
times when I think, God those things are huge. I told her the next time
she feels a midlife crisis coming on to get a Porsche and a 25-year-old boyfriend–you
know, something I can play with.


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