By Claudia Moss.
Before she identified us, as though we were standing in a line-up, her words a poke in the ribs, a shove to the shoulder or a definitive finger to the tip of the nose, we were nonexistent. Just twin mosquito bites with a dark-brown, unblinking eye on both sides of her chest. Not much different from her twin brother’s chest. And we were okay with that.
Yet, the moment shifted when Aunt Marion named us. Just like that.
Said it before everybody in the room: her oldest sister, my mother, my Aunt Suda, and my sister, all of whom had a “bosom.” That was Mama’s word for us. Maybe that’s why we caught her sister’s attention, us poking persistently through a white T-shirt, no training bra to tame us, considering Mama didn’t think us big enough to bother about hiding us respectfully away from society and its groping eyes. So, Aunt Marion opened her mouth and exercised her right to name us, as if God had given her dominion over everything under her gaze.
“Shotgun titties!” Everybody looked around, but there was no mistaking about whom she was speaking. We would have fainted and receded back wherever we’d come, if we weren’t smooched under tight cotton. The sound ripped into our preteen world and parted the curtain on everything that held no prior importance…until then.
Laughter fountained from every corner of our mother’s bedroom. We hardened in embarrassment. And as if her words weren’t enough, Aunt Marion made twin pistols of her hands and fired them at us. “Pow! Pow!” she joked, blowing the smoke from her manicured nails. “Bet those little peaks could hurt somebody in a traffic jam.”
That’s when she turned and raced out of the room, heading for her bedroom. Safe behind her locked door, we rose and fell on her chest for several long minutes, her belly trembling, until she could pull herself together. Then, she domed us lovingly under her palms, although the seed had already been planted. All we thought about from that moment on was how to get into the cup of a bra. With white pads. Obsessed, we were willing to do whatever to be larger and favor two perfect pyramids under blouse or dress, preferably her low-cut ones.
If other girls could boast of having to adjust their bra straps, their titties nestled daintily in A cups, then Mama should do the same for us. She owed us that. Didn’t she know her baby sister had already poured the cement for a major complex?
After that, we couldn’t go anywhere or meet anybody without studying her chest. Did she have boobs? Titties? Bump? A rack or a bosom? Floodlights? Flashlights? Candles? Party hats? Raisins? Breasts? Sugar babies or teats? Maybe, like my teacher Mrs. Ferguson said, “sugar teats,” molasses in cloth, like the slaves used to keep the babies quiet on the railroad to freedom? Every word I’d ever heard to name us seemed better than “mosquito bites,” though “shotgun” still left a sour taste in our mouths.
Months afterward, Mama eventually stood in Sears and Roebuck with a woman older than her measuring us, top and bottom, for our first bra. Why they insisted on referring to it as a “training” bra was a mystery? What was it supposed to be training us to do? Not be visible? Not show our nipples? Quit being so noticeable for hands other than our own to palm us? We never learned the answer to any of this trivia; the only thing we did learn was Mama’s commandments: “Keep these bras clean. Don’t go showing off at school. And, never come out of it for anyone, definitely not boys.” We tingled all the way from downtown to our front door.
And, would have promised Mama anything only to get behind our bedroom door, strip, slip on a delicate bra, one behind the identical other, adjust and readjust the straps, and admire our creamy brown skin against soft, white cotton. She smooched us together, her hands making us strain to form cleavage, what we admired most about the women in Uncle Junior’s girly magazines.
But we stayed “tee-notchy,” our Grandma’s word for little, for years afterward, no matter what she did to make us bigger. We might have gained a tad more plumpness when a new girl appeared in our class the year after we tired of being suffocated by bras every moment of the day, except nighttime. (And, sometimes she’d sneak and wear a bra to bed, sweating us horribly, until, gratefully, Mama caught her and made her stop, saying she was wearing out too many bras and money didn’t grow on trees.) Anyway, she was a big, peach-colored girl, country, although she came from the North. Name was Cathy. Cathy Robinson.
Her claim to fame was the song she taught the girls in our class. “I must…I must…I must increase my bust!” She crooned it as if she were on Broadway. Her hands flew over her own huge titties, massaging them like they had to hear as well as feel the song. We liked the ditty at first. And then it got old, unless somebody else was doing the massaging, and then it started too much stimulation in lower places, not to mention news getting back to Mama we was being felt up in public and she was being fresh to let it happen.
For all the times we stared proudly back at her from the dresser mirror or the bathroom mirror, who’d have guessed that one day we’d contemplate being enlarged so as never to slip down her stomach as if we were on our way to her navel? We might have started out as shotguns, but we eventually found our way to C cups that favored little brown balloon boobs. Just didn’t know we’d take a whole half of a lifetime and a baby to do it!
This wonderful guest post is provided by the incomparable Claudia Moss, author, radio personality, speaker, dancer, and all-around AMAZING WOMAN! Please share your thoughts here, BigBodyBeautiful friends, visit Claudia’s links below, and revel in the power of another woman squarely in her body and lovin’ it!