All I wanted were some boobies.
I was twelve, and my next-door neighbor and best friend had presented me with the holy grail of puberty: the training bra.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
Delicate white lace, with a wee white flower and tiny green leaves right in the center between the two band-aids, I mean cups, and it was perfect.
I had to have it dammit.
I looked down my own shirt, and alas, I knew there was nothing to speak of. I still could have passed for a boy, had I not grown up in a time when young boys didn’t sport trendy long hair, and of course, if people didn’t look down my pants. I did indeed, have a vagina despite the fact that it appeared I didn’t.
12. 12 years-old, and just realizing that there was a world beyond me more complicated than what I had known before. Boys. Power plays. Sex. Sexual connotations. Hierarchies of womanhood.
I was not ready for such things.
I raced home, and stood in the driveway poised for my mother’s arrival. As soon as the car came up the driveway, I began waving my arms.
May day, May day. We have an emergency.
“What is it?” my mom shrieked, panicked that something dreadfully wrong had happened.
“Mom, I need a training bra.”
With cigarette in mouth, and her purse resting on her shoulder–how could I possibly wait to tell her until she sat down in the house–she looks at me and says, “Well, not really.”
“But Mommy. Please. Danielle has one.”
She starts walking towards the house, and I start to conjure up ways to convince her. I can be very convincing.
This is when she delivers the news to me: “Okay, we’ll go to the department store tomorrow.”
And she did. She brought me there, and I found my own 28AAA white lacy band-aid bra that was to cover my nipples until I grew a pair of boobs.
She knew I didn’t need it physically, but mentally, after growing up with three older sisters and watching my peers develop before my eyes, how could she deny me of the chance to pretend to be a grown-up for the cheap cost of one training bra.
Now that is love for you.