At work, I’m surrounded by talk of boobs. There’s the maternity campaign I’m working on. And the breast cancer campaign. And the girl who just had a boob job. And the myriad of crass boob jokes that go along with working in an ad agency.
Even so, I’m generally not all that aware of my own. Boobs, that is. Since having Tori they’ve become utilitarian things. Utilitarian things that require a lot of under wire and gravity defying support devices to look like even a shadow of their former selves.
Which is why, when the guy behind the counter at the sandwich shop took my order while ogling my chest, I became instantaneously paranoid.
Did I have a button undone?
Had I forgotten to put on a bra?
Was there some weird stain on my chest?
Was I having a freakish moment of out-of-nowhere lactation?
A quick look down assured me that no, none of these things was taking place. And still the guy stared.
What in God’s name was he looking at? Had I sprouted a third nipple?
Somehow, I stammered out the rest of my order, face flushing beet red. As my arms crossed protectively over my chest, he finally looked up – and had the good grace to look mildly ashamed of himself.
But not enough to keep his gaze at eye level.
Finally, I turned away, pretending to stare with intense fascination at the freezer case full of hams. So intense, in fact, that the guy had to ask me three times if I needed anything else before I heard him.
I mutely shook my head no, arms still clamped across my boobs. And at that point, the universe decided to have mercy on me. Mr. Ogleton headed to the back, leaving another, much less disconcerting employee to ring me up.
It was only later, when I was driving back to the office, that it occurred to me I should be flattered. Someone not required by law to find me attractive had clearly found my chest at least a little bit impressive.
I’m going to go ahead and take that as a compliment…and as an excuse to splurge on Victoria’s Secret bras more often.