What a boob.

The pain situation has escalated. Mrs. R. Knee has now been heard from. Yesterday I found myself longing for a cane, and cursing the one truth of being female: The body you hated yesterday will be the one you long for today. When you’re younger, you think, “Remember four years ago, when I thought I was so fat? I wish I was that skinny now.” And then you get older, and you think, “Remember four days ago, when I was merely sore? I wish I was sore now, instead of crippled, too.”

The doctor has been called. I’ll spare you more details.

Well, this: While I was recuperating yesterday, I found the most awesome bra store online. I usually buy my chest hammocks from Harp’s in Birmingham, which along Town Shop in New York City may be the two greatest bra stores on the planet. Amusingly, both stores share a secret weapon: A tiny Jewish lady behind the counter who has seen every boob shape under the sun and can tell your size through a winter coat with 99 percent accuracy. Excuse me, make that “shared.” The New York Times has a way with obits:

Selma Koch, a Manhattan store owner who earned a national reputation by helping women find the right bra size, mostly through a discerning glance and never with a tape measure, died Thursday at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She was 95 and a 34B.

Mrs. Harp is also in her 10th decade, and still works most days. The last time I interviewed her, I asked if she was passing the store along to her heirs. She said “none of my grandchildren want to work as hard as Nana.”

In this economy, I’m not taking my business elsewhere. But I like the customer comments on the website, where I note that nearly every woman refers to her breasts as “the girls” or “the twins.” Taken along with Kramer’s famous line about tighty whities — “My boys need a house!” — this would seem to be a universal preference. The closest I ever came to giving my own a separate identity was when I was nursing a newborn, and they were so stripped of eroticism that one day I nearly answered the door with my shirt open to the waist. That would have given the UPS man a jolt, I’d say, although to me, they were just another couple of hard-workin’ body parts. Like my feet.

OK, now that I’ve, uh, lowered the tone, let’s see if we can’t wallow around down here for a while.

This is why I hardly ever read science fiction. Slate unpacks Mitt Romney’s fondness for “Battlefield Earth,” L. Ron Hubbard’s, er, novel:

For those of you who didn’t study it in school, “Battlefield Earth” takes place in the year 3000, when the human race is nearly extinct and the planet stripped of its natural resources. Mankind has been enslaved by evil aliens with very bad breath that explodes when it comes into contact with radioactive material. A young slave wielding lasers and draped in a tennis cardigan leads a rebellion and retakes Earth, only to be attacked again by a series of foes including a race of interstellar bankers trying to collect on bad debts. (There may be kung-fu fights and a championship football game, too; I confess that I haven’t read it all.)

Remember that Jon Carroll column on miracles? Here’s the 20 Most Amazing Coincidences, including the James Dean car curse. In doesn’t include one I heard about many years ago, when a photography magazine ran a famous tabloid photo of a man being carried into an ER with what appears to be a telephone pole driven through the center of his chest. The man was awake and calm, and the story was that the pole somehow shoved all his vital organs aside on its trip into his viscera, sparing his life. He spent months in a hospital recovering, only to be released and, just a few weeks later, swept off a jetty on Long Island by a freakishly large wave, never to be seen again. A superstitious person might say the devil had come to collect one way or another, but I say: Life is strange.

Shower-bound, I am. Don’t spend too much time with the boob pictures, guys.

Posted at 9:03 am in Same ol' same ol' |

31 responses to “What a boob.”

  1. Marcia said on May 3, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Nancy, I’m sorry about your injuries. Take care of yourself.

    Now, at last, it’s my turn to be the commenter who has, personally encountered the famous people mentioned in your post.

    Well, okay, they aren’t people. But I too have seen every boob shape under the sun. Assisting with lactation is part of my job, and man, there’s some frightening stuff out there. Sometimes I look at, um, things through the eyes of the baby and think, dear God, I wouldn’t want to latch on to that either.

    Ahem. Right now I am mentally ranting against the every-so-often study that comes out that puts a salary on the duties of a stay-at-home mom.

    Every time, it makes my blood boil. Who the hell do they think does that stuff in the home of a working mother? I’ll tell you who–it’s me! I do! I do everything the stay-at-home chick does, plus I bring in a substantial part of the household income. Kiss my tired feet once in a while, will you?

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  2. Marcia said on May 3, 2007 at 9:31 am


    Which is where I should be heading. I seem to be a little cranky. ‘Night.

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  3. Marcia said on May 3, 2007 at 9:34 am

    P.S. Nance, while you’re lying around, you can check out my kid’s cute prom pictures. (He’s the guy with the red tie and the, um, big hair.)


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  4. brian stouder said on May 3, 2007 at 9:44 am

    Marcia – you have a handsome son, who looks like quite the lady’s (or is it ladies’?) man.

    And his prom date is wearing gloves?! Are those back ‘in’?

    Anyway – I’m headed back to the boob pictures

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  5. Dorothy said on May 3, 2007 at 10:09 am

    I like to unharness “the team” in the evening right after I walk the dog for the last time. Ahhhh.. what a relief!

    Hey Connie – I’m leaving in 45 minutes for my last SynVisc injection. My knee feels terrific most of the time! Every once in while it gives on me, but I think that’s the torn cartilage playing tricks on me, not the arthritis.

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  6. alex said on May 3, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    If you hear any noise, it ain’t the boys…

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  7. Cathy Dee said on May 3, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    If you have to unharness the team, you need to visit the dead lady who can eye-ball your bra size! Sounds like your bridle is too tight.

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  8. ashley said on May 3, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Mitt Romney and Battlefield Earth, eh? Well, it just shows that cults aren’t all that different from each other, whether they be Mormon or $cientology.

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  9. MichaelG said on May 3, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    If he’s a Mormon why’s his fave book the Bible?

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  10. Dorothy said on May 3, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Nah Cathy, it’s just an expression! I heard it from a friend on the Internet about 10 years ago. Cracked me up so I like to use it now and then. My team is cozy at the moment I’m glad to say!!

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  11. Jolene said on May 3, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    “95 and a 34B” is one of the best phrases I’ve ever heard. Love it, as I do this blog . . . even though I rarely comment.

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  12. brian stouder said on May 3, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I loved the ‘unharness the team’ imagery, too! (reminded me of the commercial where the unhitched Clydesdales are cavorting on the beach and in the surf…sorta)

    A cynic would say that Madam Telling Tales really DID change her NN.c format to “Sparkling commentary; analysis of items of passing interest; boobs”

    …and indeed, I like it!

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  13. Jeff said on May 3, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    (Off topic for Dorothy from previous post’s comments)

    Dorothy –

    Go to http://www.denison.edu and check the employment listings, more specifically, http://www.denison.edu/human_res/postings/ ; Denison is that rarity where the online postings show up as early as anyone else has seen them, and they like to get the online response (it’s a very wired campus). Kenyon is even closer (depending on where you buy, of course), but i don’t know their system a’tall. Also Ohio State (www.osu.edu, natch) has a large branch in Newark, and employment is posted and you could apply there as well before you even get back to Ohio.

    And feel free to email me with any other questions you have (click my name and the address is mildly masked from spambots in the header of the blogspot page).

    Helpfully yours,

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  14. Rory on Lawn Guyland said on May 3, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Nance: Was in similar (painful) straits this week. Hurt my foot from running and shoulder from lifting (at the gym). After listening to me whine (interminably), wife said to go on Advil every fours hours for a few days. Seems to be working! No pain.Might wanna give it a try.


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  15. Dorothy said on May 3, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Many heartfelt thanks, Jeff!!! I’ll do all that once I can wrest the computer away from my husband at home.

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  16. MarkH said on May 3, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    I have noticed other euphemisms of breast tandemness like Dorothy’s lately (Wow, does THAT sentence look strange). My wife’s are “the girls”; either Mariah Carey’s or Scarlett Johanssen’s are “the twins”. Any others?

    BTW, Dorothy, like Jeff, I vote for Denison. Great college, beautiful town (Granville); a couple of high school buddies went there, as well as my old high school principal, as an administrator in the ’70s-’80s.

    Off-topic: anyone got an opinion on the Time 100 Most Influential? Osama bin-Laden made it, W didn’t.

    The terrorists have won.


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  17. LA mary said on May 3, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    I know what you mean about what breast feeding does to your attitude toward your tits. Modesty seems irrelevant.

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  18. Dorothy said on May 3, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Here, here Mary. I agree wholeheartedly. I nursed my first for 20 months, the second for 19 months.

    Hey I created an OUTSTANDING cover letter, Jeff, and I’m mailing it off with a copy of my resume tomorrow! Thanks for the tip. If I get a job there, I owe you and your Beloved a dinner!

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  19. Jeff said on May 3, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Re: Um, boobs

    Anyone else watching the Republican gaggle? Can’t call it a debate . . . Matthews is not really up to the management task of moderating this, either; like the proverbial car wreck, tho’, i can’t turn away (touch typing, y’know).

    Blessings and good luck, Dorothy!

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  20. brian stouder said on May 3, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    Jeff – you got that right! Who was it that got asked if a private employer should have the right to fire an employee for being gay? Was it Governor Thompson? And he stands there silently for 5 seconds – and then says something like “Private employers need to have the freedom to do what they want” – and then another awkward silence – and the questioner says “that’s a ‘yes’ then?”!!!

    Good God!! The follow-up that SHOULD have been asked, but was not – was ‘Well – should a private employer have the right to fire employees for being black?”

    But of course there wa no follow-up, and they meandered forward from there. Rudy and McCain were interesting, Romney looked like a used-car salesman, and the others were out to lunch – including the moderators!

    And I’m sorry – and I’m sure a million other people will comment on this – but wasn’t it flat-out bizarre that the debate took place beneath a Boeing 707 suspended from the ceiling? What a strange, even off-putting setting, especially given the centrality of the September 11 suicide plane crash attacks to American politics

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  21. John said on May 4, 2007 at 7:51 am

    “Modesty seems irrelevant.”

    My wife wasn’t a militant nurser, but if you were in the same zip code when the kid was eating, you got the show. Not because she was a crazed exhibitionist (that’s an entirely different discussion), but rather because her first priority was her child and not the false sensibilities of those around her. I am in the camp of “whatever the mom thinks is best for her and her child is okay with me”. So as much as I enjoy a fine figured lady (i.e. one that is breathing), I never for an instant forgot the true and much, much higher purpose served by today’s topic.

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  22. brian stouder said on May 4, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Hey Dorothy – Kenyon college was attended by where Salmon P Chase, whose uncle (Philander) ran the place; and by Edwin Stanton.

    I bet they have some interesting things in their library

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  23. Kirk said on May 4, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Paul Newman a Kenyon guy, too.

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  24. Dorothy said on May 4, 2007 at 11:23 am

    AND Allison Janey. I did my homework!

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  25. michaelj said on May 5, 2007 at 6:44 am

    The idea that Mitt would like Battlefield Earth is sort of spectacular, but it’s not really surprising. Joseph Smith. L. Ron. The difference, other than centuries? Do the temple u-trou interfere with the miraculous and mysterious workings of the e-meter? Are the Sons of Dan watching his back and running his campaign?If hip-hop nation is criticized for ‘don’t snitch’, what about a latter day religion that insists on always snitching?

    Blaming bBattlefield Earth on science fiction is pretty base calumny. I suppose if Kurt Vonnegut was a science fiction writer, Tom Pynchon is too. I guess Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is period science fiction, and Lempriere’s Dictionary. (H. G. Wells or Chas. Dickens–well, that’s a very close call, and Dickens was obviously aching to write science fiction.)

    Every one a better writer than a hack like, say, Ernest Hemingway. Maybe not a good example since almost anybody writes better. Except William Faulkner.

    Who’d have thought the secret to longevity would be selling bras. As second careers go, this sounds interesting, sinced I’ve never really seen a bosom I didn’t find attractive. But I’ve always been a fool for long legs, and I fear my good heart and naivete might be taken advantage of in this business. And my IRA won’t make it to 95. As far as nursing in public, I get queasy thinking about what’s going on in the minds of officious men that have a problem with that. Calling Mr. Tobias. Justice Thomas?

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  26. basset said on May 5, 2007 at 9:51 am

    “chest hammock”? that’s a new one.

    I like the term Penn & Teller used in their (brilliant, btw) gun control video… “tit sling.”

    (context: a female shopowner who kept guns all over the place, including a pistol down her bosom.)

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  27. Unindicted Co-conspirator said on May 5, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    I’m flat out amazed that Willard’s love for L. Ron’s wretched book hasn’t become a campaign issue!
    Where is the GOP blogosphere?
    Don’t the Freepers understand that reading such a crappy, overlong mess, let alone loving it makes Willard a really strange guy?
    I think he’d have come off sane if he said something by Heinlein, Asimov or even Doc Smith was his fave, not some crap from a washed up hack like Hubbard!
    This makes him as loony as either McCain or Rudy [you must read the Guiliani profile in the June Vanity Fair, Rudy is so obviously mentally ill, it’s sad].

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  28. brian stouder said on May 5, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    Well, Rudy’s private life is a trainwreck, but the guy has a flair for public leadership, and crisis management. McCain has ‘seen the elephant’, but he missed his chance at the presidency in 2000, and now he comes across as a very good karioke (spelling?) singer…entertaining enough at trying to sound the way he should, but not the real deal.

    But no matter – I am smitten with the junior senator from Illinois, who made his announcement in front of the old state capital in Springfield, and invoked Lincoln to great effect

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  29. michaelj said on May 6, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    America’s mayor put the communications center for crises at the absolute most likely ground zero for a catastrophe. Really clever planning. And he put the noted mobster manque Bernard Kerik in charge of everything.

    The fact that Republican ‘base’ voters would support a guy with weirder than Hollywood (or Bollywood) private life after they spent $70 mil of our money on the voyeur pervert Ken Starr, just so they can win ought to make sane people question their motives.

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  30. brian stouder said on May 6, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    America’s mayor put the communications center for crises at the absolute most likely ground zero for a catastrophe. Really clever planning.

    horse feathers, michaelj. Looking back, he put the command center exactly where Atta and the other nihilistic shitheads struck – but who thought that the World Trade Center’s twin 110 story towers would be gone – GONE – in a sequence of events that took a single hour? And that, in catastrophically losing the twin towers – we would also lose WTC-7 (where the command center was) – which was what? – 50 stories tall? – before the sun went down?

    Rudy has a fouled up personal life, but he was the one real leader who emerged and did his job unfailingly and without hesitation on that infamous day.

    Rudy is OK, but Obama appeals to me

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  31. michaelj said on May 7, 2007 at 2:26 am

    Gee, I don’t know? Where could they have put that communications center? Cheney’s bunker. And who would have thought, if they hadn’t read the hair on fire PDB about flying airplanes into buildings>? Maybe the communications center for all of NYC’s first responders needed to be located within walking distance of Kerik’s lovenest.

    Then there’s the matter of Rudeboy Giuliani managing to outrage even a staunch loyalist Bushie like Christine “Stop and Frisk” Todd Whitney by lying his ass off about air quality in the lower east side. Well, you know, those people didn’t vote for him anyway. Maybe he’d like to be Pretzeldent to hold off the lawsuits for a few years with spurious claims of executive privilege. Being a whackjob is one thing. Being a politically corrupt malfeasor of a mayor of the biggest city in America is another.

    Anyway, if the so-called GOP base will support this guy, it pretty much proves there’s no morality in the moral majority, just a mindless obsession with domination of other people’s thoughts and actions. And shredding the American Constitution while they’re at it.

    I’d vote for any decent dog of whatever color against any Republican so my opinion doesn’t count for much, but if Hagel doesn’t run, the Republicans don’t seem to have a candidate worth anything more than derision, indictment, or bankruptcy by class action civil suit for wrongful death.

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