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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » TMI, or A Landmark--fiazko style (Page 1)

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Author Topic: TMI, or A Landmark--fiazko style
fiazko
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This is a story about breasts. Read at your own risk.

Junior High or early High School:

We were in the gym, possibly for gym class, but we weren't actually dressed out and engaging in some potentially humiliating physical activity. My friends and I were in a huddle around an issue of YM, most likely reading the tampon-related horror stories in the Say Anything section. One of the feature articles was about women with excessively large breasts despite not being obese. At the time, I was about a 36C, and I couldn't fathom being a 34DDD like one of the women in the article. As if a warning of the future, that story stuck with me.

College:

I didn't gain the freshman 10 or 15 or 20 or whatever it's up to these days. Not that I was thin, but my weight stayed about the same throughout college, fluctuating within a range of a few pounds. I have always been heavier than I look. Every year in high school, the marching band would go to Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh to participate in WTAE Days, which meant that we were unleashed in the park all day and then performed in a parade that evening. Anyway, I made a habit of offering to win a prize for my friends at the Guess Your Weight booth because I knew I couldn't lose. They gave themselves a three pound margin of error, and I don't doubt that the scale wasn't calibrated exactly, but without fail, they guessed me at least 50 pounds under my actual weight. I still haven't decided if I should be proud of that or not.

So during college, despite not gaining much weight, I noticed that I kept having to buy bigger bras. I'd find a style and size that fit and was remotely comfortable, and over the course of the year, I'd start to spill out until I couldn't get rid of those unsightly boobie bumps that result from ill-fitting bras. I'd go shopping only to find that my previous style had been discontinued, so I'd have to start all over. Bra shopping is bad enough as it is without having to try on 25 different styles to find the one that a) actually comes in your size; b) fits comfortably enough to be worn all day every day; and c) is in stock. And don't even get me started on color. I don't need hot pink or zebra stripes, but they've got to start making a nude for non-white women. While I'm at it, what is with Kohl's putting all the bigger bras on the main aisle? All I need is to be rifling through cups the size of my head while hot guys are walking by on their way to linens.

Camp:

During the summer of '99, I worked at a summer camp as a dishwasher. But that's beside the point. The event that matters here took place on a weekend between camps. Most, if not all, of the staff decided to go caving which, at that particular camp, was second only to climbing. For reference, I suck at both. I am claustrophobic, but with a twist. It's not so much small spaces that get me as restricted movement. I can hang out in a refrigerator box all day, but put me in a situation I either can't get out of or can't move freely, and I freak out. For example, when I was a small child my older brothers liked to torment me by sitting on the open end of my sleeping bag. Yeah, I still can't sleep with the covers over my head. So I had never been caving. I don't count following a manmade walkway through Luray Caverns as actual caving. This was crawl around in the dark and get all dirty caving. I only agreed to go along because there were at least twenty of us, many of whom were well-experienced. I felt safe, although I was a little apprehensive of the "keyhole" which kept coming up in the conversation. The keyhole, I soon found out, was a rectangular "doorway" a couple of feet wide and mere inches high that led from a fairly sizable space to a much smaller "room." All the skinny people went first while the rest of us stood back and scrounged around for courage. My turn came, and I took a deep breath. I got my arms through, and head went through easily enough after I turned it to the side. And then I got stuck. I let out my breath. Nothing. I and my massive chest finally squeezed through only after I had forced all of the air out of my lungs. The best part was, after reoxygenating and ooh-ahhing the new surroundings, I had to go back through.

RGIS:

After college I got a job doing inventories. I could write an entire book on those 21 months, but there is only one relevant incident. The store was BJ's Wholesale, one of the variety of warehouse shopping monstrosities like Sam's Club and Costco. The offending item was beef jerky. Pemmican, I believe. Anyway, as is characteristic of warehouses and home improvement stores, the stock rested on 20-foot high H-frame type structures with extra-deep shelves of varying height. I am 5'4". With me standing on a milk crate, the shelf in question came exactly to my armpit. The problem was that one box of jerky had been pushed to the very back of the shelf. With no amount of stretching or contorting could I reach it, and all I needed was a fraction of an inch. Now, a problem solver of any skill would suggest adding height, maybe by getting an actual stepladder as opposed to the liability that is a milk crate. Unfortunately, this was one of the narrow shelves, only about 8 inches high. I couldn't even fit my head into it. I finally broke down and summoned my team leader from the other side of the aisle. He laughed at my excuse of "My arms are too short," but never would I admit to him that my impediment was not a lacking wingspan, but an all-too-ample bosom.

Clothes:

Every clothing store has a different idea of what XL means. Then again, some stores don't even know that size. I can wear Limited pants, but I can't get their tops over my head. Kohl's is slightly better. They actually have bigger clothes that don't say "I'm too fat for trendy clothes" or "I'm 45." Unfortunately, they're not big enough for me. Granted, I can fit into many of them, but I refuse to reveal even a hint of my "spare tire," so at Kohl's I'm limited to button-downs and fabrics that aren't the least bit stretchy.

Lane Bryant is an obvious choice, but their clothes are designed more for people who are bigger around in general than me. For instance, while they've got plenty of DDD bras, they start at 40 for the most part. I'm not a 40. I'm rarely even a 38. I am a 36. Apparently it's a law that if your breasts are that big, you must be pretty big around. Lies. All lies. And their regular clothes do not usually fit my personal style. Most of them make me feel fatter than I am. Plus, they are too expensive, IMO. I don't think it's fair that I have to spend more for clothes that are designed for bigger women when skinny girls can go pretty much anywhere and spend half as much. It's especially insulting when the only reason I have to shop for bigger clothes is the pair of growths on my chest.

For a long time, I was convinced that Fashion Bug had a conspiracy against people like me. I was too big for the Fashion Bug side and not big enough for Fashion Bug Plus. While losing weight is the optimal solution, gaining works, too. Their clothes are somewhat expensive for my budget but take a tax return, a big sale, the acceptance of being a size 18-20, and you've got the makings of a successful shopping excursion.

I've had the best luck at Old Navy where they've conceded that XL really isn't that big and have gone the next step to XXL. Either I'm a cheapskate or really poor, but even there I generally try to stick to sales. It just pains me to consider spending $30 on a shirt I can't wear more than once a week or so when, if I were skinnier or smaller-breasted, I could find one just as good for half that and spend the rest on a DVD. I dare you to find the logic in that.

Probably my greatest pet peeve is the "stretch cotton camisole." I am fully aware the I have no business attempting to wear only a camisole, bra or no bra. However, they're really good for wearing under button-down shirts so that I can unbutton the shirt halfway and pretend I'm not busting out of it, all the while avoiding obscene cleavage. The problem is that the fashion industry is so fad-oriented that, for a span of years, I could not find a camisole without a "convenient" built-in bra. Suffice it to say that a built-in bra does not apply to me. Ever. My utmost appreciation to Old Navy for bringing back the braless cotton cami long enough for me to buy several.

It never occurred to me that having big boobs could cause problems other than guys not making eye contact. I had a friend in high school whose sister had to get a reduction for what I can only assume was (were?) back problems. I always attributed my own back pain to poor posture and marching with a bari sax around my neck. I also never noticed myself as being "all boob" like my college roommate's best friend. There are pictures from our graduation that are just not fit for public consumption because of "Mary's" melons. The sad thing is that I'm pretty sure she wasn't quite up to DDD, but her waist was so small, she looked like she shouldn't be able to stand up straight, and she was oblivious to the fact that women with certain prominent features shouldn't wear tight white shirts.

Even more surprising, though, is the psychological impact. I can deal with my chest getting in the way of my job, especially now that I sit at a desk all day. I can deal with having to avoid tight spaces, being that I am claustrophobic anyway. I can deal with the back discomfort, the dented shoulders, and the lines carved into my sides from the edges of my bras.

I can't deal with the frustration of trying to find bras that hold all of me and hold all of me up without making me want to wear my shirt under my bra to ease the stinging.
I can't deal with the frustration of trying to find tops that are nice enough for work but don't make me look pregnant, don't gape between the buttons, and don't expose too much cleavage.
I can't deal with the idea that all anybody sees when they look at me is a gigantic pair of knockers.

The real title of this post is "Why I'm Considering a Bilateral Reduction Mammoplasty" or what I like to call an Anti-boob Job. There are two things that gave me the motivation to talk to my doctor about a reduction. Me, who was almost too embarassed to show her the patches of eczema on my feet. Number one is a word that continuously haunts me ever since I saw it used on a website to describe breasts like mine: pendulous. As a 26 year old female, the only thing on my body that should be hanging is my uvula. Number two is a thought that crossed my mind. A thought not unlike wishing for a fatal freak accident when suicide isn't an option (not to say that it ever should be). For the briefest of moments, I wished I had breast cancer because then maybe I would need a mastectomy and could get implants. Implants a size of my choosing and much smaller than what God gave me. And that was the moment I knew I needed to start taking steps, either toward seriously losing weight even though that probably won't make much of a difference, or toward getting a doctor to agree that a reduction is necessary so that my insurance will pay for it. My ultimate goal isn't just to be able to shop at Victoria's Secret or to be able to go without a bra. As freeing as that would be, what I'm really looking for is emotional liberation. I don't want to have to fight back tears every time I even think about clothes shopping. I don't want to keep resenting all of my friends who have no idea what a burden this is. I don't want to have to pretend I don't know why people won't look me in the eye. One way or another it's going to happen. Even if I have to go on TV or drop 50 pounds. And when it does, I'll tell you all about it.

(Update since I wrote this a few months ago: I'm on a six month waiting list to consult with a plastic surgeon. In the meantime, I'm going to the gym 4 or 5 days a week so that the insurance can't use my weight against me.)

[ July 07, 2005, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: fiazko ]

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katharina
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I read every word. Good luck with your endevours - I'm proud of you for taking action about something that was bothering you. [Smile]

If it helps, I don't think I have ever actually looked at your chest.

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fiazko
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Well, thanks, kat, that's reassuring [Wink]

For real, though, thanks for taking the time to read. It's longer than I realized.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
they've got to start making a nude for non-white women.
What colour is your skin?

For that matter, what is your ancestry (ethinc heritage? What's the proper way of asking "What part of the globe do your ancestors come from?")

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romanylass
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I hope you can get the surgery paid for. I know what a burden the big boobs are, but I think you have it much worse than me.
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fiazko
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mph, you can just say "What are you?" I've totally gotten that before. [Smile]

I am half-Creole. After a week in Florida, I'm way more tan than usual, but if I had to assign an actual color, it would probably be somewhere around caramel latte. *shrug* I'm not real dark, but most of the undergarments I've seen that are supposedly nude are a weird yellow color or, like, a really light tan. Actually, thinking about it, if nude bras and nude pantyhose switched colors, I think the world in general would be a better place.

romany, I know I don't have it as bad as some women do, but I also know I shouldn't have to live like this, so I will fight if I have to.

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mr_porteiro_head
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Caramel latte -- remember, you are talking to Mormon Boy here. I don't know what color that is, but I assume it's somewhere between white and dark dark brown.

But that's OK, you gave me enough information. [Smile]

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Jim-Me
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sometimes you just aren't qualified to comment [Smile]
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fiazko
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Mormons don't do Starbucks?
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Primal Curve
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Hot drinks. Coffee. Caffiene.
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fiazko
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Those are bad, I take it? Well...how about toffee? Is candy evil, too?
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Corwin
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The things you find out on Hatrack... [Big Grin]

On a more serious note, I hope you manage to make the insurance pay for your surgery and that everything goes well with it.

Also: So that's called "uvula" in English, huh? Ok.

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ludosti
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I'm really proud of you for working towards something that will help make you happier. I've had friends that have had breast reduction surgery and if my mom didn't have such problems with surgery she would have it done. I really hope you can get your insurance to pay for it. It really is a problem and having it taken care of will save you from having bad back problems, besides making you happy. [Smile]

I know just what you mean about your claustrophobia - I'm the same way. Small spaces don't bug me, but being restrained or somehow not able to move if I wanted to does. And I share some of your frustration in bra/clothes shopping though I have the opposite problem you do. You are not alone! [Smile]

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fiazko
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Oh, apparently that was supposed to be a link. Oops.
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fiazko
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Thanks, lud. I do have the back problems, but I've gotten so used to them, I barely notice. And here I thought it was just bad posture. [Smile]
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by fiazko:
Those are bad, I take it? Well...how about toffee? Is candy evil, too?

I certainly hope not! Otherwise I'm in a lot of trouble.
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fiazko
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Ok, I am the color of toffee then. And just as...nevermind.
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Farmgirl
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Great landmark.

But it surprised me -- in that all that time I spent with you at Kamacon, I didn't know you were half Creole or any such thing. I thought you were just as caucasian as me or anyone else..

[ removed this photo link, in preference for the one two posts down ]

I guess I just don't pay attention very well.

I think that if the surgery is what you really want, then go for it. I'm not so small myself, and now that I am over 40, let me tell you, dearie, they are getting closer to my waistline all the time, which is sad. And it is hard to consistently remind myself to stand up straight, because when you are top-heavy there is a tendency to slump. So I can definately understand in your case (since you're larger than me) why you are considering this.

But how small would such a surgery make you? Do you get to specify a size?

FG

[ July 07, 2005, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: Farmgirl ]

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fiazko
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Thanks, FG. I'm pretty sure you can choose to some degree. I am shooting for a C. I think that is realistic and reasonable. I'm not really sure about any of that yet, until I see the surgeon. That won't be until probably January.

[edit: btw, I hate how I look in that picture. I will have to post a newer one soon.]

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Farmgirl
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Well, I agree I didn't find a photo of you there I really liked. Except maybe this one where you are on the far right. Maybe I should look at Mad Owl's KamaCon photos -- she shoots such good people pictures.

FG

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fiazko
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That one is better. The only good one is the close up b&w of me and kwsni (I think). I will get on getting a better one up. Cuz, you know, I'm such a hottie. [Smile]
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Megan
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fiazko, congratulations on your landmark...and, I totally sympathize. Bra shopping just...sucks, and so do camisoles with built-in bras.

And, you're TOTALLY a hottie! Rawr! [Wink]

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Annie
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My very best friend got an anti-boob job [Smile] and has been happier and healthier ever since. Don't be embarrased about it - there's nothing shameful or anything about it. Good for you!

Some day maybe I will share my breast woes, if I'm very very brave. Probably not, though. [Smile]

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dkw
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Best of luck with your insurance and your surgery. And congratulations on your landmark.
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Allegra
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I have heard that the cosmetic surgery with the highest satisfaction is breast reduction, and the one with the lowest is breast augmentation.

I tend to have the opposite problem. I have a big ribcage and bra designers assume that if you are a 38 that you have more fat I do and have a bigger chest. It was rather humiliating to go prom dress shopping and have the sales lady tell me to stuff my bra.

I hope that the surgery goes well for you. You are a brave woman for doing something.

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Ela
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quote:
Originally posted by fiazko:
Apparently it's a law that if your breasts are that big, you must be pretty big around. Lies. All lies. And their regular clothes do not usually fit my personal style. Most of them make me feel fatter than I am.

Preach it, sister. I am not as big as you, but I also have that problem. If it fits in the bust, it's too big everywhere else. If it fits everywhere else, I can't get a boob in it.

My sister has had some success in the past with getting pretty, larger cup bras from the Victoria Secret catalog. She talked about breast reduction surgery when she was younger, but I think she decided she didn't want to spend the money on it.

Good luck with getting the surgery worked out.

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ludosti
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Yay I'm not the only big ribcage freak! *hugs Allegra*
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breyerchic04
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((((fiazko)))) you are my hero, you said almost exactly what I've wanted to say for a year, not just on hatrack, but at all. I'm a 36DD, and wear size twelve jeans, so not quite as big as you, but it's still incredibly hard to shop, I have found a few at VS that fit. My mom and I have talked, and I don't really want to have breast reduction now because I at some point do want to breastfeed my (prospective) kids, and they can't garuntee that would be possible.
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Allegra
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quote:
Originally posted by ludosti:
Yay I'm not the only big ribcage freak! *hugs Allegra*

Big ribcage pride!
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punwit
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Fiazko, I want to tell you that I really enjoyed your landmark. You took an issue that was somewhat painful for you and informed and entertained us. You have a knack for levity that doesn't downplay the (if you'll forgive the pun) gravity of the situation. I wish you the best in your pursuit of relief.

I, also, didn't notice that your had really large breasts and thanks for setting a bomb for me if we ever should meet again. [Wink]

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Goody Scrivener
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A coworker had an anti-boob job a few months back and is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy that she did!

She started out as a large 38DD and had them reduced to a mid-range C cup. She had a lot of back pain prior to the surgery, which was the main reason that she went for it. Post-op recovery was 3 weeks of no work at all (she discovered that she also couldn't cross stitch, so much for her plan to make a baby sampler during her convalescence) and then an additional week of working half-time to ease back into the routine.

Because of the back pain issues, our major medical covered the procedure, minus her deductible. You already mentioned anticipating that your insurance company would attempt to deny based on weight, so obviously you've already checked into coverage issues.

Personally I wish I could shift everything about 6 inches to the north...

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mackillian
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I also didn't notice the knockers. [Razz]

I DID notice your complexion and that it's a great one, but didn't think about ancestry (my current generation has kids of half everythings, so our complexions vary to a HUGE degree).

Anyrate. I hope this reduction happens for you--it sounds like it'll improve your living a whole lot. [Smile]

Oh, and kamacon pics:
fiazko and kwsni
fiazko

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Eaquae Legit
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Clothes designers really do need to wise up. I'm only a mid-range C, and even I have a hard time finding blouses that don't bunch. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places.
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Anna
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Congrats on your landmark, Fiazko! (and check your e-mails!)

[ July 08, 2005, 04:15 AM: Message edited by: Anna ]

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Ryuko
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Good luck, fiazko. I guess I'm lucky in that so far I've had the muscle and bulk to support my DDs, but I feel you where bras are concerned. It's not as hard to find, since I'm a 38, but I tend to stick with one or two and not shop, that's for sure.
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Lyrhawn
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Well, as a guy I can't really contribute anything to the boobular part of the landmark.

But I can sympathize on marching with a bari sax!

I only did it for a year then went back to the Tenor, my true love. There was a girl two years younger than me who did it after I stopped. She was probably 5 foot, the bari was almost taller than she was, but she played it probably better than I did.

You're to be commended on your dedication to the band! Woo Marching Band!

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quidscribis
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I've also thought about the anti-boob job, and had doctors tell me to lose weight and the boobs would be fine. [Roll Eyes] Eh. Whatever. I'd be happy at a C. Oh yeah.

Good luck and I hope it all works out for you. [Smile]

[ July 10, 2005, 05:24 AM: Message edited by: quidscribis ]

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Anna
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Quid, the doctors lie. I have an average weight for my height (still would like to lose one or two kg...) and I am a 90E (would be a I don't know what DD for USA sizes I think).
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quidscribis
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Of course the doctors lie. I'm well aware of that. But convincing them to act despite the lie . . . aye, there's the rub!
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Anna
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I know. That's stupid.
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fiazko
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My doctor has been pretty cool about the whole thing. Her main concern was the breastfeeding issue, but I don't really want to bear children. Once I convinced her of that, she got behind me. Knowing all the problems I'm having, she thought the only thing that the insurance might hedge over is my weight which is why I'm working on that. It sucks having to wait so long for just a consult, but I'm trying to be patient.

Thanks, everyone, for the positive words. I'd been sitting on this for months before I decided to post it anyway, and I'm really glad I did.

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Farmgirl
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Why are there so many big-boobed people on Hatrack?

[ROFL]

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punwit
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People?
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Stray
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I'm mystified that so many people with boobs smaller than mine have back problems. I wear an H cup, and have never had back troubles. Maybe they're just less dense? [Wink]

But yeah, I definitely hear ya on the clothing thing. I'm lucky I have a casual-dress job right now; when I graduated college I spent all my graduation money on grown-up clothes and on having those clothes tailored to take the waists of all the size 18 blouses in to match a size 12 torso. And now I never wear the clothes...*sigh*

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mackillian
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Stray, when I first read your last sentence my brain edited out the "the." [Eek!]
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fiazko
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Don't worry, mack. So did mine.
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Stray
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bwahaha...no, my job isn't THAT casual [Razz] It just kind of irks me that I have $500 worth of expensively altered work clothes sitting in my closet that I never ever wear.
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fiazko
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I just sat at my desk and ate lunch without my shirt on. [Big Grin] (BBQ wings + white shirt = BAD) It is Casual Friday. Heh heh heh.
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Farmgirl
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should have paid someone at your work to take a picture..... [Smile]
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fiazko
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Ha. I was too busy hiding. My cubicle is the one that people can see into when they come in. I was wear a cami, but it was nude (my color nude, even). I had one close call, but my friend was here, and I made her stand in my "doorway." Besides, all I need is more blackmail material.
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