The Invisible Woman
It’s official, I am “Middle-Aged” I turned 40 last Summer. But it wasn’t the huge FOUR ZERO candle on my cake, or the massive party I had, that alerted me to this fact. It was something that has been subtly creeping up on me for the last five or so years that has made me FEEL Middle-Aged……Or rather what has NOT been creeping up on me – and that is attention from the opposite sex.
From the age of around 17 (when my double A boobies FINALLY decided to make an appearance!) I’ve had wolf-whistles, double-takes, drinks and numbers offered, wedding rings hidden from my sight, cheesy chat up lines, flowers, love letters, guys beating the shit out of each other, songs and poetry written about me. Don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t the tiny-titty version of Jordan. Most young women would have experienced the majority of the above and some women even more examples of male attention. But as the years have passed, I’ve received less lecherous leers from Lotharios and more in the way of eye-contact avoidance and SILENCE.
Even when I gained A LOT of weight around the age of 26, I still attracted attention from men – but it was from men who preferred more woman for their money – so to speak – not that I was actually charging men for the pleasure of my company.
I almost wish I had been, because I’d be living invisibly in my mortgage free house by now. But no and unfortunately the bank manager can actually see me and even come looking for me, so this invisibility thing is not even something that I could work to my advantage.
There are times I whimsically reminisce back to those heady days when I was around 21 and the lengths to which men would go to just to chat to me. Now I’d have to be screaming blue-murder whilst being assaulted by a stocking-headed robber BEFORE any male glanced my way and even then it’d be iffy – what with the increase of criminals carrying knives and guns. Some guy may give me a quick look over and realise getting stabbed or shot for an old bag may not be worth it. See now, I was referring to my actual handbag, the one being ripped from my grasp during this potential robbery and you went and ruined it, by thinking I was referring to myself! We are not all immune to this ageist mind-set.
After breast feeding my two babies the recommended 6 months each and losing roughly the 3 stone, I gained and then lost for each pregnancy. I realised my body shape had changed so significantly over the years (going from an A cup right up to an H!!!!!) that I thought I’d pop into Marks & Spencer and get measured for a bra.
The lingerie assistant was a VERY experienced member of staff with a number of years fitting all manner of misshapen, disfigured and frankly abnormal breasts. She was lovely and reassuring. I felt safe as we stood facing each other in the tiny dressing cubicle and she asked me to remove my most recent sized bra.
Nothing could prepare me for the reaction she gave when I unclipped the fastening and removed the “scaffolding” surrounding what could be blamed on bad genes, my dramatic weight gains and losses, breast-feeding, spending most of my teenage years actually not wearing a bra and basically approaching old age. The woman’s eyes widened and I witnessed them drop as my boobs were “released” to their natural stance and she did the kind of sharp intake of breath – I’ve heard plumbers do when they first see a mess of pipes that are gonna take a lot of time and energy to put right. The evident shock of what she saw, brought tears to my eyes. As soon as she realised, she’d dropped her professional mask briefly, she quickly regained her composure and briskly exclaimed “Don’t you worry love we have a ‘Special Way’ you can place your bust into a bra that can give you that added confidence”.
And since M&S don’t do those cosmetic “Up-lifts” offered in most clinics based on Harley Street; I watched with interest as using a series of pulleys, mechanical hoists and some good old fashioned kneading, she placed my deflated air bags into my new bra. I walked out of there with a spring in my step and a little bounce in my boobs. NONE of it noticed by a single male of course – but fuck ’em I now have tits that look great in a bra – and if I took it off no one would notice anyway.