Boob Job Story

I have a friend who is saving her money for a boob job. 

She makes her living as a house cleaner.  Ten years ago she came to the States from Brazil for six weeks to clear her head after she broke off her engagement with her high school love. She got into house cleaning because she felt that her language skills and education level (she is two semesters shy of a degree in child education) wouldn’t allow her to do much more than the child care work she had been doing at minimum wage.  She worked for a day care center taking care of infants.  Though she loved the children and felt the job was important, who can live on minimum wage.  House cleaning is much more lucrative, even during the recession.

Every week she puts aside a certain percentage of the money earned vacuuming, scrubbing stoves and toilets, picking up other people’s dirty socks into savings for the long anticipated surgery.  She has been saving for four years. 

Yesterday I ran into her American husband at the coffee shop and inquired about my friend.  He was excited to report that she had one and three-fourths of the money saved for her surgery. 

I asked him if she really was planning to go through with it. 

“Of course.  Why not?” 

I don’t know.  I just can’t fathom electing to go under the knife.  I’ve had three surgeries—three medical emergencies.  I was always grateful I had not had time to think about the event. 

I asked him if he thought the surgery would change her and if she were ready for the change.

“Of course.  It will give her confidence.”

Back in her single days, she and I used to go out to the clubs together.  I was the one interested in dating after my fifteen-year marriage ended.  She is the one who went home with telephone numbers. 

Neither one of us is well-endowed (certainly by current standards), but I do come in just a bit fuller and certainly am closer to a JLo thing going on even though she’s Latin and I’m Anglo.

I wished them both well and headed out to finish my errands—a little shaken. 

When did silicone or whatever they now use become so crucial to our sense of self?  How does a pair of milk jugs increase your sense of worth?  How did breast size become such an important part of our cultural story?  Is Hollywood to blame?  Is Wall Street to blame?  Is anyone to blame?  Am I imposing my value system on my friend?  Am I so out of touch with the Zeitgeist that I don’t recognize the value of purchased parts? 

Styrofoam cup in hand, I jumped into the SUV I was currently driving and headed toward the jewelers to liquidate some gold.