I rarely buy books that cost more than 25¢. The library here is full of books, free for the borrowing and yard sales are held almost every Saturday. Besides, I have a huge supply of books by my bedside just waiting to be read. And yet, the other day I bought two copies of the same book at the BC Ferry gift shop. Retail!
This ferry is big and even though I think of it as pure transportation; not a cruise ship, it does have a White Spot restaurant and a ridiculous gift shop full of souvenirs, clothes, books and magazines. And, while I admit to have eaten on the ferry (they have poutine) the gift shop has yet to get much, if any of our money, until the other day.
I bought the book Boobs by Ruth Daniell
I didn’t think much about it – I saw it and bought it. One copy for me to read and pass on, and one copy to send immediately to my friend Sarah.
Boobs, aptly named, is a collection of stories by women about what else… boobs.
Women wrote that they felt their boobs were too big, or too small, and mostly too public. They wrote about boobs that were full of cancer or silicone, and what it was like to have them reconstructed, or how it is to live with scars, instead of boobs.
What I found most remarkable was how very few women wrote anything positive about their boobs.
Instead, they wrote how their boobs were seen and judge. How they were open to public ridicule from a very young age. They wrote about their bra buying experience, the mindless grabbing of their boobs, and nasty comments made by creepy adult men and awkward boys.
Almost every woman spoke of these experiences as horrible; all felt they had no control over their own bodies.
A lot of stories had to do with breast cancer and the treatment of it. How and why some chose reconstruction and others didn’t. Some stories were about women with mis-shaped or non “perfect” breasts and how traumatizing gym class, swimming or their first sexual experience was.
No story was written by anyone who loved, admired or enjoyed their own breasts.
No one wrote about how grand it was to have boobs. They did speak about how at times their boobs gave them power over others and most remember the exact day they owned that power. But, mostly having boobs was a challenge. These women it seemed, had to learn how to hide their boobs, support them, or keep them from killing them off.
I read this book in two sittings. I’ve sent the two copies to friends I think will like it. Other girlfriends may get this book for Christmas. It’s a good read.
I even wrote the author to let her know how much I liked it .
Now, as time has passed, I’e thought more and more about it.
I now realize it would have been really nice to have had at least ONE story, by a women who had been happy, if not thrilled with her boobs.
Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to write a very positive story either.