(The Rack is a weekly Friday column by fit model, bartender, musician and future superstar, Tammy.)
What a week! I’m coming off a four day work bender at the bar–four solid days of working into the wee hours, stopping for a nightcap, and sleeping most of the next day. I’m writing from my fire escape (the budget equivalent of a balcony, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the glamorous living conditions available for under $1000 a month in fabulous NYC). It’s the first day this week I’ve been up before noon to enjoy this glorious weather, and my goal is to soak up as much sun as humanly possible.
I have my plastic surgeon to thank for my wake up call this morning. I was jolted from my hazy, Jameson-induced dreams by a phone call from her insurance coordinator, who wanted to discuss some details about my impending breast reduction surgery. The date had been tentatively set for May 17, but because of some silly paperwork nonsense, it has been pushed back to June 21. I’ll know for absolutely certain next week whether my insurance has given their pre-certification . . . and it’s an extremely bittersweet, strange feeling to be so close to what will be a life-changing moment.
My initial excitement about easier shopping trips, triangle bikinis, and the ability to go for a run without strapping a triple-reinforced torture device onto my chest has transitioned into an anxious pit in the bottom of my stomach, and a superficial but not completely unfounded fear that the scars will prevent anyone from sleeping with me ever again.
The reduction has become a regular topic at my new job*. As I begin to feel more at peace with my decision to go through with the surgery, I encounter more and more people who argue that getting rid of my breasts borders on blasphemy. I usually laugh it off, but I’ll be completely honest here: I have a not-so-deep-down fear that I will be unattractive without my breasts. I have spent half my life in this body, getting a lot of unwanted attention, hearing a lot of lewd comments and bad jokes, experiencing a lot of frustration at some men’s inability to look me in the eyes . . . and I know what matters is on the inside, but I also know that whether we like it or not, we live in a material world. Am I a material girl???
*Which I absolutely love, by the way . . . my coworkers are lovely, and the management/owners are truly good people who know how to run a bar and how to handle their staff. Last night as I was walking out, the partner who was on manager duty for the evening stopped me to thank me for a great night and tell me how much he appreciated my hard work. I can count on one hand how many times any of my many previous employers took the time to *gasp* thank me *exhale* for my hard work, and I can’t stress enough how incredibly warm and gooey it made me feel. How often do we bust our butts without any acknowledgment or thanks?! I’ll step down from my soap box now.