Before I get into the actual story of the post I feel like I need to give you, the reader, a little background information. In past posts I have mentioned how I hate boobs in this country. Yes boobs. This hatred has led me to take such good care of my own two lady lumps. They get placed into a snug sports bra every day as soon as I wake up. This sports bras only job is to keep the girls up. Up where they belong...up is where I always thought boobs should be...until I got into this country. It is when I got into this country and into the village that I learned, rather quickly I might add, that this train of thought is in the minority. Boobs in this country are exhausting to me...on any sort of estrogen excreting thing...goats, cows, pigs humans. If it could check the "female box" on any sort of questionnaire then their boobs make me tired and sad.
In the animal world mommas meander along while their not so young "young" follow along beside or behind them tripping their mothers while head butting their tits, boobs, breasts, nipples, what ever you want to call them just to get a dribble of milk...and it appears to me that it is only to get a little drink. Their kids are never that committed to needing milk...they just get a little drink and then are off playing again, If you are going to head butt my tits for reasons unknown you better be damn thirsty to make it worth my time.
Where the actual humans are concerned...we have opposable thumbs so the kids can get a little more carried away here. Children here reach into their mothers shirt and pull out the saggy tit and begin sucking away while the moms seem to be totally ignorant to the fact that their privacy has been so much more than invaded. Or the moms will contort their body in some karma sutra impossible yoga position stance so that their milk wanting child doesn't have to move from to get what they want. They will squat down with their boob hanging out while their kid lays on the ground and whines because he/she wants milk but does not want to be picked up or moved. God forbid I inconvenience you, child, to let you suck on my tit. Damn kids...birth control has never been stronger.
Furthermore, boobs here on these women were never meant to be perky. No matter the size of said tit , they sprout out sagging. It is sad really...at the age of 15 these girls already have saggy boobs. Perhaps it is just the Zambian way?
So...now back to the story....
Well it started out like any other village day between the hours of 16:00 and 17:something. I sweep out my insaka (a gazebo like structure) and roll out my reed mat and begin my little exercise routine. This workout has been implemented into my village life as a way to maintain my sanity when busy months keep me from seeing other volunteers...It isn't much, pushups here, squats there and a few other odds and ends I found on womenshealthmag.com. It is about this time that my crazy neighbor comes over...yup, they exist even in villages in Africa. I love this woman with all of my heart. Her name is Patricia, I have written about her before, she is the lady who forced my bike wreck mangled arm straight at a time when it really preferred to be bent at a comfortable 90 degrees.
So Patricia is coming over to return the clothes pins that she borrowed earlier in the day (Clothes pins are a hot commodity here on laundry day...mine get borrowed often since I am the only person in the village with them). Of course because Patricia is the walking definition of a nosy neighbor she picks up my pages that the workouts are printed on. You know the ones, white girls in tiny shorts and sports bras, rocking the body that every suggested exercise rep reminds you you'll never have.
More background information, in Zambia, though tits are totally fair game and can been whipped out for the world to see at any sort of social function and it is not offensive to anyone but me...though I am pretty desensitized at this point in my PC service. Any part of your leg above the knee is pretty much a straight ticket to whoreville as far as they are concerned. Knees are naughty and the thighs that this white girl workout queen is sporting is enough to send Patricia into a panic attack.
So as Patricia is looking at this picture she asks me, for the millionth time in our short little relationship if American women can show their legs. Patricia speaks zero english so she has been vital to my language learning. I credit a big portion of my Nyanja comprehension to her. She is insistent on talking to me (because she is a nosy neighbor) and she is even more insistent on being understood and she will not stop until we are both sure that we are on the same page. The following is a roughly translated conversation that will forever be famous in my PC memories. Enjoy!
P: "So women in the America can show their legs?"
M: "Yup! No problems will happen if you show your legs."
P: "Humph! Not Zambia. If you show above here (pointing to just below her knees) HULE! (whore) No no, not bare. If you are bare it means that you want many men. You must wear chitenge then it is okay."
M: "I know."
P: "And the bra. It looks very nice. Very nice." Then while grabbing her own D cups down around her waist she pulls them up to a more perky place and says, "You want them so"
M" The giggling has started now
P: "Good, very good" She says as she looks longingly at the breasts of someone who, in Patricia's defense, never breast fed 6 children for 24 months a pop. That is 12 years of her life! Those boobs never stood a chance. And then again, "They look so good."
M: More giggling.
P: My giggling pulls her out of her busty trance. "Maggie don't laugh at me." She says laughing at me. :In America everyone wears these to keep them here?" As she again wrangles the girls up.
M: "Maybe" This is what I say because my language isn't good enough to explain hippies and not bra loving ladies.
P: "Yours are so good!" She says looking directly at my boobs.
M: The laughing is pretty out of control at this point.
P: "They look so nice, and they stay here." She says as again she pulls them up. "And I bet when your having sex with someone because they don't hit them in the face during sex. Not so?" Implying that because my boobs are in a sports bra every day when I take it off they are not so saggy that they could be classified as a weapon during intercourse. She then takes one of her own and swings it around showing me how hers hit her husband in the face during what Cosmo would call "girl on top."
M: I duck for cover and then die laughing.
So, there you have it folks. Wear a bra because apparently being hit in the face with a saggy tit during sex is not sexy. Ladies, if you are interested in doing some volunteer service work pack up all your old over the shoulder bolder holders and ship them my way. I got a village full of Saggy Sallies longing to be Perky Patricias.
Written in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If shipping your old bras seems a bit odd (WHICH IT SHOULD) you could do a different kind of good deed! Donate Now!