Big enough

How you know when a guy really cares

I bet there are better ways to test your boyfriend's affections than to fake like you're considering breast implants, but I was winging it, people. For one, this guy technically didn't consider himself my boyfriend, so that right there might have been my problem.

"I'm considering breast implants, what do you think?" I asked him, knowing full well I have never — not even for a nanosecond — considered puffing myself up like a blowfish. I was just grasping for compliments, expecting him to fawn all over the place about how my stupid ass is already perfectly fine — especially my tits, which are big enough.

Not huge, mind you. Let's get that straight, though sometimes when I put on my special Robo Bra — the kind that magically grabs fat from my ass and pushes it all the way around so it sits up under my chin — I must say I can fake people into thinking I have cleavage as big as the butt crack of a college freshman. But that is fairly seldom. When I remove that bra, there are always big, red crescent moons imbedded beneath each boob, thanks to the underwires. There are not many occasions where such a result is worth the effort, though a jaunt through security at the Frankfurt airport certainly qualifies. That bra always sets off bells like a four-alarm fire, which means I'm set to get felt up like a drunk coed at a frat bash. It's wonderful.

Anyway, here I am sitting across from this guy over spaghetti, probably with pesto in my teeth, blubbering on like the pathetic idiot who is providing him oceans of commitment-free sex that I am, trying to cop some compliments on top of what will hopefully be a free meal, and thankfully, he looks up at me with worry.

"I had a friend who got implants. They took forever to heal," he begins, launching into this long story about the sufferings of this poor girl. Wow, I was thinking, isn't that nice? He's concerned about me. The truth is that, sadly, even though you might be sleeping with someone, concern isn't always evident. Like I was once on a flight where two first-class passengers who just met got drunk and ended up humping each other like fuck-crazed hounds right there in their seats, which is not at all something I'd recommend. Anyway, the plane was making a stop in Lexington before continuing on to some other city, and damn if that man didn't get up and leave that poor passed-out lady lying there spread out like a TV dinner for all the other people to gawk at as they disembarked. Christ, he could have covered her up, I thought, as I covered her up myself. So you see? Concern, I tell you, is not always a given when a lonely woman reaches out for affection.

So there I was, a lonely woman reaching out for affection from this man who could not possibly have been a worse match for me. He was Catholic, for one, and I was raised by an atheist and a trailer salesman who, even though he was not atheist, didn't want his daughter getting a God habit that would require him to drive her to church, thereby cutting into his Sunday morning beer time at the local tavern.

Oddly, though, I'd recently graduated from a Catholic college, but I'd managed to do so without ever having set foot in the cathedral, which I hear was really nice. I remember people were always getting married in there. I'd be bustling off to the financial aid office to stock up on all my soon-to-be-defaulted student loans when all of a sudden, I'd have to dodge a crowd of people who looked to me to be dressed for a funeral until I saw the goddamn '80s parade float that passed for a bride.

"Yippee for her," I always thought. I had a lot of Catholic girlfriends, and I know what they go through with all that fake sex until the wedding day, all those Indian burns on their pubic bones from the endless dry humping. "Forget that," I'd laugh with them. "I'll be over here having real sex with a soccer player on top of a running washing machine."

So other than that thin connection to Catholicism, this guy and I did not have a thing in common. He actually told me that I should feel good because, of all the girls he was sleeping with, I was the only one he actually allowed in his bedroom, and that is not even the most pathetic part. The most pathetic part is this: I did feel good when he said that.

And to top it off, here he was being all concerned about me, too, telling me about the horrors his friend had to endure with her breast-implant fiasco. "I swear, she was bed-ridden for weeks," he continued, "and then, to make matters even worse, the implants were the wrong size. They weren't big enough, so she had to go back to the hospital and get them redone and go through it all over again."

Gosh, I sighed as he took my hand. He really cares for me. "So, in a nutshell," he finished, "if you're going to get implants, just make sure they're big enough."

Hollis Gillespie is a columnist for our sister paper in Atlanta. Her commentaries can also be heard on NPR's "All Things Considered." To hear the latest, go to Moodswing at And look for her new book, Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales from a Bad Neighborhood (Regan Books/ HarperCollins). Scott Harrell's Field Trip column will resume soon.