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Tits and Ass

When I was a teenager I was in a performing arts troupe. We presented A Chorus Line. I can’t remember my character’s name. I can’t remember much of anything besides singing a song called Tits and Ass, of which I had neither (it was renamed Boobs and Buns). I think it was ironic. Was it supposed to be ironic? Was I lamenting being in a business that required both and having neither? Don’t ask me; I told you I can’t remember.

The title of this comes from that memory, but it sort of also corresponds with the following story.

*

Earlier this month, I was in my own damn house, minding my own damn business, talking to my own damn husband, in my own. damn. kitchen. Enjoying my own damn nakedness under my robe.

Sure, I think back on it now like oh, probably I should have considered the possibility that someone, especially a someone who is six and obsessed with tits and is awake, would walk in.

Let’s back up.

The six-year-old is obsessed with all things body. OK, no, he’s interested in how things work inside the body. But, he’s obsessed with breasts and penises (or, dicks, as his fellow first graders have so graciously informed him). A conversation last week went like this:

Him: Mommy. That book in the living room.

Me: Yes? (I have no idea what he’s talking about)

Him: The banana lady doesn’t have on a shirt.

Me: (Now I get it) Oh. Josephine Baker. Yes.

(She’s topless in a shredded skirt with what looks like fruit around her neck. But it’s not bananas.)

Him: Maybe she needs to put on a shirt. Because I can’t stop going over to that book.

Me: You can’t?

Him: No. Because I can see her. And she doesn’t have on a shirt. And I keep going to look at that book and maybe she needs a shirt.

Me: (Recalls last week how he was upset that the woman on the cover of a magazine at the checkout in the grocery store wasn’t wearing pants.) The human body is beautiful. You don’t have to be embarrassed that you like looking at her. She’s beautiful.

Him: Can I have that book?

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**

It is 7:00 a.m.

And before you ask, it seemed like a fine idea at the time, because no one but us was around. Stop looking at me like that. My husband isn’t usually um, interested in what’s under my robe, when it’s time to get the kids ready for school. Plus, he hates for me to get him interested because it’s not like there’s time to do something about his interest, right then.

The boy didn’t step on any of the normal stair creaks. Did he float down? (Later, I asked the guy who feigns as my husband. “Oh, I heard him, every step. Step. Step. Step. I thought you’d adjust yourself before he came around the corner.” MOTHERFU– WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?)

Listen.

I was mid-gyration when he tipped around that corner, my innocent little boy obsessed with breasts. There was no time to “adjust myself.” The best I could do was stand myself back up, close my robe and tie the belt with a dignified flourish, and walk away. And maybe prepare myself for the question of where was my penis.

Why is it always the things we don’t think through that wind up causing the most damage? I went upstairs to a boy who looked like he’d cry any minute because, “I saw you.” Uh, yeah, you did, but y’all, it’s not like we are in turtlenecks and long underwear in here. Neither are we full on naked with our robes open showcasing our wares. Why was he so traumatized? My breasts may not be as nice as Josephine Baker’s, but I’d like to think they aren’t so awful that — OHHHHHHH. Maybe it was the shag carpeting covering my non-penis-having area. Shag scares everyone.

It might be time to visit the library for some books specific to bodies and how it’s not the end of the world to see one’s mom titty shaking for dad. And maybe I need to reevaluate what constitutes a good idea. Clearly nakedness in my own house doesn’t qualify.

 

*This post was written as part of a traditional blog hop, with the theme: It seemed like a good idea at the time. The request is that you’ll read mine, then (hop to) read the others, listed below. Please do. You won’t be disappointed.*

Up Popped A Fox

The Flying Chalupa

Suburban Scrawl

Elizabeth McGuire

Two Cannoli

Genie in a Blog

Smacksy

Good Day Regular People

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

The Mama Bird Diaries

Midlife Mixtape

When Did I Get Like This?

 

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