>"What does this mean to you? Dig deeper!

Numerous people in my workshop wrote this comment on my story about developing breasts and being tormented by their ginormous size and then undergoing breast reduction surgery (if they bothered to give me back my paper at all, which one person did not, but that is another story). It vexes me because in many cases I don't say what the situation means because it means (or meant) nothing.

For example, I talk about how breasts have not worked out so well for the women on my maternal side. My granny is a short women who walks around stooped over, maybe partially from the two watermelons stuck to her chest. On the other hand, my mom is a woman of average height with a very small frame who had two small boobs until she lost one to cancer when I was 4 years old. The people in my class wanted to know what I thought about her scarred chest when I was growing up, and the honest answer is that I didn't. It was just a fact of life that I accepted. My mom had cancer. They had to cut off one of her boobs. The end.*

The point is that this made me realize two things. First, I am not a deep person. I really do often accept things for their surface explanation. This is not entirely true, as I also analyze certain things that happen until I've beaten the dead horse to a bloody mixed metaphor, but still - I'm shallow. The second thing is that I am lazy. I'm probably not as shallow as I claim (see dead horse metaphor), but digging deep means extra work and maybe even painful revelations, and I'm not going there. Sometimes I just want to tell a funny story. Why look for the underlying pathos just to make the story more literary? It's all very distressing to think about.

*Now you know the truth, so if I ever do write a best-selling book about puberty and there are paragraphs describing how I didn't want to get boobs because I was scared of cancer and blah blah blah, you can all go to the tabloids and say that I am a liar just like James Frey. And then I will have to lie and say that I had recovered memories in the process of writing the book and blah blah blah and it will all be very scandalous. If you do sell me out, I hope that the tabloids pay you good money. Then you can take me out for afternoon tea and we can laugh about it.

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