A 'Dear John' Letter From My Boobs

By the time you read this, we'll be gone. Well, actually, we haven't been around for a while now, but you're probably just noticing that now. This might come as a surprise to you, but we're not coming back.

We're terribly sorry this had to be done in a letter, and that it'll be the last — if not only — memory you'll have of us. You really should've taken a photo when you had the chance, since it's likely that your excessive use of Diet Coke and pot has left you unable to conjure up an accurate mental image of what we once were. Instead, your visual recollections of our former glory are as warped as the underwires of the bras you erroneously put in the dryer.

We understand that you thought you were doing the right thing by not taking our picture, worried that, in this digital age, a picture like that could get in to the wrong hands. (Ironically, you never had a problem putting us directly into countless pairs of wrong hands all over town!)


You know, if you really wanted to show us the respect we deserved then you would tell your husband to aim somewhere else. (And you wonder why we fled for your armpits every time you got on your back!)

But this has nothing to do with your husband. He's been nothing but affectionate and very, very, very attentive. We hope he's doing well and wish him nothing but the best. We pray that you'll finally allow him to find the happiness he's been seeking (in your butthole).

No, this is about us. And you. To be perfectly honest, we've had this sinking feeling almost since the beginning, when we first met — you were 15. You were just so happy to finally have us in your life — all those summers of hiding beneath oversized T-shirts when swimming, while all your girlfriends were practically spilling out of bikini tops — that we didn't want to rain on your tight ribbed turtleneck parade.

We guess we always knew, somewhere in the back of our minds, that we couldn't keep this up. The support just wasn't there — especially during your tank-top-and-no-bra phase.


Sure, there were the good times…Like that New Year's Eve when you thought it'd be hilarious to pour champagne all over us and have your friends catch the runoff in their mouths. Or when you figured out how to flex us individually to the beat of the breakdown of "It's Not Right But It's Okay (Thunderpuss Remix)." How about that time you pressed us against the passenger side window to flash that trucker and he gave us a honk of approval? We stood up for you on your wedding day. And getting motorboated was never not funny.

But lately, there have been more bad times than good. Your yo-yo-ing weight has really let us down. And those years in your late 20s when you worked from home wearing nothing but a muumuu? You practically drove us to lay skin-to-skin with the top of your stomach. Then you complained about how gross that made you feel. It's like, you didn't appreciate what you had with us! What were we supposed to do?


But it's not all your fault. We've certainly failed you, too, at times. Like when you wanted someone to snort coke off us, but we turned out to be too smooshy and mobile, rendering the effort futile. It's not like we're proud of those long, dark, thick, errant nipple hairs. We know they've been a combination of horror, disgust, and embarrassment for you, and for that we're truly sorry. And we weren't really there for you the few times you suggested tit fucking as an alternative (because you were too lazy to have sex or give a blow job).

Look, this is difficult for us to say, but the real reason that we've left is because you had a baby. Of all the people that you've exposed us to — and there have been plenty — she's the worst. She has literally sucked the very life out of us.


She's also immensely abusive: kicking, biting, and shoving with absolutely zero consideration for our feelings. At one point — after she half-chewed off a nipple — it was easier for us to just go numb.

Yes, the breastfeeding was traumatic, but let's face it: things haven't been the same since you got pregnant. We were very, very generous at the time, but inside we ached. We know you felt it, too.


And then our swan song: Your milk came in. We became the biggest, most visible presence in your life — or at least in your mirror. We felt so, so full it seemed unnatural. But the truth is, we were stretched beyond our limit. And with the milk going out and then coming back in, there were just too many ups and downs. We'd had it.

We waited until you were done breastfeeding before we became totally withdrawn, quietly shrinking away. But you're survivor. You'll make it through this. You've always been a cup-is-half-full type of person — it's just more literal now.


Maybe you think you can fix this. But it doesn't matter what doctor you go to, it'll never be the same. It'll be fake, when what we had was real.

Perhaps we'll see each other again one day, if you decide to have another kid. But we all know that such a reunion would be fleeting.


So, yeah, we can't hang around anymore. We've gotta bounce — and we will no longer be doing that on your chest.

Smell you later,


Animation by local hero Jim Cooke.

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Tracie, I am really sorry you have had such a hard time with your breasts. I suspect you had these feelings about them way before your troubles with breastfeeding. And I am glad you are going to do whatever it takes to get on a path where you can be comfortable with your chest.

But please, stop scaring a generation who has only seen bottle feeding into thinking that breastfeeding causes saggy boobs. Pregnancy does. Smoking does. Having larger breasts in general does because, well, hello gravity.

We need to find a way to make breastfeeding the norm and support everyone who tries it. Not only those who try it but for when it doesn't go the way it should. We need better support to make informed choices. And that starts by normalizing it.