Innies or Outies?

15 05 2009

My three-year-old son's belly button. Definitely an Innie...

My three-year-old son's belly button. Definitely an Innie...

Here’s a question I thought I’d never have to answer again once I left the gradeschool playground — Innies or Outies? That was the question at recess on days when the swings and the monkey bars had become a little too hum-drum. Not only did you have to declare yourself as one or the other, but you had to prove it by lifting your shirt and showing your belly.

It was a little like Dr. Suess’s story of the Sneetches — a group of yellow, beach-dwelling creatures who distinguish themselves from one another by the green stars on their bellies. Those with the green stars are part of the “in” crowd while those without…well, I need not go any further — I’m sure you remember the wrestling for top dog that is just a part of growing up. And, like cooties and indoor recess on rainy days, when I moved on to junior high, I was happy to leave that part of my life behind.

Fast-forward to 2006. It’s a cool autumn day in November, two weeks before Thanksgiving. I’m sitting in one of the examining rooms at my plastic surgeon’s office, perched on the edge of the examining table, wiggling around and trying to get comfortable as I sit on a fresh piece of the ever-present roll of crinkly white paper.

“You’re going to need to decide whether you want innies or outies,” he says to me as he’s looking over my paperwork. About 30 seconds pass before he realizes I am sitting there in stunned silence (he has known me long enough to realize that silence is not something I’m known for). He looks up at me over the the top of his glasses.

“You know, innies or outies,” he says, pointing in the general direction of my breasts in way of explanation. I look down at them. They are only partially covered by my ill-fitted gown. I finally realize what he’s talking about. My nipples.

“Innies or outies?” I say quizzically.

“Yes, you get to choose. But remember, whatever you choose — that’s the way they stay.”

So, that night at home, I broached the subject with my husband, Don.

“Innies or Outies, eh?” he said. “Hmm.”

“What do you think?”

We debated the pluses and minuses of Innies and Outies but in the end, it was clear the decision had to be mine. Choose Innies and I’d have the freedom to forego bras at my leisure –because (BONUS!) fake boobs never sag. Choose Outies and they’d look more “real” — but I’d have to cover them or they’d poke through the light-weight fabric of summer tank tops. Though that seemed like a bit of extra trouble, truth was, I wanted my new breasts to be as close to their predecessors as possible. And so, I chose Outies. And though I often look down, I’ve never looked back.

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