When I was 12, all my friends started to get boobs. By the time I was 15, all of my friends had boobs.
But me? No boobs.
I mean, yeah, I’m a respectable A-cup. I don’t look completely shapeless. But ever since I was about 13, this Itty Bitty Titty Committee has wanted some, ummmm, augmentation. That’s right: ever since puberty, I’ve really wanted a boob job.
If you had asked me when I was in high school or college what I planned to drop my first “real” paycheck on, I would have, without missing a beat, told you that I planned to buy myself a new pair of boobs. Maybe that answer was tacky. Maybe it was shallow. But I wanted to look good in a bathing suit. I wanted to wear a backless dress, without needing the help of a padded bra. I wanted to feel good about my body. A boob job was just what I used to want and I wasn’t ashamed to tell people so. (Interestingly, it didn’t embarrass me to come across as shallow, but being flat-chested was painfully shameful. Thankfully, my thinking is no longer so warped; this is actually somewhat embarrassing to look back on.)
When I was 16, I did some research and priced out my future procedure: a boob job costs about $10,000. Obviously, this varies a bit depending on where you live in the country but $10,000 is roughly the going rate. At 16, I had no idea how much money $10,000 was (yes, apparently I was shallow and totally ignorant about finances) and happily made a mental note that this was the sum that I would be forking over to make my fantasy of possessing the perfect body become a reality.
Now? $10,000 for two silicone implants and a couple weeks of painful recovery? Hell. No.
Now I do know how much money $10,000 is. Now I know that $10,000 could:
1. Serve as the downpayment on a home.
2. Pay for a modest wedding.
3. Pay for an African safari
….and the list of stuff I’d rather spend $10,000 on these days goes on. Partially, my priorities have just shifted. I have a healthier relationship with my body and have grown up enough to realize that there’s no such thing as a “perfect” body – and even if there was, I’m not sure it would be very important to me to pursue. But also, it now seems straight up absurd to me to shell out $10,000 for an elective surgery. In short, I know the value of $10,000 and how difficult it is to either save $10,000 up or pay $10,000 off and I know that if I’m going to go to that kind of trouble, I’m surely not going to spend the money on a boob job.
What about you? What did you used to desperately want that now seems totally silly? How do you KNOW that you know the value of a dollar (or $10,000)?