Friday, July 2, 2010

Arm-Wrestling and Boobs

My firm went on its annual legal staff only fishing trip last weekend.  The lawyers are supposed to "bond" on this trip; with the lines of communication being opened between shareholders and associates, etc.  There are not too many women amongst the legal staff at my firm.  There is me, I am a shareholder and have been here 18 years; one female staff attorney who is a "kid" who just got sworn in last October; a female paralegal who has been with us some years; and this year we had a female summer intern who will be starting her final year of law school in the fall. 

The "kid" attorney, whom I will now refer to as "the kid," and I somehow ended up arm-wrestling after the cook-out on Friday evening.  I think this was her idea... I frankly don't recall how we came to be sitting across from one another at the picnic table, right arms at the ready... I think beer was involved.  As we clasped hands I heard one of the senior shareholders yell:  "I'll take the athlete over the smoker!" 

I, you see, am "the smoker."  I am 48 years old, smoke heavily and have done so for some 30 odd years (and let me tell you they have been "odd" years!) and have, for lack of a better phrase, a "heart condition" for which I must take daily pills.  The kid, on the other hand, is 26 or 27 years old with pure, virgin lungs and presumably a strong heart, since she ran hurdles in high school and college and still runs daily.  She has not an ounce of fat on her body and clearly defined muscles in her limbs. 

Ahhh.... but here is where the subject of "boobs" come into play!  Being 48 years old, I was born in 1962.  For some reason there seemed to be an even greater obsession with huge boobs on women in the 60's and 70's than in later eras.  If you don't believe it, go find yourself some vintage Playboy magazines of the era and you will see the freakishly large boobs that were "admired" back then.  And, maybe some of you are old enough to recall that you couldn't hardly open a magazine of any kind without finding, towards the back, the full-page ad for those magical creams or exercise devices that were guaranteed to give you giant boobs!  These ads were always accompanied by the before and after photos of the bimbo who was standing slump-shouldered (probably to hide the fact that she already had boobs) in the "before" photo and who was smiling and proudly thrusting her bulging cleavage upward in the "after" photo.

My parents were and still are to this day, "wild-eyed liberals."  One of their errors in judgment as such was their idea that it was okay to leave dad's Playboy magazine on the coffee table in our living room even though mom and dad had three little daughters.  As mom tells me today, she didn't want to be a "hypocrite."  Apparently it never occurred to them though that Playboy gave a very one-sided picture of female sexuality: women as playthings, and that perhaps this was not a good thing for the developing minds of little girls to be exposed to.

My mom is not busty...   So I, as a young girl, became deeply concerned that I would be as flat-chested as my mom.  As explained above, the importance of having big boobs had been thoroughly impressed upon me!  So, while I never bought the creams or devices, I DID do bust exercises... lots of them and regularly.  I developed fantastic upper body strength.  There was a whole gym class of girls in a school back in Dayton, Ohio who came to hate me because the gym teacher decided: "If Julia can do boys' style push-ups the rest of you can too!"  I set the school record in the "flexed-arm hang." 

(Note the shoulders and upper arms [and total lack of boobs] in the above Glamour Shot)

Along with all this came truly note-worthy arm-wrestling prowess.  It took me the longest time to figure out when I was 12, 13, 14 years old, that it did NOT impress the boy that you had a crush on for you to beat him at arm-wrestling.  (I'm really slow most of the time at figuring out how other people's minds work).  In my twenties I actually won a trophy for arm-wrestling in a bar competition. 

But, many years and many cigarettes had rolled under the bridge by the time I found myself holding hands with the kid across that picnic table kid last Friday night.  I had a real fear that she was gonna take me down.  Nonetheless, I planted my feet wide apart and flat on the ground (the position of one's feet when arm-wrestling is much more important than most people realize) and leaned from the hips in toward my opponent... someone hollered "Go!"  I heard my partner's snide comment about taking the athlete over the smoker, and then... I TOOK THAT TWINKIE DOWN!!  Girlfriend was beet red!  She then grabbed my right arm with both her hands and stood up, and with that advantage, finally, but not easily, managed to take me down.  It was a proud moment for this "old lady."  I turned to my partner who had doubted me and said: "Betcha didn't know I have a trophy for arm-wrestling!"  He said: "I believe it now!" 

I then retired to a chair somewhat removed from the rest of the group, where I could catch my breath and still my racing heart, because beating the kid damn near killed me!  LOL!  She says she's in training for next year... uh oh...

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