I grew up as an only child, so I spent a lot of time alone, and I really, REALLY wanted more friends. “How do people make friends?” “What sort of things does one need to get ahead in the game?” 11-year-old me wondered. Seeing as how I had no friends yet, and no siblings to ask, I went to the next best thing. I watched tons of television, read women’s magazines, and ALL the Judy Blume and Sweet Valley High books. I wanted to learn exactly how such a task was accomplished. Based on my research I decided that the surest way to get more friends was simple. You needed to have bigger boobies!
I tried the obvious things first. I massaged my breasts, and then did various and countless versions of the “We must, we must, we must increase our bust” exercises. But I got zero results. I decided to go a step further and take a stab at cheating nature altogether. First I tried sticking some cotton balls in a training bra. Then I tried balling up some toilet paper. Then I put some socks in there, but it was all far too lumpy for my taste, and it just wasn’t cutting it. I wanted to go the extra mile. And that’s when I came up with the idea of making my special “fake it ’til you make it” boobie trap!
11-year-old Erica Doering, bottom row, second from right
I wanted to fill my training bra with some smooth looking breast substitutes. So I went to the store and bought the largest grapefruit I could find because subtly was not an option. I measured it, cut it in half, and carefully removed the fruit so that I only had the bra cup-shaped peels left over. I filled both sides with water, and then put both of them inside a large Tupperware container. Closing it up, I put the whole works in the freezer. And then I waited. And waited. I wanted them to be extra frozen so that they’d be usable for as long as possible, of course. I told my mother I had a “science project” in there so she wouldn’t bother with my creation, and left them alone. I waited seven days and then decided that I was finally ready to see what these babies could do.
I fashioned an intricate series of layered undershirts and training bras to hold my new, very smooth, very, very, very, cold self-made boobies/friend catchers. It was time to take them out for a test run. I needed to see how they’d work in a social setting of some kind.
The place to see and be seen for any self-respecting 11-year-olds in my neighborhood was a general store called Luchinni’s. That’s where I was gonna reveal my new friend-worthy self, buy some penny candy and make ALL the friends!
So I put on my get up, which looked pretty damn good if I do say so myself—natural, even. They were not bumpy and of course very big, which was crucial because my research had proven the bigger, the more friends! Oh and I also put on some Dr. Pepper tinted chapstick for the occasion, because at eleven, that was the icing on the cake.
Now I’m sure it must have been disturbing to see an 11-year-old girl walking around with a C cup, but fortunately, I didn’t have the awareness to process that fact. Everything seemed to be going well, at least for the first five minutes, anyway. But what I hadn’t factored in was 1) the pain of freezing mounds of ice on even baby boobies for two blocks of walking, and 2) the melting. Oh, the melting!
Sigh. When I got to Luchinni’s, I was not only flat chested again, but I was also dripping wet to boot. So when I bumped into Linda Kennedy, Tara James, and Shannon Fitzpatrick, the “it” 11-year-olds in my parts, they did not look impressed, nor did we become fast friends. I did at least get out of there with a bagful of penny candy, though. And so that is how an 11-year-old girl named Erica Doering invented the very first water bra!