I’m going to take some of you down memory lane today, in honor of the 43rd anniversary of my first marriage. Not that this story has anything to do with that event, but I still remember the day with fondness, and like to acknowledge it.
How many of you read the advertisements in the back of the teen’s or women’s magazines in the 1960s? How many of you started your high school career about as flat as your textbooks? (You can put your hands down now.) So who among you knows the connection between the first two questions? A few of you…I figured as much. Those discreet little ads in the back of the magazines often showed two photographs of the same woman. In the first one, a sad and troubled face overlooked a rather flat (and therefore unhappily unattached) young woman. In the second one, she was smiling, her hair had been freshly done, and her chest was beautifully rounded. And what made the difference, you might ask? Her purchase of a Mark Eden Bust Developer.
This amazing pink spring tool was affordable ($19.95, if I remember correctly), effective, and most importantly, would be mailed to you in a plain brown wrapper. So I weighed the pros and cons, and sent off my check. After all, I was a college student who would obviously be happier with a few more curves…and no one need ever know but me.
So here’s where the irony comes in. Not long after ordering (but before my magic Mark Eden Bust Developer’s arrival at my apartment in Fresno), I paid a visit back home to Mom and Daddy. And my little brother (9 years old and quite confused), corners me to ask why on earth I had ordered a bust developer. I was stunned! I thought this was supposed to be secret. So who told my little brother?
This is a very small world. The owners of that discreet little magazine ad evidently worked with a factory in Nipomo, California…just up the hill from my parents’ home. And the girl who packed my purchase in its plain brown wrapper was the big sister of one of my brother’s best friends. And she told her brother, who told my brother, and so on.
By the time I got back to Fresno, the mail had come, and there was my box, wrapped in plain paper, with a note in pencil on the outside, “Hey, Fawn, this is ________, _________’s sister. Just wanted to say Hi and I hope you are doing well.”
Never again did I trust a plain brown wrapper.