First, let’s define “areola”: a small circular area, in particular the ring of pigmented skin surrounding a nipple.

(I was asked “What is an areola?” when I used the term in a Facebook status)

The areola is basically a Siamese twin to the nipple. In society, we don’t walk around letting our nipples stick out. Wait, a couple of caveats to that statement –

  1. Based on numerous episodes of “Friends”, nipples dictated when the character of Rachel was cold and they stuck out.
  2. Men walk around with both nipple and areola displayed to the world and society doesn’t bitch about that.

Areolas are connected to breasts. I will be honest, I like breasts. I even own a pair myself. Breasts are one thing, but when areolas become the focal point of my conversation, I get a little squirmy.

Areola, as I have named her, is a neighbor. A bit on the hillbilly side of life and devoid of the social graces society favors. She worships my dog, Sophie. “Worships” is used loosely, because if Sophie ever goes missing, I will knock on her door first. She gets totally fan girl over Sophie at every opportunity.

I have grown accustomed to the very tight-fitting, no bra wearing, un-supported breasts that throw themselves at Sophie. I divert my eyes because I really don’t want to have to say, “Excuse me, your breast is out.”  while she is bent over playing with my dog. It’s always a risk.

Fast forward to summertime in Texas. Ah, nothing like freakish levels of heat and humidity to get the clothes coming off. Thoughts of the swimming pool begin to arise, and neighbors walk around in swimsuits and towels.

Not Areola. No, she bounds toward me, all jiggly, and she sports the latest black athletic shorts, and the palest blue, spaghetti strap cami-thing I have ever seen. Did I mention that the fabric is also thin and see-through? As she lopes happily towards Sophie and myself, I begin to make out these enormous areolas pushing against her top. There is no nipple, just areola. It’s so tight, I literally make out every single bump and vein. I can’t take my eyes off of them. It’s like a grotesque train wreck – you see it coming down the track, but you’re helpless to do anything. She just kept playing with Sophie and the areolas are just bouncing around like a Plinko piece on The Price Is Right!

If Gina Gershon were to lope towards me wearing the same attire, it would be different. Christina Hendricks, different.  Kate Upton. Salma Hayek. Etc. You get the idea. We all want the areolas we are forced to look at to be attached to an eye pleasing package. Why it gets weird when they are on packages that require cornea diversion probably makes me a horrible person.

I’m shallow and weird. I have conversations with Areola and her pair of areolas. Going forward, I think I will start naming each bump. Like they are freckles. That should help.

Funny. I had to add “areola” to my spell check dictionary.

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