Saturday, December 02, 2006

Trauma. Trauma trauma trauma.

Okay dad, you might not want to read this, because this post is all about bras. My bras. And it's a LONG post too. I wonder if this is part of becoming a mother - an extended post on bras is the first step on the slippery slope to discussing, with excitement, my child's stool. (And if you think I'm talking about furniture, I won't correct you. YET.)
All right. Today's Traumatic Pregnancy Experience was bra-shopping. Backstory - my favorite bra comes from Victoria's Secret. I import my bras. Yes I do. Or I will make arrangements with people (my husband, friends in Edmonton, random travelers) to bring me home bras from their vacations. Early on in the pregnancy (like, 11 weeks?), I got a fave in a larger size on spec. I hadn't realized that I had been wearing that bra nonstop for the last, umm, while, until it clicked that I hadn't laundered it since it had come home from the store.
Of course, my horror at that moment centered on the fact that I'd been wearing an item of clothing - an INTIMATE item of clothing - without washing it for at least a month. Maybe two. *shudder* Another step on a different slope, I'm sure... So I washed it.
It wasn't until I was at work the next day that what I'd done started sinking in. Or should I say sawing in? My new favorite bra (NFB) was still damp, so I had just thrown on my old favorite bra (OFB)...
The OFB had obviously been brooding in the basket system I use for my knickers. "Look at her!" it would think. "She's wearing THAT ONE again!" And while I cavalierly ignored my OFB's emotions, it began to hatch a plan. A cunning, fiendish, PAINFUL plan.
At approximately 9 am, after I had been wearing the OFB for approx 2 hrs, it began to be uncomfortable. At 10 am, the OFB began to try to cut me in half, like some misguided & sadistic stage magician. At 11:45, I hightailed it to several bra stores, with well-endowed bra-wise coworker in tow, in the hopes of finding a new bra, a different bra, just some kind of bra that was not cackling in glee every time I inhaled.
I didn't find any that day. I did try on at least 47 bras, ranging in price from the clearance rack $3.99 special, to the "I didn't even care, if it fits I'll buy it." Styles varied from skimpy to nursing to matronly. It was like the life cycle of the western woman, I tell you. And of course, nothing fit. .I realized that I didn't know when the Titty-Fairy was going to stop by again either. So I decided to buy a back extender, tough out the day, & not buy any more bras until the NFB was beginning to be uncomfortable.
Thursday morning, I finally couldn't deny that yea, my cups were runnething over. And not just in a beguiling cleavage way. No, there was underarm boob-spooge too. .And so today, today I bravely set forth to Wal-Mart to find a new bra. Maybe two, one in black, one in white? Not too expensive, because really, that Titty-Fairy, she's a sarcastic woman on the OFB's payroll, & if I spent too much on the bras, I was guaranteed a growth spurt in no time. I knew that Wal-Mart would not be like VS, but that would almost maybe be okay - at least there would be less pink, less chrome, less expectations. I was doing pretty well with the whole endeavor - I selected several handfuls of bras, & with laden arms went over the change rooms. And then it all fell apart...
Wal-Mart Lady #1: "How many items do you have?"
Me: "I don't know, there's, um, well..." The bras, of course, had wound themselves into a knot around my hands, the hangers, & themselves. It was like a Gordian knot with support & underwire.
W-ML#1: "You can only take six in the change room at one time. How many do you have?"
Me: "I have, well, I have, erm.." The bras were resisting any attempt to fall into rank & file to be counted.
W-ML#1: "Here. " The lady points me to a change room, and then stood over me to ensure that a) I counted the bras & b) I took no more than 6 in the change room. (Impressive, considering that she was at least a foot shorter than me.) The change room had no bench, no shelf, no welcoming hooks... The Gordian bra released one hand, so I tried to start counting them out. I was flustered, & had hoped that Wal-Mart would have some kind of counter I could set the bras, my purse, & my bag full of maternity panties on... but no. I tried to set down my bag, my purse, & my winter jacket. I tried to hang half the knot onto the tiny hook on the outside of the door, in order to free up, well, my arms? My ability to count & untangle knots? Of course, the hooks had been paid off by the OFB, and thus that knot of bras hit the floor. So did my jacket, my purse, & my bag. In a flush of irrational rage, I dumped the other half of the bras on the floor.
W-ML#1: "You use hook!"
Me: "I'm pregnant & I need a new bra & I don't know what size I am anymore and..." Of course, during this sentence, I had sunken to my knees to try & count the bras that I had just willfully strewn on the floor. Once I was kneeling on the Wal-Mart dressing room floor, the enormity of the moment hit me, & I dissolved into tears. (What enormity, you ask? I'm pregnant, I'M enough enormity at any given moment.)
W-ML#1: "Oh, oh, oh, are you ok?"
Me: "I don't know what size I am anymore... I... *sniff*"
W-ML#1: "It's okay, just take six in at a time." (Exit stage right.)
Me: "*sniff*. *sniff sniff*."
Wal-Mart Lady #2: (the heavy) "Is there a problem here?"
Me: (close to a wail) "I'm pregnant & my bra doesn't fit & I need a new one & I don't know what size I am & there are no hooks & I know I only can take in six and...."
W-ML#2, accurately assessing that I am not a violent threat, attempts to reassure me. "That's the great part about being pregnant, isn't it? Getting bigger?"
Me: *blink*
W-ML#2: "I mean your boobs, right? Getting bigger? Isn't that great?" (Yes, she actually said that. Out loud. In the change room. Of the Wal-Mart.)
Me: *sniff* "Yeah." (Same tone of voice that I used to use when listening to Mom put some trivial world-ending thing into perspective.)
(Somebody hit that little dingy bell they use in boxing, eh? )
Round one: I had 27 items in that first round. (The speed elimination round.) That was actually 31 bras, because I so counted the 2 three-pack sports bra as one item. Bras, 28 failures. Kourtney, 4 maybes.
Round two: I collected 8 boxed bras, & another 9 hanger bras, in addition to the slip & the 4 maybes from round one. W-ML#2 was very sympathetic, & gently informed me that boxed bras had to be taken out before I could try them on. (I didn't even realize that that's an ironic statement until just this second.) She let me pile my "keeper" items in her little workroom, AND she let me take all 9 hanger bras in at one time! AND she unboxed the boxed bras for me, because "I was alone." She was right. I was alone, alone in the valley of the shadow of breast. Bras: 15 failures. Kourtney: 1 yes, 1 maybe.
Round three: Further refinement. Attempted some nursing bras. (Wal-Mart has a WAY better selection that Sears!) Bras: 6 failures. Kourtney: 1 bra, 3 soft sports-bra type things, & an overwhelming sense of shame. Some poor Wal-Mart minion is going to have to put the rejected 54 bras back..So the bra - it's not too bad, really. (Realizing of course, that my standards have slid dramatically in the last 6 hours.) It's black, has wide shoulder straps, the ribcage is secure, features some lace, & my girls, well, they are not excessively bullet shaped. It is the first time in my life I've ever worn a bra that is even remotely like this, and honestly, it's still in its box, lying on my bed. I'm intimidated. My only comfort is the new bra is going to scare the bejeebers out of the OFB. I've got the mafioso Bettie Page of bras, I do.
And with luck, I will be able to channel Bettie Page more than Tony Soprano OR the Sears Foundation Garment section circa 1954. I'll let you know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My poor darling! A traumatic event indeed! I wish I'd been there for/with you. One that I experience each time I have to sally forth to seek a new OFB replacement. Probably the reason I gave up wearing ém in the 70's 80's & 90's. Until you took me by the hand and offered encouragement and support. (No pun intended.) Just remember lingerie "has come a long way Baby" and the nursing bras expedition awaits..... Chin up and pass that thought on to the "girls" too. Love You - Mom