Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's a "Girls" Thing

Disclaimer: If you are of the male species I am warning you now. This column is about "the" girls, so if you don't want to know about "the" girls, then do not read further. Remember, I warned you. Now, that said, I can honestly ask you, my readers, could you ever imagine that one day you would never have the need to go bra shopping again - ever? I think as women we all look forward to that blissful day when Mother Nature takes a hike and leaves us not having to lug around extra "things" or looking for every bathroom between here and Calcutta. Well, at least not having to lug around extra "things" for "that", just for the "other" that tends to happen as we get older. You know what I'm talking about - the whole "don't make me laugh or I'll pee my pants" bit. But I don't think many of us ever imagined a day without bra shopping. Especially as we embarked on that exciting first experience shopping for our first bra with our moms or friends. We felt so grown up and expectant as we transitioned into that next phase of life. I think we may have had moments of bra-burning nostalgia, but we adhered to proper societal dress codes and wore the proper undergarments. As I grew and blossomed, especially during pregnancy, I gained a beautiful hour-glass figure. I wasn't any Barbie doll, but my figure was passable. Finding bras that fit right was always a challenge, and being big busted came with its own set of woes, but since the "men" usually like "the" girls, well, I learned to live with it and embrace it with all the oomph that Victoria's Secret could muster. Pretty lacy panties and bras that match - what a sight! And what a whole lot of fun shopping. I learned how to effectively use the discounts and sales to get the bras I wanted at a good price, and the semi-annual sale was not to be missed. Over the years I cycled through a lot of Victoria's Secret - I KNEW the Secret. I couldn't wait to take my daughters shopping there and get them their first "real" bra. I had drawers and drawers stocked full and I was very sad to see a bra come to the end of its life. But then the replacement would be bought and all would be right with the world again. Me and my "girls" were happy. Trying to contain them was like trying to stop the Titanic from sinking. In walks breast cancer. Picture it. Tallahassee, December 2010. A (fairly) young woman with an hourglass figure goes into surgery to cure her of a horrible disease. Her choice - sad as it was - was either be disfigured now or later or now AND later. She chose now and now. She emerges from surgery only to look in the mirror and realize someone has smashed the top of her hourglass and all the sand had nowhere to go except down to the bottom of the glass. After some time she realizes she will get better and she won't have to face that disease again. She also realizes those pretty lacy unmentionables in her dresser will never be worn again. So should I be sad? Sometimes. I feel like someone has taken a balloon and squeezed the top so all the air bulges out the bottom. But that will fade in time (I hope!) as will the scars. I realized the other day though how much I miss bra shopping. In walking through the lingerie department recently I saw a bra with a tag that read "age defying lift" and thought, Ha! I have the ultimate age defying lift! It's the only part of me that won't age and sag! So maybe this won't be so bad after all. I then spent some time cleaning out my dresser - $400 worth of bras that are of no use to me anymore. I'll never be that size again. I may never even need the "lift" or "hold" of a bra again. They just kind of stay there all on their own. I'm still getting used to the idea though. Maybe after all the reconstruction is done and the roof is put on and the paint is dry there may be room for a pretty lacy thing or two - then again maybe not. So here's to the smashed hourglass and to the freedom to burn my bras!

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