Take a moment to look up from the pandemic and you might notice: It’s April already! April is, among other fine things, National Poetry Month. This is one excellent reason to choose buying a bra as my blog topic du jour. Why? Because a popular cowboy poem by Bill Hershey bears that title. You can read it here:
If this poem doesn’t make you laugh, you are probably dead.
Speaking of dead, let’s take a break from death, plague, existential threats, etc., and dig deep into a true First World Problem: my own experiences of buying a bra.
My most recently completed bra purchase happened in 2005. I know, I know, that was a million years ago, but if you’ve met me in person you’ve surely noticed that I’m slightly built. To put it succinctly, my bras don’t suffer much wear and tear.
Can we please talk about something else?
No, we can’t, 9, because my brain is too tired to come up with another topic. Besides, you might learn something useful.
But I’m only nine years old.
Trust me, things will change.
We’re really flat chested when we start seventh grade, but just you wait, Mom will buy us one of those bandaid bras to wear to school because that’s what she thinks seventh grade girls should do.
I thought so, but if you don’t have one the girls in P. E. class will make fun of you.
P. E. class?
Uh-huh. You have to shower in front of everybody, too.
No need to scare her in advance with your years of lurid locker room experiences, Lily. There are plenty of us out here who agree with your assessment of P. E.class, 9.
Let’s move on to a different kind of scary. My buying a bra horror story happened at the Silverdale Mall in Silverdale, WA. I was skulking around the lingerie department at The Bon, hoping to find something that suited without having to tarry. Enter: the saleslady.
“Oh!” she simpered. “Are you looking for a bra?”
“Yes,” I confessed, “I- -”
“We’ll need to take your measurements to know what size.” She whipped a cloth measuring tape from around her neck with the smug aplomb of Cloris Leachman’s sitcom character Phyllis and did the deed before I could protest.
“Oh! We’re a Nearly A!”
Away she whipped, returning in seconds with three candidates. She leaned forward to whisper “You’ll want a little padding,” I thought she wanted a nice Hawaiian Punch but restrained myself from giving her one.
A few minutes and fifty dollars later (remember, this was 2005) I escaped the intimate apparel torture chamber three bras richer. One plain black, one plain beige, one beige with a little lace for God knows why. Recently, when I was dressing up (meaning wearing something on the bottom half besides Levi’s 501s) for some swanky event like going to the post office, I went to retrieve the sole survivor of my early aughts shopping splurge and paused.
The black one, stretched out and smashed up and sporting puckered straps, peered mournfully from the dresser drawer. I wore it, though I’ve lost at least ten pounds since 2005 and we all know where weight comes off first, don’t we, ladies? The infamous slightly-padded cups, a quarter inch from making contact with actual flesh when worn, may be repurposed as cat ears for a Halloween costume.
As 9 would say, double yuck.
That got me to wondering, what is my bra size these days? If the local Macy’s hadn’t closed I would have recruited their expertise. Instead, I punted with online guidance, going straight to the top with Victoria’s Secret. Did you now there’s something called a band measurement? News to me. I puzzled it out with my own cloth tape measure, entered the results into their formula and came up with- –
Not telling! Because the style I purchased (priced at more than fifty dollars per unit) is guaranteed to give a one and one-half greater cup size appearance than actual. Not that I intended to do this when I first started shopping, but, when in Rome. . .
Mom would never let us have one of those.
Sometimes things change for the better, Lily. I’m pretty sure at this point Mom will be cheering me on, mostly because the bra will make my tops hang better.
This new bra is so popular it’s on back order until mid-May. Sure, I wish I could have it now, but after sixteen years, I guess I can wait one month more.