Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can throw them over your should like a continental soldier?
Do your ears...hang...low?
Without further fluff or rambling, here are four simple steps for your bra shopping consideration:
RULE #1: Resist the temptation of DRIVE-BY BRA SHOPPING
I walked through the rest of my busy day before my trip, with a spring in my step from all the new-found confidence that only the pairing of a new bra and snug sweater can coffer. I had a brunch with a bunch of fabulous women, a lunch meeting with some others and then a school function that afternoon. Through all the social venues, I put my best breast forward, flying my hands up to my chest during a fit of laughter, brazenly taking any room I was in with shoulders set back in the happy knowing that no longer was there the risk of people wondering what those twin bulges were hovering near my mid-section or why I wincing in pain (due to my errant underwire). No, everything was were it SHOULD be and I held the world by two sturdy straps. Or so I thought.
Much later, when I was home and back in my usual role as housemaid, my eye caught a strange phenomenon as I passed by the hallway mirror, carrying an overflowing laundry basket. I stared at the image, trying to decipher the odd formations distorting the heart on my sweater. There appeared to be (very) elevated and distinct shapes of two back-to-back crescent moons smack dab in the center of my chest. Setting the basket down, I slowly lifted up my shirt and what lied beneath it was the most distorted, unnatural form of cleavage I had ever seen. Yes, perhaps I had been ignoring the growing discomfort of my new bra (I hadn't washed it or broke it in yet, I reasoned), but what this ill-fitting contraption had done to my breast was now undeniable and I wondered why nary a woman I had interacted with that day didn't draw me aside to question me about the possibility of Parker House rolls baking under my sweater . Lord knows I had drawn enough attention to the rising crescents swelling from center of my chestal cavity.
"Oh, my! No...no, no, ma'm. No need to undress!". Katie couldn't get it out fast enough. It was apparent she really, REALLY didn't need to actually see what was going on under there.
"Oh my goodness. So sorry. I figured you needed to get the raw measurements!!! I've obviously never done this before. I'm a bra-fitting virgin! Haha!". True to form, I showcased my amazing ability at making a potentially awkward situation a zillion times more awkward. Katie was trying her very best to hide her nervous smile, and almost succeeded. I could already hear my likeness being "OMGed" over in the pink and crystal encrusted break room at the back of the store over lunches of string beans and rice cakes.
As she secured and tightened the pink tape around my (covered) cooped-up breasts, she asked me what kind of bra I was looking for. "Oh...not a push-up one, for sure, but DEFINITELY a pull-up one. I need to be contained, but I don't want to show off. Bottom line, I just want a contraption that will make my breast sit at a normal place on my body. Not too high, not too low. Nothing more than that. I don't want to rest my chin on any cleavage either".
Katie appeared to be relieved that the measuring was over and as she scribbled down my measurements on my new pink and gold foiled bra identification card, she leaned in close to disclose the size. Upon hearing it, my unwaxed, bushy eyebrows flew up in a state of shock. "WHAT??!?! ARE YOU SERIOUS???". As if I were on some kind of weird bra-size revealing reality show, I dramatically reacted to the larger-than-I-suspected number/letter combination she revealed. Clearly, I was nervous because I couldn't stop. I kept going, launching into a descriptive oral family history that detailed the trials and breast-reduction tribulations of the well-endowed women from my lineage. Seriously, I could hear my brain telling my mouth to just shut up, and not even the look of panic on perky Katie's face was slowing me down.
Mercifully, for both of us, I was able to gather myself and cease my family breast tree discourse. She saw her chance for a hasty exit and promised she would bring me a tester bra to try on. As promised, she returned and slipped the sample through the door, promising she would be back shortly to further assist. I immediately appreciated the lift-factor the "model" bra offered, but something was amiss. I stood with my arms straight out (why, I am not sure) to better evaluate, also staying focused on keeping my belly sucked in lest Katie pop in suddenly. I noticed pockets of "excess skin" under my arm that seemed to be in limbo, with no where to run, no place to hide. When my Bra-Coach came to check on me, I expressed my concern and in watching her face, I could barely catch the flicker of the mental file "What To Say To The Customer With Arm Pit and Back Fat" being drawn out of it's dusty drawer. Katie assured me that this is normal and that it is not noticeable once covered with a top. "Sooooo....do you have any bra's with wider, you know, panels? Maybe with broader under the arm and back coverage? Big panels". She looked slightly confused as if hearing a language foreign to her and fell back on her standard response, assuring me it will not be noticed.
A few minutes later and fully dressed, I thanked her as she handed me (with great relief) the little pink card that told me it was past time to buy myself a new, properly fitting bra. I did just that and for the next few days felt like I was on a reunion tour with gravity. We were reunited and it sure felt good.
So there you have it. Short and simple, isn't it? No doubt most who have read this article are shaking their head at my inability to have had myself measured before my late-thirties, but when evaluating all the things to do with my ever-so-sparse time, somehow a rip-roarin' bra fitting session fell through the cracks. Not to mention times are always changing things. I was fine to stuff whatever was hanging low into a contraption that would keep them from wobbling to and fro. That is, until the day two crescent moons rose over my heartland and this old girl got her act together.