Every woman is familiar with the quest for the perfect bra. One that is cute, yet supportive, that doesn’t make your back fat squish out, that doesn’t leave strap marks on your shoulders, that doesn’t give you “quadraboob”, or perhaps even worse – “uniboob;” the ideal bra that lifts those sagging, post-breastfeeding girls back up where they’re supposed to be because tucking your boobs into the waist of your jeans = not attractive. Finding an “accident-proof” bra (you know the kind – if you were in an accident and cute paramedics had to see your bra, would you be okay or would you wish for death to escape the mortification of a faded bra, elastic that’s shot, and straps that are fraying) is an amazing feat!
We all know the dressing room routine. Try on the bra, turn in front of the mirror and examine all angles to determine the ratio of support:back fat bulges. If we decide that sure, it looks cute right here, right now in the dressing room then we move on to phase 2 of the testing. We jog in place for a minute, jump up and down a couple times, bend over at the waist
to catch our breath make
sure everything stays in place.
And if you are um, “well endowed”, the struggle is even harder. In most stores we have to walk by racks and racks of cute lacey bras in every color of the rainbow because the last time one of those actually fit us Jimmy Carter was in office. Because we were eleven! Nope, we have to head toward the ugly institutional white bras with 15 hooks up the back and enough support to anchor the Golden Gate Bridge.
Until one day you realize that if 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong bra size, there’s a good chance you’re one of the 8, and you go for a professional fitting in an upscale department store. This was a pivotal, life-changing moment for me, right up there with the first time I held my newborn baby, and when I discovered that they sell wine in handy little juice boxes. Sure, I had to take out a small loan to purchase this magical bra, but in the end I decided it was well worth it because a good-fitting, well-made bra is something on which you should definitely splurge. I’ve fallen in love with Panache because they're the best bras I've ever worn AND they're super-cute! I wouldn’t dream of ever going back to anything I could pick off a rack at JCPenneys, Kohls, or the like.
So you understand my utter shock at the betrayal when that perfectly, wonderfully amazing bra turned on me.
While at work, I bent over to pick up a dropped pencil and I felt it – the sharp pain that sliced into my chest, leaving me gasping for breath. I quickly glanced around the room, fully expecting to see someone holding a butcher knife dripping with my blood because clearly that was the only feasible explanation for the pain I felt. Since no one was standing near me holding a murder weapon, I came to the second, less obvious, conclusion – bra malfunction.
As nonchalantly as possible (which really isn’t as nonchalant as you might think), I ran my thumb down the front of my shirt like I was wiping away a stray fleck of dirt all the while discreetly feeling for an errant length of wire and/or pieces of bloody flesh ripped from my body. A sharp piece of wire poked out of my bra causing my shirt to tent right in the middle of my chest. I glanced at my shirt sticking out and thought, Excellent, I look like Sigourney Weaver with an alien jabbing its way out of my skin.
Since school hadn’t started and no one was in my classroom, I successfully reached down my shirt and did that little maneuver we all know to thread the wire back into the fabric where it belonged. That worked for all of 30 seconds when it started to creep out again, scraping my skin as it went.
I looked around my classroom desperately searching for something to fix my bra. I briefly considered pulling the wire completely out, but since I was loathe to walk around all day with one boob on my chest and one at my waist, I quickly discarded that brainstorm. A sewing kit! That’s what I need! Unfortunately, I don’t keep sewing material in my desk at work. And really, that wasn’t any huge loss since a monkey with arthritis has better sewing skills than I.
Warning: This is the part where all common sense left my brain. I grabbed my stapler, turned away from my door, lifted my shirt up and went to town injecting staple after staple into my bra in the hopes that it would keep the wire from poking out through the microscopic hole. In case you’re considering fixing a bra with staples, I don’t recommend it. Picture this – wayward underwire PLUS sharp metal staples stabbing your boobs in various areas all at the same time. I knew I had to pull all the staples out or by the end of the day, I’d look like I’d lost a fight with a badger trapped in my shirt. (I really have no idea what would happen if a badger was trapped in your shirt. I imagine there would be some scratches and probably a need for an updated tetanus shot however.)
After pulling out the staples, I maneuvered the wire back into my bra and looked through my desk drawers for something else. Pens? No. Ruler? No. Name tags? Uhhh, probably not. Glue stick? Hmmmm . . . maybe . . . Wait what? What am I thinking??? Duct tape? Yes!
I grabbed out my roll of neon orange duct tape and started winding it around my bra. I was wearing a white shirt. In fact I had just bragged about how I’d made it all the way to work without spilling or drooling coffee on that same white shirt. You could see the tape through my shirt. Oh, who am I kidding? It was the color of a construction cone! You could see it across the entire campus! But that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that after I’d walked back and forth across campus a couple times in the 85 degree heat, I was sweating. The tape came loose. The end stuck to my shirt, twisting it into an impressive avant-garde sculpture of white cotton and adhesive.
I went through the entire day like this – occasionally running to the bathroom to shove the damnable underwire back into my bra and pry my shirt away from the tape to which it was fused. When I got home, I ran upstairs and immediately ripped my shirt from the tape and unfastened my bra. You know those videos that show men getting their chests waxed while they cry like babies? Let’s just say I have found a more effective way than wax to remove hair and layers of skin all the way down to the hypodermis. You’re welcome.
Dawn – doing stupid things since 1970 so you don’t have to.