Many women I know can’t wait to get home from work and take off their bra. The over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder can be one of the most restrictive pieces of clothing a woman has to endure. The larger your cup, the worse it seems to be. To feel good about yourself at a certain age, you need scaffolding not unlike that which supports the Sydney Harbour Bridge to keep the girls in your chest area and to prevent your cup runnething (totally a word) over. Sweet relief is only available when the scaffolding is removed – as long as you don’t need little skateboards to stop them dragging on the ground.
These things are not like underpants. All the sizes seem the same, but they’re not. Some are actually horrible torture devices. Rule of thumb: The prettier they are, the more uncomfortable they are to wear. The better they look from the outside of clothes, the worse they look without clothes over the top. Men should never try and buy a bra for a woman, unless they know the exact size, make and colour she prefers. And if he does, she probably already has it anyway.
Our favourite bras are the ones we can bear to wear all day. The ones that make the girls look decent, don’t contribute to heartburn after lunch, and we can bear to wash at the laundromat if need be. We might have weekend bras, or bras that look better under certain clothes. Bras we wear if we’re meeting particular people because of the way they make us feel rather than the way they look. Or a combination of all of these. This is science, people. And it’s not for the fainthearted (or tiny breasted).
It’s horrible when the favourite one is stretched to death, the hook gets caught in the washer, or it turns that ugly grey colour that your son’s armpit on his white shirt is. Then you have to buy a replacement. Standing in a changeroom, boobs hanging there. Mocking you. As you try one after the other, uglier and uglier, while a pert 17 year old on her saturday job stands outside offering something she’s just found that’s even uglier and Oh Good God, I’m not THAT old yet am I?
Sometimes I just wish I could comfortably go without a bra. I try it for a while on the weekends, when nobody’s around. I try to convince myself I’m comfy without one. But I’m really not. I like the structure. I like to clean a lot on the weekends, and if I’m not wearing a bra, then there’s nowhere to shove my iPod. This is a great irony. I want to be free of a bra, but I can’t do what I want to without it. The boobs may or may not even flap a little as I scrub the floor if they’re unhitched. That’s distracting even to me.
When they are unrestricted, they have a mind of their own. They’re like that toddler who totally needs reins. They run amok. I have knocked over cups of tea with them. My pal @ElaineOrrMorgan asked me tonight if I have ever changed the tv channel by mistake with them. I think this means she has. But I’m too polite to ask. (Stop snorting. I can be polite.)
And last week I had forgotten to take the recycling out while in the un-scaffolded state, computing on the couch (as you do). I heard the truck. Damn. I ran with the recycling down the road after the truck, boobs flying. Yeah, I’m guessing it wasn’t pretty, even though the recycling guy seemed pretty happy. I came back inside muttering to myself about what an idiot I was. Imagine what THAT looked like to the recycling guy and every neighbour in sight. I’m a crazy, bra-less muttering woman.
(Please note: But at least I recycle!)
It seems that it’s not safe to go without a bra even in your own home. I have three sons still at home. They bring mates over to hang out. It’s bad enough they have me for a mum. But me with no bra? I’d never see my kids again and goodness knows what their mates would say. I don’t even want to think about it.
Okay, so I will wear a bra. Promise. Unless I’m on a long-haul flight. I reckon I’m safe to take it off for that middle four hours, if I don’t move, right?
Image credit: Cyclone http://cyart.blogspot.com/2010_05_01_archive.html