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The Real Issue

Lori Brenneman

I'm going to be really really honest here. I hate bra shopping. I know it's a horrible thing but I know most of you do to. Here's the problem.... I want to be comfortable but I also want to look sexy. I know I'm a middle aged woman. I know that I have five kids. I know that I am happily married. Feeling sexy really isn't about attracting attention, it's more about how I feel about myself.

So here is what usually happens. I very innocently walk into a chain store at the mall. I’m usually there to add to my ever-growing t-shirt collection. Because, lets face it t-shirts are safe. There are no plunging necklines, no pleats in the wrong places, no unwanted shoulder pads. T-shirts never betray me by looking amazing on the hanger and then when donned produce some version of Mr. Incredible out of my body.  They don’t entice me into their folds and then hold me hostage. T-shirts are my safe zone. They are the old trusted friend.

 

But then I find myself wandering, because let’s face it I own a few t-shirts I really don’t need anymore. So, while I am arguing with myself I find myself in the lingerie section.  No I usually skip the intimates, because for a girl like me, most of those itty bitty parts and pieces just don’t agree with me. They end up wadding up in unmentionable places and spaces. And while I’m willing to put up with a little discomfort for beauty I’m not into undergarment bondage. I am a respectable adult after all.

However, I never seem to have more than one functional bra at a time. You know that one ever constant friend. It looks like it’s been through the war and back, only has one working hook because the others have long since been either ripped from their post or bent all willy-nilly. This is my old faithful. This is my friend in the storm here. It’s a version of tan, or for fashion purposes “sand.” It’s been stretched beyond its limitations for years, but it doesn’t shame itself by showing under all things white and motherly. The underwires have been removed when they got a little forward and decided to start poking out their vicious little claws. I know you all have one of these that you can’t get yourself to throw away. I very embarrassingly had a nursing bra that I wore until my oldest was five. There’s no shame in comfort right……

So, I finally find the “mom” section and I find the wonder bra of all bras. This thing boasts that you can even sleep in it it’s so comfortable. There are adjustable, convertible, and even rotating straps. I’m not saying I even know how to use all the features, but it seems exciting.  Bonus is that it’s not grandma white or “sand.”  It’s racy with all the bells and whistles and produces images of me somehow magically being transformed from Roseanne to Cindy Crawford.

The real issue is when I get it to the changing room. Even after reading the directions I feel as though I have been tricked into one of those Chinese handcuffs for my body. This thing has lured me in but now I am hopelessly stuck. I have two options at this point, cut my way out or burn the building down.  You know I am not asking the attendant for help. No one wants to see me in my glory especially the 12-year-old attendant with no breasts or stretch marks or “love handles.” This girl is so young she probably thinks love handles are something that belong on a bicycle. It’s nothing against her and everything about my insecurity.

To be honest at this point I start sweating, which really doesn’t help my situation because now this thing is clinging to me like my four-year-old. I take a deep breath, because that’s supposed to help right. I look down and realize that there is a clasp in the front that I had missed and moments later I am free.  I can’t put this thing back on the hanger fast enough. I guess it’s just me an old faithful after all. What’s a girl to do?


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