Monday, August 9, 2010

My Best Tip for Looking Twenty Years Younger

Tighten your bra straps.

I’m serious here. The other day, I was dressing up to attend a baby shower for my friend Allison's daughter. I don’t usually dress up. In fact, I normally get ready for work in the dark, a routine that just recently caused me to wear my shirt inside out until mid-morning when one of my second graders noticed.

So there I was in broad daylight, looking at myself in the mirror over the sink in my bathroom and wondering where my boobs had gone. All I could see was my bony chest. When I looked down, I noticed two extra bumps down around what used to be my waist. There they were.

I looked back in the mirror and pulled on my bra straps, which caused my breasts to rise up to where they are supposed to be (or at least in the ball park). I then checked my bra and remembered that the straps are adjustable, so, by finagling the the plastic doohickeys, Bingo, my boobs and my self esteem were suddenly elevated to a healthier level.

On to the baby shower where I was boring people with my story about fighting the good fight against the pull of gravity. Two of my gay friends quickly became involved since, to my knowledge, gay men like to talk about female anatomy even more than straight men (but in a very different way). Their advice was to go to one of those expensive foundation shops and buy a bra that really fits. I told them that type of thing wasn’t going to happen as my current bra I’d purchased from Target four years ago was just now getting comfortable. They both did that annoying smirk they do when I say something so sensible they can’t possibly argue with it.

Further discussion at the shower – what baby? – centered around a joke someone told about a woman’s bust size going from 36 to 36 long, and then a remembrance of mine having to do with why mammograms aren’t particularly helpful for women under forty, based on young women's breasts being mostly muscle while the breasts of older women are mostly fat. That then led to silly examples of exercises for building boob muscles and someone taking a picture of Allison and me holding up our party-frocked breasts with our crone hands. In case you're wondering, yes, wine was on the menu at this particular baby shower.

I'm proud to say I have two bras, the (formerly) white one I’m wearing right now and a black one I keep in case something really exciting happens in my life. So far nothing has. I like my white bra, and even on weekends, when I'm not planning on going anywhere, I will put it on in late morning, after my bath, and then toss my pajamas right back on over it, being aware that putting on my bra signifies I'm ready for whatever the day may bring (including fire drills). My friend, Linda, hates her bra and has been known to take it off in the parking lot when she is leaving work. Allison, on the other hand, uses her bra as a cell phone caddy, although she often forgets it's in there and has to email people with the message: CALL ME I'VE LOST MY PHONE!

I remember my first starter bra and how excited I was to wear it, making sure, that day, to sport a thin white top so others could appreciate my budding comeliness under that "stretch as you grow" nylon. Of course my brother ruined it by saying he needed a bra more than I did. I'm not sure he should have been bragging about that.

I guess I've been wearing a bra for over 45 years now. Not the same bra, mind you. I do buy a new one from time to time when the old one finally gives in and lets go to the point that safety pins no longer do the trick.

And I wonder why there's no man in my life. But then again, maybe tightening the straps will do the trick.


Wisewebwoman said...

I'm one of those large-breasted women, Marcia, who envied the tinies around me (try playing tennis and not attracting every man-ogle on the planet). I hated the attention they got.

"They" have always been "they" to me, aliens. My whole family were tidy-breasted.
I still buy minimizing bras in all sorts of colours.

In the last few years, with many of my friends succumbing to breast cancer I've finally appreciated them more. For hanging in there so to speak and not bothering me.
I loved your story of the shower.
And I too often wear a bra under my PJs.

Jean said...

What a scream! I loved this post, as i do all of your wonderfully written posts, but this one was especially funny. And painful, since my boobs aren't where they used to be. For the record, an issue of Consumer Reports a year or so back rated Target bras as number 1 over the $120 bras. That made my day.I sometimes, like last night, take off my bra around, oh, 4:00 p.m. and sling it over the back of the sofa. My way of saying I'm liberated at 64, I guess.

Friko said...

I can't believe you're serious. Two bras? I've been told that I need to buy a new one or two every 6 months or so. Consequently, i have a drawer full of bras. Strange though, I only wear the same ones all the time.

marciamayo said...

Jean, liberation at 64 isn't bad, but I'm wondering about company coming and finding your bra over the back of the sofa.
WWW, I agree that with friends who have had breast cancer, I don't need to be making fun of what I still have.
Friko, yes, only 2 but only wearing 1. I do wash it every once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Funny funny. My story regarding boobs is more like wisewebwoman. I'm still large breasted but drooping. I always felt over blessed in this area so my story would be the opposite of yours. But the baby shower reminds me of one I just attended - maybe a story there. Thanks for getting the day started with a smile on my face. Mary B

Arkansas Patti said...

Delightfully funny post. I am laughing because I can totally relate. I too use my bra as a pocket. Great place for an MP3.

Cile said...

I just bought some new topside "foundation undergarments" as I couldn't wear anything that didn't make me look like my Nana (who allowed her taa taas plenty of swing time). A friend suggested sports bras and I have been so happy with them that I doubt I will ever go back to conventional bouldering. I'm well endowed and if I eat a bowl of ice cream, I gain a cup size. It is not like I resent my blessings but I wish I could tame them into submission sometimes so I didn't feel like I'm constantly wielding heavy equipment!

Thanks for the laugh today, Marcia!

Olga said...

Oh, my. I cannot relate to only one bra in action...and four years old??? I'm with Friko on this one.

marciamayo said...

Friko and Olga, that's because (and probably why) you each have a significant other and I don't.

Anonymous said...

Reminded me of one of my favorite jokes from Wayland Flowers, whose puppet Madam told him one time she went to the doctor because of a pain under her left breast. Turned out to be a trick knee. ;) Phil

marciamayo said...

Phil, I hadn't thought about Madam in years, but now, since we have so much in common, I'm going to re-visit Wayland.

St. Mark Administrative Council said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

After Wayland died, Madam and several other of his puppets were left to the Center for Puppetry Arts on Spring Street. Madam is the only PG rated puppet there. You have to be tall enough to use the earphones to listen to some of her recordings. :)

marciamayo said...

Aw, how neat - a legacy for Atlanta. I hadn't realized Wayland had died.

Homerun Hatch Family News said...

Marcia, I just dealt with this issue a week ago. I put on a sundress (to make sure it still fit) for a Friday wedding. The breasts were not wanting to stay in the pre-molded breast section. I dug in my drawer for that uncomfortable, sexy, 100.00 bra I bought two years ago and have worn three times. It worked on the breasts.

The day of the wedding I stashed my old droopy faithful bra in the car in case I couldn't stand the pain of the uplifting bra.

marciamayo said...

Aggie, of all the bra stories I've received from this posting, yours has to be my favorite. I can just see pulling the good comfy bra out of the trunk after the wedding.

Batya said...

Don't know what planet I've been on lately. I read this as soon as you posted it and thought I had left a comments. (are there brain bras?) Back to you and the point. As usual you always get me to laugh just when I need it. Several years ago, as I was attempting to get dressed for work, I opened my dresser drawer to get out a bra and the bra section was completely empty of any heavy lifting equipment. It seems that both my daughters were tired of telling me to get new bras. Oldest daughter: "What are you thinking? What if you needed an ambulance and strangers saw the condition of these disgustingly tattered and stretched out bras?" "I'll be unconscious, it won't matter." I gruffly answered. Anyway, bras are expensive, the underwires are torture and once I hook the back, I can't breathe. I am an expert at removing my bra through the sleeve of whatever I am wearing wherever I am. Once or twice on the subway. Well, in NYC no one would thing that's something out of the ordinary. I can't get them off fast enough.
Now the two or three bras I wear are flimsy stretchy jobs that are Barely There. They are worn out and dismal and wouldn't hold up a fly. One of these days I'll check out Target.

The Curious Lament of a Former Second Grade Teacher

  The timing was perfect.   I was 56 and looking toward retirement but not yet ready, either physically, emotionally, or moneta...