The only real bra I ever bought died this week. It was the springtime of my early motherhood and I was feeling unpretty, and also saggy. And decidedly not smoothed, nor supported. I made a monumental decision to travel up the Garden State Parkway, past Paterson, past Garfield, and on to Paramus, to the shining jewel of the New Jersey mall system: The Garden State Plaza. Having read that approximately 145% of women are sporting the wrong size, I was to be measured for a bra.
I found myself standing in Victoria’s Secret in a rainbow of neatly folded panties, an expression of mixed fear and curiosity on my face. An eliminated cast member for “Jersey Shore” felt me up and then tried to sell me an entire “bra wardrobe” for all my boob coverage needs.
But I only had eyes for you, Good Bra. You were smooth and black and you managed to pull out a hint – just a whisper – of cleavage from the vast chasm between my breasts, without welding my boobs together a la Nancy Wilson of Heart in the pre-”Bad Animals” era on MTV.
Your ample foam covering gave me a semblance of a chest and also allowed my kids to punch me in the tits repeatedly without (much) pain. Which they did, a lot, when they were younger, and flailed more.
I cared for you. Never did I chuck you in the washer and dryer like the Target bras, who were left to fend for themselves on the spin cycle. No, you cost $40, so I washed you by hand and lovingly draped you over the shower rod to dry.
I broke you out for special occasions, which were few and far between since I worked at home in my lightless suburban New Jersey basement. And so, perhaps, I started to take you for granted. My threshold for what was deemed “special” dropped until I was strapping you on for mere trips to the Stop & Shop for a Coke and a People. Sometimes, I’d just wear you for drop off, or even out to get the mail.
As the years passed and you kept your shape, I grew careless, though I loved you no less, Good Bra. I may have…. OH I DID, DAMN IT! I washed you in the washer with the regular bras from time to time. I AM SO SO SORRY.
And then, yesterday, I noticed your foam padding was showing; your strap separating from your cups. I hated seeing you that way, all your mystery and secrets out in the open. I knew it was time. And since each bra year is worth about 20 human years, you were, well, practically a vampire at this point. I had thought you would live forever, but it was not to be.
So I drove the stake through your heart and brought you out to the big can.
Some “friends” callously suggested I just replace you, the cold bastards. Would you replace your DOG? Or your CHILDREN?? No, there will be no “Good Bra II” in my night stand. You see, on my disastrous special-underwear buying spree at Target – when I accidentally bought thongs – I also picked up a $15 push-up bra, which gives my flat chest a bosom much like Gwyneth Paltrow’s in “Shakespeare in Love”, all heaving and quivering in its smallness.Don’t hate me, Good Bra. I was once again feeling unpretty, and saggy, and decidedly small and flat and, well, I succumbed to another bra. It’ll never be like what we had, but Cheap Push-Up Bra From Target was only $15, and no overly tanned Jersey teenagers had to touch my chest before I bought it.
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