Sunday, June 22, 2008

The "Contraption"

Look it, if you're a guy, I can guarantee you won't understand this, but believe me, the women...oh they'll understand completely. Let me tell you how this began...

My retired husband has become the chief cook and bottle washer in this house since his retirement. He's great, he does the floors, windows, washes the clothes, does all the household know, like a wife...It's great for me. He's been learning how to properly clean the clothes through trial and error, lots of error...but I don't mind, I like buying new things. I know better than to throw things down the laundry chute that need "special handling" and I have signs I use when I do my "special handling" washing so he knows not to put everything into the dryer. We had a few disasters at first, but then, when I was first learning how to do laundry I did too, so no big deal.

The biggest problem for me is when he starts to kibitz (like I used to with him) about the state of my underwear. You know we all have underwear that's been broken in and we hate to part with it because it sags where we want it to sag, or it's stretched enough to feel really comfortable. You really don't want anyone else to see it, but you can't throw it away. It's sort of become part of the family.

I have several bras that fall into that category. I know they're shot to Hell, but they're just broken in for comfort, and that's saying a lot for a bra. Husband was making some really loud noise about the condition of the "brays" for the girls, so I figured it was time to buy some new ones. What a pain in the neck...

Bras are a contraption made by a man. No woman would ever make something so freakin' uncomfortable. I measure myself and go to the nearest store and buy some pretty good "foundation" things. (Yes, that's what they're referred to in "Bra-ease language")

I was at a department store on the day I was going to "treat" (some treat) myself to a couple of new bras. The store was having a "Professional Bra Fitter" in that day, so the customers could be properly fit for a bra. The signs all over the lingerie department were screaming at me saying "80% of American Women wear the wrong sized bra". I thought OK I'll buy...I walked to the customer service person, asked where I signed up for this "fitting". The woman was very nice, I couldn't help look down at her to see what her boobs looked like. I mean honestly, she's selling these contraptions she should expect people are going to check her out, don't you think? She seemed oblivious to my eyes wandering down to her chest.

I was taken to the dressing room and told the "fitter" would be right with me. I sat down and looked around. There were those blasted three way mirrors reflecting the image of a very fat women with red hair... Realizing it was me, I sucked in my gut, pulled my shoulders back and stood straighter. I was still looking at a fat women...maybe not as fat as the original image, but then I had to breathe, and the very fat broad was visible again. crap...

Before I could run away from the mirrors from Hell, the "fitter" came in. She was about 5 ft tall and obviously from some country that feeds their young rice and veggies, not Twinkies and cocoa puffs. She was this little teeny, perfect figured Mother's darling, and I was the blob.

My first thought about this encounter was, how the heck is she going to measure me? She'll have to walk around me with a measuring tape because she damned well can't wrap her teeny, tiny arms around MY chest. She looked up at me and smiled. She said, " I will give you the tape measure to put around your back and we'll see what size we need to get for you. We have some very nice brassieres for the "fuller figured women" and I'm pretty sure we'll have something for you." Now here's when I have to explain something...something personal....I'm not that big in the chest, I have this back that's as broad as a linebacker's, but the front of me is not that big, honest. In front of this tiny woman however, I was the size of some Wagnerian Soprano singing about the Ride of the Valkyries or some such thing. I was becoming afraid of what kind of contraption she might get for me.

She went out of the dressing room and I heard her rifling through tissue and muttering something about women who were over sized and mean. (Honest, I wasn't mean...I just told her that I wasn't spending all day on a stupid bra, nor was I paying $100 for some elastic and cotton, damn it!).

She brings back a handful of straps, material and little hooks and eyes. I thought she was going to make the damned thing as I was standing there. But no, she had a handful of bras for me to try on.

You know how you see in magazine ads the women with the beautiful bodies? You see little scraps of material around their chest and their boobs seem to be standing tall and straight. Sometimes the fabric is shear and you know the material is soft and cozy. LIES all LIES. I don't know how those pictures are done, I suspect computer enhancement.

This little twit in front of me had bras that were reinforced with hard, stiff cotton and plastic. I don't think 50 washings would soften these babies at all. She turns me around, puts her right knee on my back, pulls the bra around, as she's pushing me with her knee to get the bra hooked. She turns me back to look at her, bends the upper part of my body down, slips her hands into the cups of the bra, grabs the girls and molds them into the shape of the bra cup. All the while murmuring, "I'll get them in there. They'll fit good".

I stood straight up, looked into the three way mirror and gasped... I was in something that resembled an ancient corset from the 1800's. OK it wasn't quite like that, but pretty close. All I could see was elastic, hard cotton strapping, something that looked like those straight jacket clasp things to keep things together. I looked like I was wrapped in white Ace bandages. There was another problem, the girls seemed to look like that opera singer in Wagner, or Madonna in her younger years with the cones on the boobs. I was positively pointed...super pointed. I was actually afraid that I might fall forward and stick into the floor. I was pulled up, separated (that's the big deal here, separation, no one supposedly wants a "uni-boob") It may have been the "correct fit", but it was not comfortable. I thought I was going to explode when she released the hooks in the back. I could almost hear the girls saying, "Run".

To give the women her due, she tried her best to get me to try several others, but I declined and told her I wasn't sure which I wanted to buy, so I'd think about it for a while. The folks in Hell will get a swimming pool filled with ice water before I buy one of those contraptions.

I eventually found some soft cozy bras that fit the girls quite nicely and I think I heard a collective "Ahhh, that's better" when I bought the softer kinder bras, rather than the "contraption from Hell".