I've been abusive to something that has supported me through all of the UPS and DOWNS in my 40 years.
Something that has been there to lift me up even during the toughest days.
Something that I've kept close to my heart, yet couldn't wait to get rid of after a long day of really working hard for me and just being there for me.
Something I've accused of being irritating and annoying, leaving marks and imprints on me because I failed to do my part.
Something that's left marks on my pocketbook out of vanity and necessity combined.
I am guilty.
I am a bra-abuser.
Somewhere between Health Class and Home Economics, I missed the Seminar entitled, How to Take Care of your Bra, so your Bra Can Take Care of You.
One of the highlights of my recent trip home to visit my family in Ohio was an excursion to the sacred department store, Dillard's. I say sacred because we don't have one up here in New Hampshire, and when living in Ohio, Dillard's was the answer to almost everything. New outfit? Dillard's. Great fitting bathing suit? Dillard's. Wedding/Shower/Birthday/Mother's Day/Father's Day gifts - Dillard's. Dillard's. Dillard's.
As I bought my way through the first floor, I ventured upstairs to find an oasis to the misfitted bra Bedouin that is me. An entire rounder of CLEARANCE D-cup bras. Hark! I hear angels and harps. I am pretty sure I ran - no, I might have skipped like a school girl - over to the rounder with the anticipation of Christmas morning - like surprises. I should clarify something. When you are a 32DD and have had 3 kids use your 'girls' as drinking fountains, they become something of a needy built-in accessory that needs dolled up and lifted to stay where they need to stay and mind their own beeswax. If you think a sturdy, pretty, well-built bra in a 32 DD is easy to find - you are mistaken. Most of my bras come from special detailed web searches, and cost an arm and a boob...I mean leg. Anyhow - back to my bra bliss.
I start scouring the depths of the bins, practically scuba diving in bras for anything that might be a potential suitor. And I find one. Beautiful color, straps look worthy, cups looking like little soldiers that are up for the job of serving, supporting and protecting the girls even in their darkest hours. Then I find another. Another. Another. Another. I just hit the ever-lovin' jackpot and had a 1/2 dozen slung over my arm in a rainbow of colors. Sheer bliss.
I headed to the dressing room just to try a few of them on since most of them were the same bra in different colors. (Just as an FYI, the most spectacular bra I found was called Modern Movement - a brand unique to Dillard's - so if you are looking for a new BFF in supportive bras - check this out http://www.dillards.com/product/Modern-Movement-M.V.P.-Deep-Plunge-Bra_301_-1_301_503781518?df=03871774_zi_black)
It fit like nothing I've ever worn before - it was gorgeous and sleek and looked amazing under my tshirt.
I couldn't believe they were on sale, and gladly plopped the pile down at the checkout counter. The sales girl, though lovely and professional, took one look at me and must have known I was a Bra Abuser.
Do you know about Caring for Your Bra?
I looked around, behind me too, just to see if she was in fact speaking to me.
Sorry? I asked - briefly shaken from my euphoria.
Do you know how to care for your new bras? she politely asked me again.
Ummm...not sure what you mean? You mean what detergent do I use?
She gave me a sympathetic 'mmmm' as if to give herself kudos in detecting a Bra Abuser.
There are things you need to do to prolong the life of your bras. I have a checklist that I will go over with you when I finish ringing this in.
As she began ringing in each bra, my mind drifted to how I care for my bras.
1. Take off in haste at end of long day. Throw across room. Aim for chair, miss, land on floor. Ignore.
2. Every few days, toss into washing machine...usually with un-like colors, most of time with soiled boys' clothing.
3. Yank out of dryer, pulling hard because usually it is caught on something, shove into dryer with force.
4. Dump dried clothes onto bed to quickly fold and stuff into drawers. Take bras, fold cup in to other cup and jam into overflowing lingerie drawer.
5. Buy more bras. Rinse. Repeat.
I am done with my daydream just in time to notice her carefully placing tissue paper between each bra that is placed cups up on the counter like delicate tea cups in the bridal registry department.
This is no joke. She is serious. And she doesn't tolerate Bra Abusers and Tom Foolery that I am so very responsible for.
Okay now let's go over some basic do's and don'ts of Bra Care.
And suddenly, I am 11 again getting my first bra.
DO WASH IT IN SPECIAL DETERGENT (Inner voice - 'na-ganna-happen')
~I smile and nod. Mmmmm-hmmmm.
DO TRY TO HAND WASH TO REALLY PROTECT THE CUP FROM LOSING IT'S SHAPE.
(Inner voice - 'again, na-ganna-happen...and my boobs can't possibly lose their shape any more than a bra could, so yeah, no. If something needs hand washed, it's never going to get washed in my house.)
DO CLASP THE BRA HOOKS BEFORE WASHING THEM TO PREVENT TWISTING. (Inner voice - nope...no inner voice, at this part I just giggled like a little girl as I nodded and humored her.)
DO HANG DRY YOUR BRAS BY THE MIDDLE OF THE BRA BETWEEN THE CUPS. (Inner voice - I do not hang anything to dry except my towels when I'm done using them!!)
DO GIVE THEM THEIR OWN LARGE DRAWER SO YOU CAN LAY THEM FLAT TO PREVENT INDENTING THE CUP. (Inner voice - translation - 'do continue to shove them in the drawer since you have no room for any more bras in your bureau.)
FINALLY, GIVE YOUR BRA A DAY OFF (24 HOURS) TO PREVENT OVERUSE AND WEAR. ROTATE BRAS EVERY DAY. (Inner voice - WHAAAAT A PAIN IN THE UNDERGARMENT! MY BRA GETS A DAY OFF AND I DON'T??? Is it really that tiresome to hold my girls up all day? I've been doing it for years and haven't had a full 24 hours off!)
If I'm being honest. I felt ashamed as she handed me my bag of beauties, knowing I was unworthy of the trust she put in me to take care of these bras. I knew I wouldn't live up to the expectations of being a responsible bra-owner. I knew that it was a one-sided relationship and that I would merely use them and abuse them...I would love them and then leave them on a Goodwill curbside drop off when I was done with them. I would expect them to (not) move mountains and provide countless hours of support, just so I could curse them and count the hours until I could unhook them from my tired ribcage.
|Bra indentations. All my life. AND YES, I'M WEARING THE RIGHT BRA! It takes a damn village to keep my girls in place, okay? (source: tumblr)|
I'm too old to teach new tricks. I can't lie. I'm trying to be more mindful of my bras. I'm at least aiming better when I fling them across the room. I've stopped yelling immaturely, "she shoots, she scores" while throwing my bra into the dirty clothes basket. And now, instead of shoving them into the washing machine mindlessly, I envision the Dillard's Bra fitter in my head with her stern look of disapproval as I use my foot to kick it into the overstuffed washing machine. If I see a rogue strap hanging out of my drawer, I walk over and put it back in where it belongs - I'm not completely heartless you know. I'm a work in progress. Baby steps to better bra care.
That's all for today...I've got to go. Victoria's Secret has a few bras left from their Semi-Annual sale and I need to get a few back ups.
Cheers, Love and Perfectly Molded Bra Cups to you,
(Post note: The Dillard's girl was kind enough to give me a 'howtocareforyourbra' flyer but I threw it out when I got home right after ripping the tags off of my bras with my teeth...so the above account of how to care for your bra is not an accurate representation of Dillard's suggestions...) Go figure. :)