Story Weekend: Bras, just for the heck of it
Curious to see what you’ll all do with this one!
If you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. As always, there are a few “rules”:
▪ The story must be true
▪ Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.
▪ Avoid offensive language.
Have a good weekend, everyone!
I tossed my bra the week after high school graduation, joining my girlfriends in the freedom of going unbound. My bank job didn’t like the look–well, there were a lot of things they didn’t like about me–and I was fired. Desperate for work, I interviewed at another bank and was hired. The supervisor handed me a notebook containing pictures of the dress code. There was nothing about wearing a bra, which was a good thing, because by that time I didn’t even own one. But someone must have noticed my, ahem, unencumbered state, because the next day a new picture had been added to the notebook: a bra, on page one. Oh well. I would do anything to keep my job, so I bought a bra and wrapped it around my alarm clock to remind myself to put it on each morning. It was time to grow up.
Diane, I love your story! It reminds me of my first job, also at a bank! I must preface this by saying that my story involves pantyhose, not a bra. But our stories are so similar, I have to share mine. I was working at Chase Manhattan Bank’s headquarters in lower Manhattan near Wall Street. It was 1967 and I was 17 years old — Mod clothes were all the rage! I used to wear miniskirts to work with solid or patterned tights (I loved Twiggy’s clothes!) My boss was a “much older woman” of about 35 years old, and she dressed in business suits and pumps every day. She didn’t approve of my miniskirts and tights, and one day I came to work and found a pair of clear pantyhose on my desk — she got her message across loud and clear. I was annoyed by her not-so-subtle message, but like you Diane, I realized it was time to grow up too.
It was my first year in college. Women were shedding their bras all over the place. One of my classmates didn’t need to; her bras gave her no help whatsoever. Ah well, it was college. But she had another problem as well. A deodorant problem. Most of her girlfriends (there were three of us) were too shy to say anything. But the guys we had entered the junior college with that January were all veterans, a few years our senior and not too shy. One of them actually took her aside and had a gentle talk with her. Ah I love older men.
All I can say is that once I get home from work and remove my bra, I am IN FOR THE NIGHT! It is strictly against my religion and all of my principles to put a bra on twice in one day. My friends know me so well. When they call me in the evening, if they want me to do something with them, they first ask if I’ve got my bra off yet. If I say yes, they know better than to even try! LOL!
I wasn’t crazy about wearing a bra because of what it signified, but most girls in junior high wore one, so I joined in. One day a classmate asked me “Are you a turtle?” “No”, I answered, with a puzzled look on my face. “Well, then, why do you snap?” she laughed, as she pulled the back of my bra and let it go so that it snapped back really hard. Oh, how funny and clever that was, I thought, and I couldn’t wait to do it to someone myself. This bra snapping game passed from one girl to another for the rest of the school year and created a bond between all of us. Like it or not, my classmates and I were growing up, and wearing a bra became part of that passage.
I hit puberty at age 13 and my boobs started to show. My mom was no the type of mom that would sit down and talk to you about anything, so when she noticed my boobs were growing, she bought me my first bra. I put it on and took it off only to shower. Yes, I wore it All The Time!! I had not idea you had to take it off. Traumatized for life. I go commando when I can.
I was in Target, with my daughter. She was a baby, maybe a year old, at the time. As I was walking down the main aisle, she spotted the bras. At the top her lungs she screams, “Look, Momma, BRAS, BRAS, BRAS, BRAS”. Everyone turned to look at us. What can you do? I laughed….
When I was a young teen I was under endowed and optimistically hopeful when it came to bras and the filling out of same:] This meant that I had to be creative in the curve making department..I babysat and forked over my hard earned money to Sears for what could only be described as a Madonna esque , hard as rock, point at them but don’t punch them bra that my lonely bosom rested in but in no way , fillled out. and that deflated like a balloon after the first wash at which time I went au naturelle and no one noticed. Far bettter than the industrial variety that my aunt used to parade around in when she came to visit in our modest home. Wayyyy too much information for a young mind..lol
I’ll never forget when I got my first bra. I was 11 years old and in 6th grade. I didn’t quite need one yet, but my mom thought she’d surprise me and get me my first one for Christmas. I was so upset when I opened it because I did not want to grow up!
Bras— bane of my existence in sixth grade. Boys called me “stuffer” because my boobs sprouted early. Hated my breasts.
Bras—or lack there of, got me sexually harassed, before anyone acknowledged sexually harassing women at work was a bad thing. When I was in college, my pervy boss asked if I wore one, while feeling for straps with his slimy hands. Blamed my breasts.
Bras–stopped wearing them in my twenties. Still abhorred my breasts.
Bras–no longer necessary. In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy, without reconstruction. No breasts to hate.
No more bras.
yes, Amy, when I feel like complaining about something ‘bra related’ I remind myself to be thankful I still need one. Sorry for what you’ve gone through and glad you’re still among us!
Thanks, Diane. I am very fortunate. I have friends who aren’t with us any longer and friends fighting recurrences. I am fortunate to have caught my cancer early. I am fortunate to have had a common cancer with lots of research and support dollars. I’m lucky to have a cancer nobody blamed me for (like lung cancer). I’m fortunate not to have an incurable disease like Hunnington’s or ALS. There are always people worse off than us.
The story of one particular bra of mine always makes me chuckle. A few years ago my husband was in New York for meetings. He and a colleague decided they’d like to bring something back to England for their wives from Victoria’s Secret. They had very little time so they took the airport limo via the shop. Somehow my husband found me the right size, but honestly, I have enough on me chest without all that padding and pushup; I just found the thing embarrassing! So that silky glamorous thing sat in my knocker drawer for a long time. Then one of the teachers at my daughter’s school became very involved in helping a community in Ghana. One thing the women there didn’t have was bras. So this teacher put out the call that she wanted to fill a suitcase with unwanted undies to take to Africa. I was happy to help out, and smile every time I think of an unknown woman working in the fields in Ghana, wearing a fabulous, black satin, padded, pushed up, Victoria’s Secret bra!
whoops – I meant knicker drawer…very Freudian slip!
Nicky, hysterical typo!
I have 4 wonderful children, all born about 2 years apart. Consequently I was wearing nursing bras pretty much all the time for 7 years! One day after my daughter stopped nursing, I was surprised that my husband took the kids out for the afternoon. Then my doorbell rang and standing there were my best girlfriends with bottles of wine and a lighter. . . We proceeded to drink the wine, build a bonfire and burn those well worn nursing bras!!! It was a great day with wonderful friends who knew exactly what I needed to move on to the next phase of motherhood!
Bless you Amy.
I remember when I was a teenager and staying with my grandmother’s for the summer on wash day, my cousin and I found that Grandma had hung our bras on the outside of the line and all the boys could see them. We were so embarrassed we hid in the house all day. Though we did get Grandma to move them between the sheets on the line.
I was one of those who sprouted early and like Amy suffered much harassment in elementary school. I still hate my breasts as they get in the way of doing things.
If I may tell one more story, that is not mine, but the self same cousin’s. She was a late bloomer and though well endowed today, I remember visiting her and finding her in her room hands clasp and pressed together in front of her chest. She was chanting while doing this exercise in futility, “I must, must, I must increase my bust, the bigger the better, …” It went on to say something about the boys liking them.
I just spent time visiting her last month and we had a good laugh over that memory.
They actually taught us that exercise and saying in junior high gym class, Wanda!
Talk about, “The Times, They Are (were) A-Changin’,” I attended that same jr high 4 yrs earlier and ALL we were taught was NOT to leave our smelly ol’ gym clothes in our lockers over the weekend. Actually received demerits for the infraction:( Breast development exercises, too funny!!! My little sis never shared this; were Schmidt & King still teaching? LOL PS Little Zan just brought to mind a bittersweet bra tale to share, shortly:)
Schmidt, yes. I don’t recall King. Schmidt was nice.
I absolutely agree about Ms Schmidt, she was caring & real. Actually, Mrs. King only taught at PHS now that I think about it. She was also nice but a bit older so she may have retired before you arrived on the scene.
LOL Diane!!!! Your story is priceless!! (=:)
I was about 9 when I got my first bra. I was throwing a fit at the 5 and dime because my older friends had bras. I chose a cotton one and as the style was then, the cups looked like cones. Of course it didn’t fit. The joke was on me as I did not go through puberty until I was 14. My friends would make fun of my non boobs. I was skin and bones and they called my breast fried eggs. Well the joke then was on them as my breast grew very quickly and the summer I turned 15, I wore a D cup. But then you have to be careful what you wish for. I could not wear halters or cute little spaghetti strap dresses because with size D cups, you have to wear SUPPORT BRAs…and the fact is, after children, they hung like teets on a cow…Over the years I gained lots of weight and lost lots of weight and my boobs were like balloons…inflated and deflated… 9 years ago, I had RYN gastric bypass surgery. I lost lots of weight and yes my boobs yet again. Now I tell everyone that even though they are deflated, I have to roll them up and put them in the cup…They still equal a size D, but that is a Rolled up D….
My girlfriends and I went on a bus trip to Sister’s Oregon in the summer for a quilt show. The bus had a non working air conditioning, it was incredibly hot and the girl friend sitting next to me was having hot flashes that were unbelievable. we crossed the border into the states , we looked at each other and the 4 of us took off our bra and stuffing them in our daybags. The look of the ladies around us was priceless! Not one followed our lead but you can bet we were more comfortable than them.
Best part of each day?…coming home from the office and shedding my bra!!…FREEDOM!!
For someone who has always been a free spirit, I detest the bra and the only reason I wear one is because of the work dress code.
Marta, love your story. Amy, congratulations on being a survivor.
Diane…your story is truly priceless…my first job was in a bank also but I did where my bra to work (-:)
I recall going to Bamberger’s for my first bra (training, they called it) when my eye caught the Vanity Fair lingerie. Matching bras & panites in pastels, not just ugly white cotton bras. Well, mom indulged and I acquired the colors of the rainbow:)
Years later it was my little sis’s turn! Diane had already been eyeing my lingerie for years so, of course, Vanity Fair bras & matching panites was her request as well. Unfortunately, it was even on her Christmas “wish” list.
On Christmas morning I was aghast, for almost every other gift Diane opened was lngerie:( The gift givers had not checked with one anther, thinking no one would buy her lingerie for Christmas! At first Diane laughed, then she cried, almost hysterically. We had a long talk afterward about being careful what you wish for!!! Currently lol with tears.
I actually can’t remember when I got my first bra. But a story I will share is this in grade 9. After a few weeks of hiding in the bathroom stalls to change into the school’s gym uniform the teacher found out and forced me to change with the other girls in the change room. I hated stripping down because I’m pretty much don’t have anything. The funny thing is one day I was wearing one of my fave bra’s at the time a blue-green cheetah print, one of my friends in the class was standing next to me and said she thought it was cute and asked where i got it. I told her Wal-mart. All I can say is, I use to hate shopping for bra’s but as I got older it’s more fun.
Wow, you guys are funny! 🙂 I got my first bra when I was 10, after throwing a HUGE tantrum! lol!!! I wore those little training bras every day. When I was 11, I actually started budding, so we went shopping. I grabbed a whole bunch of lightly padded bras, a sports bra, and a couple others. My mom threw a real CUP bra over the dressing room wall and I did a happy dance in the dressing room! XD. It was a gray racerback that snapped in front, 30A. Of course it fit there, but not so much when I got home. Haha, I can fill it now.