Thursday, June 28, 2012
I think that every little girl dreams about their first bra.
I dreamed about it for years. As I entered fifth grade, there were girls who started “developing” and their mothers bought them their first bras, which were proudly seen through their white Catholic School peter-pan collared shirts.
I, on the other hand, still wore undershirts.
When I moved up into Jr. High, into a new school in the Catskills, I looked forward to wearing my first bra. But my mother took one look at me and said: “you don’t need one yet” I was forced to keep wearing undershirts. And frustrated with my body that seemed to be permanently in the pubescant stage.
It was embarrassing in gym, where you had to change in public, where every girl had bras no matter whether they needed them or not, and I still had a stupid undershirt.
It got to the point that if I could not have a bra, I was NOT going to wear an undershirt, so I went braless. No one could really tell, it was 1969, and many of the “Woodstock” girls were not wearing a bra anyway.
One day I wore a sheer white shirt to school, without the dreaded undershirt on. I came home and caught my mother staring at me. She said WHERE IS YOU UNDERSHIRT? I replied while wailing: “I don’t like them and everyone else has a bra so I am not wearing one.”
You KNOW the next time we went shopping I got my first bra. It was a bit embarrassing going with my mother to find a bra that was the tiniest one available. We settled on a tan one, with off white lace around the edge. To my horror, my mother slipped it into her purse and continued shopping. MY FIRST BRA WAS STOLEN GOODS and tainted. I was appaled and was sure that I was going to go to hell for wearing a stolen bra. (later on I found out that my mother did this with many things that we needed as she was on a fixed income for four kids, and she was not allowed to go over her food budget by my father. It was a shame I carried for years.)
Then one of my school friends told me she had some extra bras and I could have one.
She was about 50 lbs heavier than I , but I could not refuse such an offer.
The bra I got from her was once white, but now had turned a dingy grey. The cup size was much bigger than I needed and they came to point, with stitching that ran in concentric circles staring at the edges and working in to the center. When I put it on it hung there limply, like a deflated balloon. I tried stuffing it with socks, too lumpy, and then with tissues, standing in the mirror trying to see what I might look like in clothes with breasts.
Years later, my sister reminded me of that bra, and how SHE went though all my stuff, tried on that very same bra, and read all of my diaries, which was the whining of a teenage girl who had not been kissed and was ready to get a taste of what others were having. (That is for a different story. )
Now as an adult, I have a lovely bra collection. They all fit, none come to a point, and NONE have stitching. And finally, after 54 years, I have something to put in it.