Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Three Bra Rule

Do you know what I did this morning?

I spent some time on me.

Yes, yes, I know - its always all about me, but this time I actually involved external forces.

I got my hair cut.

For you to understand the shock this entails, I must point out that I have long hair. This is because I shaved my head in 1995 (mid-December, to be exact - it was so darned hot!) and then decided to see how long I could go without cutting it. Of course, I have had trims since then (it would be really messy and long if not). 8 of them. I know that is falling well behind the recommended every 6 week rule, but you know, easier to spend the sheckels on everything but the girl - well, this girl anyway.

So instead of just a trim, I actually got a "style". Yeah, woo hoo me!

Then, I decided to check out some clothes. Because once you get the boulder rolling and all...

I had been given a card that entitled me to $20 towards goods to a variety of shops, and across the way from the hairdressers was Big Letter, one of the shops validating the gift card.

At first I browsed the clearance racks. Well, unfortunately I fall in the size range that is not avaiable on such racks. There was a pair of leggings that may suit 'Salina, though, so I slung them into the basket.

Then I decided to go through the "Ladies Fashion" section. The irony was there was nothing fashionable there AT ALL. Honestly, I live near a regional centre, and the style this decade is "maternity" - even when not so labelled. Is this happening in the rest of the world?

Every darned garment was designed to hid any waistline - great if you are a stick and therefore the drop from neck (or empire line) to hem flows, but if you have a bit of a bosom or some hips, the drop occurs miles from or too near to parts of your actual body and creates an effect that is the opposite of flattering.

I valiantly went from rack to rack, shelf to shelf, wanting so desparately to get me SOMETHING. Finally I found they had V-neck tee-shirts in a colour I didn't mind and decided that the ransom they were asking was actually nearly acceptable. There was also a cutish dress that looked as if it had intentions to show a little of the hourglass - into the basket they went also.

Then I moved to the lingerie department. Now, I did mention the possibility that I might be one of those with a bosom. I do - to use the vernacular, I have melons. Not watermelons, granted (thank goodness), more rockmelons - rockmelons that have served their natural purpose, so the rock is possibly a misnomer. Honeydews? Pawpaws?

Anyway, as any woman with such appendages know, you need to have something supportive to get you through the day, and you need to have something strong to last longer than a week. Have you seen what is on offer these days?

Now, I have a three bra rule - or rather, the universe has applied a three bra rule to me. Ever since I can remember, I have only ever had three working bras, because no matter how often you buy a new bra, and old one falls over immediately. To get around this rule of late (for the last mumble 2 months years), I have avoided buying any new ones. Heck, it has worked so well that I currently have four working bras - as one that had been deemed unacceptable now fits the benchmark for the new acceptable. However, given the age and state of decay of those four bras AND given the fact that a new bra brings joy and delight to the wearer, I was venturing forth to cause mayhem in the bra draw.

I chose three sturdy bras on special to try on, and as I could only take four things in, the dress came also. The first one laughed at me and advised that, really, that smaller number that I used to think I could fit really doesn't do what it should do in the back region (ie do up) let alone mount the melons admirably. The second and third were of the larger number - the second puckered and said "saggy boobs = smaller cups, sucker", while the third (same size, same brand) said "these cups overfloweth". The dress screeched "pregnant" as well as "potato sack", so I went back out with a little of my enthusiasm sucked out of me.

But I was determined. No longer would I contemplate the lower priced or on-sale undergarments, I would look instead towards brands I had found love with in the past and try to achieve a little aim. Back into the dressing room I went with three more bras and the tee-shirt. The first would have been well and good - if I didn't move and start the bounce factor occuring. The second said "rise up" not only to my melons, but also to their underwire (and yes, I did try and adjust straps to stop that happening - which still said it to the underwire but not to the fruit). The third squished and gave a neat cleavage - somewhere near my neckline, and the wrinkles there didn't look as if they needed the competition in the dressing room mirror. The tee-shirt was a scoop rather than a vee and looked - wrinkled and ordinary, which is what it is meant to hide and flatter, not highlight.

I was so disgusted with the shop, I even threw the sale item that I had considered for 'Salina back on the rack and left in high dudgeon.

Oh, I did seriously contemplate a sidetrack as I strode through the foodcourt on the way to my car and find some satisfaction in deep-fried self-esteem, but it looked old and tasteless.

I was all set to roar home and drown my sorrows in the garden, when I remembered some very pertinent points. I had to get a bra. Honestly, the four I have are no longer really embracing the concept of support. It is a case of when they are going to give up the ghost, and they fire warning shots at inopportune moments of their rapidly approaching demise.

There are two establishments in this regional centre that still have the old-fashioned "bra fitters" employed. There is nothing like the memory of your teenage years and the swish back of your dressing-room curtain to a duck braying (I know, mixed metaphors) "and how is that one - still puckering up?" to revisit the horrors that such shops can bring. Of course, for only an arm and a leg, you can then get a well-corseted and entirely flattering (if fully clothed) bosom - but its a tightrope in anticipation.

Luckily, I was saved by the low fuel gauge and the memory that the shoes 'Salina wore to school are now too small and have a large inability to save the feet from water, therefore I would need to detour to another centre and fix both problems.

At this centre, there is a Letter-Mart. And what a refreshing (for once) change offered there - they had a sale! With real savings!! On clothes I would consider wearing!!! And they had bras for melons fuller figures with a decent percentage figure off!!!! And we (with such melons fuller figures) know that a decent percentage leads to a very decent reduction in the exorbitant pricing.

As well as an adequate bra (yes, I will still have to visit the other establishments for anything truly satisfying) I got two shirts - that made like I might have a figure - and the second shirt was half of half of the markdown price at the cash register.

Oh joyous me.

So I will be bounding (but not bouncing) to work tomorrow morning. Well, right after I unravel the latest tuck shop saga...


Anonymous said...

Oh. my. goodness. That post soooo cracked me up. I don't have melons BUT I do HATE bra shopping. Of any kind. And you couldn't pay me enough to go into one of those specialist shops and be humiliated. I'm a private kind of gal. Glad you ended up finding something suitable. I tend to wait and wait (way too long) because I hate it sooooo much (bra shopping that is).

I've decided I'm going to take up handbag shopping for a hobby. They're much easier to try on than underwear and clothing (I hate clothes shopping most of the time too - because I have to try things on).

Crazed Nitwit said...

we call mine casabas for casaba melons. Honeydews would work as well. I'd love a well fitting comfy not underwire sticking me in the side bra. I believe they don't exist for me anymore.

Good for you Jeanie for persisting. Thanks for your supportive comments on my blog. You're a wonderful pal!!! HUgs.

Alison said...

I went into one of those awful bra shops once. The lady was oh so helpful and didn't even swish back the curtain... She just shoved a huge selection of maternity bra's under it.
This was before I had children.
Glad you were successful, Jeanie. Clothes shopping can be the absolute worst - and I agree that 'maternity fashion' at the moment is hardly ever flattering. Even when you really are pregnant.

Debby said...

I didn't know the three bra rule was an international thing. One on. One in the laundry, and one in the drawer. Any more than that, and you've got them together in one place or the other,and they begin to talk things over. It's about then your life goes to hell in a handbasket.

mommamia said...

I'm so glad you got some me time. This post was so funny. I hate bra shopping and I too have the 3 bra rule.

Maude Lynn said...

This is hilarious! You have perfectly described what happens to me every time I am deluded enough to think that I am going to buy something for myself!


At the "Bra" shops I have visited were they measure and fit, you can expect to pay at least double. They import all the large sizes in from Europe. The Germans seem to have melon control figured out.*laugh*

BB said...

You are a funny woman... I can testify that a new bra is a wonderful thing and that bra retirement plans are required also in my top drawer. This post is so timely, it's not funny. Well, when you tell it, it is pretty giggly... Getting there IS hideously painful (melons run in the family!) and I actually walked out of a bra-fitting shop yesterday!!!!

Well done ...

Brissiemum2 said...

Rofpmsl! I so get the 3 bra rule! In fact, I live and bounce (lol!) it! Although one of my 3 always has to be black cause you never can tell when your melons may feel sexier than beige! Baahaaa!

jeanie said...

Lightening - handbag shopping? Only if the op shop has a range, really! Reminds me, I must do a shoe shopping post.

Janice - a friend and I used to jokingly call them "alabasters"

A - the ONLY good thing about a maternity bra is the nursing ease - which, if I recall, some of them missed the point of also!

Debby - oh my goodness, my first confirmation that the universe is not singling me out! I didn't know the reasoning behind it, though.

mommamia - another victim of the 3 bra rule - I am starting to see a conspiracy theory? I wonder if the manufacturers have tried an antidote?

mama zen - I seriously think that the capitalists should get together and work out a plan to overcome it. I don't know - put up for sale something that we want and works for us?

elizabeth - we all know how the Germans have a thing about control! One of the two emporiums here is an old fashioned Berlei salon.

bush babe - well done on the walk out - only problem with a flounce really is the bounce factor it entails because you didn't buy the goshdarned bra.

brissiemum - you are spot on - got to have one in black - and none in white, because really, with only 3 the other two gotta be beige to go with everything!

Jen at Semantically driven said...

I've got a bit of a 2 bra thing going on - a white or cream one and a black one. There usually is one kicking around for a spare though.

I hear you about the maternity clothes fashion? thing at the moment. It doesn't suit many body shapes and I'll be glad when it's over. Thank goodness that all the clothes I liked from the last few years are starting to appear in my favourite op shop.

Lin said...

Those baby dolls can make an anorexic look bloated! I'll be happy to see the end of them also.

I hate underwire bras, don't really need that much support, though even peaches start drooping when you're on the wrong side of 35. So my quest is always to find a bra in a smaller size without underwire, that is somewhat more flattering than a sports bra, but doesn't give me a cleavage that results in all breast in the middle and none left at the sides. I've recently bought a "first bra" that almost fitted the bill!

I haven't been able to motivate myself to face a bra fitting nazi for years and years!

agrantham81 said...

I HATE Bra Shopping in store as well. I have taken to shopping in a catalogue with a good exchange policy. I can then get fitted as such by the lady and then order and return etc on my own. A much better deal, and no curtain as its in a house. Very much more pleasant.

I think I may be suffering from the 3 bra rule. I have 14 (yes Fourteen) bras in my possesion yet about 3 of them fit me. And even more frustrating with my cycle changes its not even always the same 3 that fit. ARGH!!!

Great Post, made me smile.

alice said...

I am *SO* beside you on the pawpaw shopping. I am heading for stalk end down these days. Hardly a good look.

Aniqa said...

So pleased to hear that your melons, oops sorry, bosoms are all uplifted again.

I have to confess that I went waaaay over the 3BR while I was in London. But then again, when in London it is obligatory to shop. Well that's my excuse anyway.

I just want to know why you can manage to post so much here and not finish the scrabble games with your southern friends (well me at least).

What a surprise to hear that you remembered the alabasters. Although they are more like swinging rocks right now.

Am off to join the gym tomorrow - seriously, I am.

Hugs and love to V and kiddilie

Aniqa said...

So pleased to hear that your melons, oops sorry, bosoms are all uplifted again.

I have to confess that I went waaaay over the 3BR while I was in London. But then again, when in London it is obligatory to shop. Well that's my excuse anyway.

I just want to know why you can manage to post so much here and not finish the scrabble games with your southern friends (well me at least).

What a surprise to hear that you remembered the alabasters. Although they are more like swinging rocks right now.

Am off to join the gym tomorrow - seriously, I am.

Hugs and love to V and kiddilie