This piece was submitted by guest blogger Ginny Callaway. Send us your story or short article and we’ll contact you if it works as a guest blog. Click here to share.
Let me get that out of the way first thing.
I hate bras.
The first thing I do every day when I get home is take my bra off.
When I was in fifth grade, I was tall and very thin. Although I had already become a woman, I had no signs of physical maturity. All the places that would eventually become hairy were still smooth and my chest looked the same as it did when I was six.
Classmates were blossoming and budding, adding a rounded shape to our tailored shirtwaist uniforms. My uniform hung straight down from my wide shoulders to my small waist. No protrusions whatsoever.
Helen was in the same shape. We decided we’d do something about it, even if we got busted.
One Saturday, Helen and I walked from her house to a small shop specializing in clothes for young girls. We casually wandered through the dresses, blouses, sweaters, not wanting to seem too obvious in our mission. Slowly, indifferently, we made our way to the area where the bras were. We looked at them for a minute or two before actually touching one. Our eyes fell on what was called a “training bra.” Perfect. That’s just what we needed. Something to bring the reluctant dark pink circles on our chest to life. A bra to train our breasts how to behave. Now we’re talking.
We did have one problem. We only had enough money for one bra and there were two of us. But we didn’t see that as a problem. Helen would wear it for one week and I would wear it for the next week. It might take a little longer to train our buds to blossom, but we had time. A deal was struck and a bra was bought.
And it worked! By the end of fifth grade, little bumps were forming.
Then the unspeakable happened. My mother wanted to take me shopping for bras. As she said, “To cover your little marbles.” Oh God, spare me. What could be more embarrassing? Marbles, Mom? Of all the words to choose…geez.
Off we went to Robinson’s department store in Pasadena. After a tête-à-tête with the sales lady, a sampling of bras appeared in a dressing room. I tried them on. Guess which one fit? The training bra. My marbles needed more training. Fine by me, just get me out of there.
By fifteen, my tatas did grow and I was able to fill an A cup and the top of a tiny bikini.
By twenty, I was a long-haired, tie-dyed hippie. I abandoned wearing a bra. I didn’t burn them, just shoved them to the back of my top dresser drawer.
It wasn’t until I became pregnant that bras re-entered the picture. These were not training bras or petite A cup lingerie items with delicate pink flowers. These were honking garments complete with three rows of hooks in the back, inch-wide straps and drop down front doors. I don’t remember if those bras had cups sizes. Let’s just size I was now wearing size huge.
As I grew older, bras came and went in my life. As I aged, my body went from lithe to luscious, or more accurately, post-menopausal fat.
My boobs grew with me. These days, at 65, I go to the gym three times a week and horseback ride twice a week. I need a bra. But finding one with straps that don’t end up three inches off my shoulders in five minutes or squeeze my chest with military-grade wire is impossible.
So, Ladies, let me hear from you. Do you have THE bra that meets the above demands? I need your support.
- Ginny Callaway, Fabulous Over 60 Reader/Guest Blogger