My First And Hopefully Last Bra Fitting
*TMI ALERT! MEN: YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.*
Bra fitting. This term sends a chill down my spine. My goal in life if for as few people as possible to see my breasts. I was never very comfortable with them to begin with and considered them a nuisance because I was really into gymnastics. I felt like they would maybe have a mind of their own while I turned backflips.
While my friends were wearing training bras, eagerly anticipating growing breasts, I hoped the arrival of my bosoms would be delayed. Then one day I looked in the mirror and groaned to my mom, “I think I might need a bra ……”
Of course, this brought necessary, but unwanted attention to my chest and she squealed, “You do need a bra! Let’s go shopping tonight!” I said, “OK, but I am NOT getting anything with bows or lace! And don’t tell Dad!” I didn’t want my dad knowing anything about my bodily changes.
My mom showed me the art of putting on a bra. You attach the hook and eyes, turn it around, and then put your arms through the straps. I thought we were done until my mom suggested I bend forward and give them a good jiggle so they would settle into the cups. I didn’t know there were such strategies to making it fit right.
A few years later, I learned the hell that is wearing an underwire bra. I managed my bra shopping just fine for years after that until I had my first son and things changed. Ugh. More bra shopping! Which kind of nursing bra to get? Just how big would they be when my milk came in?
I just gave it my best guess and probably wore the wrong size for a year. I didn’t care. I was just in survival mode anyway. When you’re done breastfeeding, things don’t just go back to the way they were. I would hear reports that most women wear the wrong size bra and we would really benefit from a professional fitting.
This doesn’t mean you have someone look at you in a bra you already put on and tell you yes or no. This means measurements under and around your bust. I vowed I would never put myself through such an ordeal. Hadn’t I suffered enough with everything I had to go through as a woman?
Because mine were all pretty trashed and not many stores carry my size, I went to Nordstrom. Somehow I would fend off the lady with the tape measure. I would grab a variety of sizes, go to the dressing room, and try them on until I had a decent fit. As soon as I entered the vicinity though, a young woman asked if I needed any help. I said, “Uhhhhhh …… I’m looking for a bra.”
“Would you like to be fitted?”
“No. Will that involve me getting naked?”
“Only mostly naked.” she grinned.
She was a voluptuous lady like me and I knew she would understand, so I decided it might be my one chance to be measured by someone who isn’t a size 4. We went into the dressing room and she asked me to remove my shirt. I thought, “Yeah, I really had no plans to take my top off for anyone today.” I had even gone to the doctor for a sinus infection and bronchitis, but there was no need to disrobe. I hate going to the doctor, so I decided I might as well get my other hated activities out of the way – shoe and bra shopping. Am I still a woman because I hate shopping for shoes?
Anyway, with my bra still on, she went to measure me around my rib cage while I sucked in my striped gut the best I could. I thought I had reached maximum embarrassment until she had to stare at them to estimate the cup size, brought in a few options, put them on me, and then told me to reach into each cup and lift my breasts. At that point, she wanted her supervisor to come in and confirm that it was the correct size. Of course, her supervisor was way skinny, young, beautiful, and probably didn’t have any children.
Ultimate humiliation achieved.
And now my doctor tells me I get to start having mammograms in a couple of years. It’s not the pain I’m worried about. It’s the idea that someone is going to be staring at me, manhandling me, and telling me to flop my breasts onto a cold, metal plate. My friend keeps bugging me to get a mammogram and I said, “Oh no! I’m not putting them in the smasher until I have to!”
My husband refused to go get a full physical and that’s for one reason. The prostate exam. I said, “You’re going to neglect your health because you can’t handle a finger up your bum for a minute? What if you get cancer?” He says, “Then I’ll die!”
I’m pretty sure he could never handle a bra fitting.