Brassiere. I rarely hear that word any more. My mother never referred to a brassiere as a "bra." And she didn't pronounce it "brazeer," the way we do, either, it was "brahzyair."
I was fourteen when I got my first...and I had begged, pleaded, bargained, reasoned, cried (did I mention begged?) for months. But, really...I was in tenth grade (a year younger than my classmates) and still wearing undershirts. If you don't know what an undershirt is, it's like a tank top, only itchy. I was the laughingstock of the P. E. class. Not that I wasn't the laughingstock anyway, but this evidence of my immaturity was the icing on the cake.
At this time of my life, I can't believe I actually begged to get one of these evil contraptions!
My bra was the smallest one that Eaton's carried, and I had to stuff it with Kleenex (which led to total humiliation at school--"Hey, Dobell...you dropped something..."). Still, it was progress. I was no longer as terrified of the Girls' Changing Room.
It was about four years later that I decided I'd had enough of the damn things, so I quit wearing them. I wasn't quite still stuffing that 28AA with Kleenex, but let's just say that it didn't really matter whether I wore a bra or not...except for the very first time I left the house without my support system...I was shopping on foot in our neighbourhood, when I noticed a man was following me up and down the aisles of the drug store and the grocery. Not being used to this sort of thing, I did just what you're not supposed to do--I headed for home. Fortunately, he was just your garden-variety pervert, and yelled at me in the street,
"Do you know what you look like with your boobies bouncing around inside your shirt?"
I, of course, treated him to a barrage of George Carlin's seven famous words, arranged in myriad configurations of curses, and he ran off. I went home, utterly undone, and it took me several weeks to try such a thing again. I persisted (I'm stubborn), and in only a very few years, I had to dig in the back of the drawer to find a bra for formal occasions.
Such adventures in liberation were abruptly curtailed by pregnancy. Support was welcome. And necessary. With age, the need for support has increased. However, at sixty, I begin to question my continued use of the torture device known as the "underwire." There is really no point (heh). Why on earth can it still be important to keep the girls in the same place they were thirty years ago? God knows, nothing else is!
Dearly Beloved, I'm actually looking forward to twenty (or so) years from now, when I can go back to undershirts.