Round Two: Another Post about Bras – Let’s Get Ready to Grumble!

Vintage Bras

Wow – we ladies certainly love our boobs, and have strong, loud and opinionated voices when it comes to protecting our options.  Whether it’s breast-feeding in public or the injustices brought about by ill-fitting and unflattering breast support, it seems that, when it comes to boobs, we’re ready to rumble.  Or grumble, more like.  In fact, the post I wrote about a month ago called “Bra Shopping:  Not as Titillating as I Had Hoped” was my most commented-upon post ever, since starting this blog back in 2005.  I received a lot of comments through Facebook, and was even offered custom assistance from a personal shopper who works in the lingerie department at Nordstrom’s.  Thank you so much for reading my rant and telling me how you feel regarding your own bra-shopping experiences!

Looks like I'm not the only one confused by bras.

Looks like I’m not the only one confused.

When it comes down to it, bras are pretty confusing.  Not the concept, of course – just give us something comfortable and pretty that can help stabilize our ta-tas.  Where this becomes troublesome is in the details.  For example:  Why the awkwardness – why is the clasp in the back?  Why so few sizes that are either pretty or sexy; do the physics of bra construction prevent the use of color, sparkles or texture?  And why the discomfort?  Why, oh for the love of god, WHY is METAL WIRE with STABBY ENDS a component of ANYTHING that comes near our boobs?  Where did we go wrong???

In addition to the problems I outlined in my previous post, a number of you wrote about issues that seem to be common when we go to the lingerie department.  Here are a few of your comments:

  • Linda wrote: “besides color and poor construction, why does almost every bra out there in larger sizes have padding in the cup???”  I know, right?  It seems like most “every day” bras now come standard with padding or are push-ups.  That’s not my idea of every-day comfort.
  • Amy echoed the above sentiment and added “I need a strap that doesn’t roll but hopefully doesn’t look like something out of a 1940s Sears catalog”, and I agree!
  • And Jessica also made a very good point about cost: “I take great issue with the fact that all the cute, frilly bras in the smaller sizes are always so much cheaper. I realize that it takes sturdier construction to hold up a larger chest, but come on. When they are three or four times the cost of all the other bras out there and still plain black, neutral or white that is just absurd. It is not that much extra fabric.”
  • But it’s not only the more curvy girls among us who have complaints; I heard quite a bit from the smaller ladies as well.  Susan wrote, “Try shopping for 36A, also known as the 36nipple. I do not want an underwire, I want comfort…is that too much to ask?”  Yes, yes it is, Susan.  Just. Too. Much.
  • And it’s not even just the women, the men have something to say too.  Ken passionately stated, “This injustice will not stand! I want everyone to have fun underthingies that fit. Seriously, why aren’t the manufacturers responding to the market that clearly needs a product? Do it for the boobies!”  Thank you, Ken, for your (ahem) support!

The fact is, we women like to think that every single one of us has broken the mold in some respect.  We like being individuals, unique, interesting, different from everyone else.  And when someone tells us that we have to force our boobs into something that is, well, molded to a few specific shapes and sizes, that rankles us to the core.  Truly, when I look back upon the history of the bra, I can’t say I’m excited for the future.  If they haven’t listened to us by now, when will they?

Gas Mask Bra

Well, I guess we’ve got priorities. At least it’s pretty!

At least I’m not allergic to Lucky Charms

Yesterday I was a happier person.  Albeit, I was a person who sneezed and sniffled and had a nose so itchy I wanted to rip it off my face and throw it on the ground, (like so, below) but I was happier.  I was a person who was not diagnosed as being allergic to anything.

threw-it-on-the-ground

Which I thought was odd, since my nose was determined to become the slimiest creature on earth, a title which is technically owned by eels, who produce the most slime per unit body mass of any other animal on earth.  Why, nose, why go for such a title?  How about something a little less mucousy and sneezy?  I argued with my nose about the issue, but she was not having any of it.  Hence, yesterday I took myself down to the allergy center to get tested so that I could potentially dash my nose’s dreams of becoming permanently disgusting.

You might notice that allergen 2 seems to be a lot angrier than the control (-) or allergen 1.  Can you guess what it is that I am allergic to?  I will give you five guesses (that’s your hint, btw).

So let’s start over again.  Yesterday, before allergy testing, I was a happier person.  When I walked into my house, this is what I used to see:

Awwwwww, right???  Look at those itty bitty kitties!  So snuggly and cute (well, the white one looks a little demonic, but for the most part, they are pretty freaking adorable).  WELL NOT ANYMORE, JACK, because since I’ve been allergy tested, all I see now when I walk in the door is this:

Which will inevitably lead to this:

And then this:

Or else this:

Which will obviously end up with me like this:

and

funny-gif-no-sneeze

Until finally, I’m like:

sneezing-motion

And ultimately like this:

make it stop

What’s a girl to do?  How can I be a crazy cat lady AND be allergic to cats?  Oh, the bitter, bitter irony.  You taste like cat fur and litter box dust, all rolled up into one huge hairball of sneeze.  Why, sucky immune system, why???

The good news is that I am willing to live the rest of my life taking potentially unhealthy doses of nasal steroids and antihistamines every day (or at least until all the cats die and I run out of cat refills).  Also, I did not take any tests yesterday that indicated I am allergic to Lucky Charms cereal.  So wow, bright side it is.  Suck it, universe.

Bra Shopping: Not as titillating as I had hoped

Alright, so if you do not want to hear about my latest bra shopping adventure (which probably includes information about my own boobs), you might not want to read this post.  Still reading?  Ok, good.  Now, the fact that YOU may or may not have boobs is irrelevant to what I’m going to talk/rant about, so don’t think that this is going to be a post entirely about how people who don’t need bras get off easy (um, which they do, just saying).  NO!!!  This is a post about how 1) fashion designers are glorified even though they only produce bras for a very small portion of women, and 2) anyone who doesn’t fit into that very small portion of women is SOL when it comes to buying cute underthingies, thus making us (yes, me included) feel like we are somehow not deserving of said cute underthingies.

Our story begins when I broke my bra last week.  And as long as I’m being honest, I’ll admit that I have a favorite bra, a go-to bra that I wear 90% of the time.  It’s not that I don’t have other bras, it’s just that this one is the most comfortable, flattering, and matches with most of my underpants.  But as of last week, the METAL WIRE TORTURE APPARATUS that is apparently critical to the support system of this bra POPPED out of the side seam and commenced full-on stabbing me in the side of my left boob.  So sad!  And painful!  But it was time to get a new bra anyway, because mine was resembling something like this, only in black:

old bra

I’m sure you’ve had a similar problem at one time or another, yes?  So, I decided to bite the bullet and <gulp, I just threw up a little in my mouth> go to the mall to hunt and capture at least a couple of brassieres that could handle the challenge of lugging these old titsballs around on a daily basis.  You’re probably thinking to yourself, ok, so just go to Victoria’s Secret – what’s the big deal?  I’LL TELL YOU WHAT THE BIG DEAL IS:  I HATE VICTORIA’S SECRET!!!  Let me count the ways:

  1. As soon as you step in the store, some 22 year old runs up to you and accosts you with questions about what you’re looking for and how she can help and what size are you and what sexual positions does your partner(s) like.  Which would appear, at first glance, that she is just trying to be helpful and not incredibly intrusive.  Upon receiving an answer of “no thanks, I’m just looking around”, she slinks off, only to be replaced by ANOTHER 22 year old who demands an answer to similar questions.  And I swear to god, they will not leave you alone, unless you bring your boyfriend with you (and make sure he looks embarrassed to be there).  It is not impossible that the same salesgirls that previously asked if you needed help and were turned down will come back and ask you a second or third or even fourth time.  ERGGGG!!!  Just leave me alone to shop for unmentionables in my own personal space bubble, okay???  Jeesh!
  2. While some of the merchandise at VS cute, it is, generally, of poor quality and produced in countries that don’t provide their workers with living wages.
  3. I very much DISLIKE how VS has been marketing to the pre-teen crowd with their PINK line for several years now.  Their models look like they are 12 years old, and it’s just INAPPROPRIATE!!!  So I guess that makes me an old fart.
  4. Getting back to the point of this post, VS carries merchandise that fits only a small portion of the population.

Let’s get down to bras(s) tacks.  I have been wearing bras that are size 36-B for YEARS.  The past couple of years I’ve really should have been wearing a size 38-B, but I have been avoiding making the switch for a couple of reasons, including that it was just hard to find cute bras over size 36″ anywhere (including VS, although they have a few, I’ll admit, but see issues 1-3 above).  Plus, I am finally at that point in life where I’d just rather be comfortable – so bring on the size 38 bras and yoga pants.  Since I had a coupon to Macy’s, I figured I’d go shopping there to see what their lingerie department could do for me.  At first it wasn’t too bad, other than my head swimming at being confronted by all the double-barreled boob slings hanging everywhere.  Really, after a while, they just start to look ridiculous, am I right?  Anyway, right when you get to the lingerie department, the first thing you see is a wall of Calvin Klein, DKNY, and a couple of other designer brands.  And they had cute stuff – all different colors, cuts and textures!  So I started sorting through them and the ONLY sizes they carried were 32-36″.  W.T.F.

Now, I’m not a big person, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to carry more than 3 chest sizes (granted, with multiple cup sizes).  But upon investigation, all the designer brands went no larger than 36″.  Grrrr – what gives?  Ok, I guess I need to just bite the bullet and march on over to the non-designer brands, which actually take up the majority of the lingerie department floor.  And there I am confronted with a SEA of black and nude GIGANTOR bras…mostly plain, mostly full coverage, mostly austere and penal-looking.  Soooo depressing!!!  Why are we, the majority of the female population who are not incredibly tiny, given so few cute underthingie options?  After hunting around for a great while, I managed to find a rack of demi-bras that were deliciously soft and lacy.  But still only black and nude colored.  This was fine for my purposes (after all, I just needed another regular go-to bra), but it left me feeling like 1) I must be a huge person to not be able to fit into the “regular” designer brands anymore, and 2) I guess I don’t deserve to wear all the cute underthingies that our stylish, exclusive brand-name designers are making.

Well that’s just bullshit, I say…bullshit!  I have a couple of recommendations for the lingerie industry, and I hope that department stores and other retailers, as well as designers, will take note (pshaw, as if!):

  1. If you’re a designer like Calvin Klein or DKNY, why don’t you serve more than a fraction of our population?  We have a lot of money to spend on your overpriced merchandise, you know.  Offering up more than 3 chest sizes (on the small end, no less) would be just grand.  And stores:  if fashion designers like Calvin and Klein are only catering to a few sizes, WHY reward them by putting up an exclusive display wall right at the front of the department?  It just makes your customers feel shitty when they get excited about all the cute underthingies and then can’t find any in their size.  Shoot those suckers to the back of the store – they don’t deserve the advantage or reward!
  2. Being excluded from the section of cute underthingies and being “relegated” to a sea of black or nude full-coverage bras is not fun, either.  I’m sure that there are plenty of average and larger ladies who want cute underthingy options – we don’t just want to slink off in shame and hide our lady lumps in drab beige or black camouflaged utilitarian support devices all the time.  Give us something fun to wear!  In colors!  With sparkles!  And fanciness!  We want to feel good about ourselves when we step out of our clothes, and fun cute underthingies can help!  The key is options.  We deserve cuteness, just like all those 32-36″ girls do!

That’s about all I have to say about that.  Apologies for the rant, but really, I was about ready to bust some nuts on someone Saturday.  And that’s just how utilitarian underwear makes me feel.  Do you really want that out there in the world, Calvin Klein?  Do you?

Blllaaaaahhhhhhhhhh…….

I wish I had something interesting to write about.  I wish I had something interesting to think about. Unfortunately, it is Sunday evening and I am pondering what tomorrow will be like…but the answer is already too clear.  I will be in a meeting from 9 to 3.  First, I hate meetings.  Second, I start getting angry when they go beyond an hour.  Third, what’s up with no breaks???  Fourth, don’t even suggest a working lunch.  Alright, here are some funny pictures to help me see my upcoming Monday in a more cheerful light.  Ready?  Here we go!

 
 
 

Really? For *this* Dress? Really.

Tell me this is not the most hideous dress you have ever seen. And I will tell you that, in fact, it was purchased from Bloomingdales.com for nearly $300. The dress is not mine, nor could you pay me $300 to wear it. Nor would I pass it along to any of you fine folks for free.

The reason you, dear readers, are subjected to looking upon this eyesore is because some *ass monkey* took it upon themselves to steal my debit card number (I still don’t know exactly how that happened, since I still have the card) and make several online purchases. Two from Bloomingdales, and one from the Apple Online Store. The purchases overdrew my checking account and I received an overdraft protection notice shortly after the second Bloomingdales purchase was made, so I was on the phone with my bank immediately. They actually were great – they refunded the money to my account, canceled my debit card, issued me a temporary debit card, and opened up a fraud investigation.

I also called the police about the matter, since it was unlikely that the bank would actually ever pursue a criminal investigation because the amount of money was so small (just under $500 for bloomies and I don’t know how much from Apple, since the charge was pending for $1.00 when I canceled my account). I wanted to know how people could get away with ordering something online, having it delivered, and *not* get caught. It turns out that they can give a fake address and when the order is returned to the shipping warehouse, they get an email letting them know that the delivery address was incorrect but that they can come to the shipping facility to pick up the package. Or, they can have things delivered to a P.O. box. And, it’s fairly easy to get credit card numbers to sell or give away – at restaurants when you give your credit card away to be run, sometimes an employee will just make a copy of it to keep. Or at a gas station. Or anywhere, really. So keep an eye on your card!

The detective called Bloomingdales to get information on the purchases, which had billing addresses in Kentucky and Texas (i.e., fake addresses), and a delivery address in Alameda, CA. But apparently, someone got nervous because they did a little research to find my work address, and changed the billing address to my work address. And for the second Bloomingdales purchase, they also changed the delivery address to my work address. Which is how I got the dress (which I plan to return, since it is not mine and I didn’t pay for it). Maybe they saw how quickly I caught the fraudulent activity and got scared; maybe they decided they didn’t want the dress after all – I don’t know. But it really pisses me off that Bloomingdales let the purchase go through even though the billing address didn’t match the one on my check card account…if they don’t need to match, why do we even provide that information when we place an online order???

So this begs the question…why would anyone risk prosecution, commit identity theft, screw up someone’s finances, all for such an ugly, hideous dress? The answer, I think, is that there are people out there who have horrible taste, not only in fashion, but in the way they choose to live their lives, with little regard for others and no concept of being accountable for one’s own actions. These are the leeches on our society, and they try to disguise themselves as normal humans with fancy clothes and expensive toys. It’s difficult to tell them apart from hard-working responsible decent folk, but evidently they often wear excessively ugly dresses.

So good luck with the whole karma thing, buddy – let me know how that works out for you. You apparently know where to contact me.