Actually, let's talk bras, even though they aren't much fun to talk about. When we start wearing them, they are usually too big and they feel like alien beings have attached themselves to us. Our first heavy make out sessions can involve young men who have seemed up until that point perfectly normal, with all the required hands and fingers, fumbling with hooks, while we grit out teeth and silently scream, "Just take the damn thing off!"
After a few years, if we are lucky, both our breasts and our men become larger, and our bras and our sexual concerns become smaller. Bras morph into flimsy, lacy little things of fantasy, and the men we date morph into beings with facial hair instead of pimples and possess knowledge of the art of the unhook.
After childbirth, should we choose to nurse, we may believe that the detour into practical, unadorned nursing bras is temporary. But many of us may discover that post-pregnancy, our breasts have started to head south, and our focus on tiny lacy things has shifted to tiny screaming things we now chase around the house.
At a certain age, "support" becomes the dreaded, operative word. Bras stop being flimsy little doodads that one can imagine some hot guy ripping off our bodies. We avoid Victoria's Secret at all cost. We are lured toward the sea of beige in department stores that shrieks "full coverage" and costs way more than our last dinner out. We consider shopping for bras at small specialty stores, where no one will see us. This writer has passed through all of the previous stages and is now living permanently in the Expensive Ugly Bra That Gives Great Support world.
Enter the Ahh bra. The Ahh bra is hawked on HSN (Home Shopping Network) on TV. It has no underwires, and so, like Now Husband, it has no visible means of support. Yet, it is supposed to support, uplift, separate, and smooth beautifully. How is this possible? It most likely isn't. But, like the people who line up at the counter at 7-Eleven each morning to buy their Powerball tickets, I am also permanently in pursuit of the fantasy. So I got sucked into the Ahh bra infomercial.
I called the 800 number.
An Ahh bra specialist answered. The bra specialist's voice was a tad bit lower than was the woman who fitted me for a bra at Nordstrom last year. Carl introduced himself, and told me that although he, personally, doesn't wear bras, he could answer all my questions. I told him I would have felt more comfortable if he did wear bras, but that I'd give it a try.
The conversation that ensued was more intimate than any I have ever had with Now Husband. I was vulnerable. I was open. I revealed. He was patient. He was kind. He was understanding. He led me to places I thought I would never go. He made it OK. I was filled with gratitude.
He redefined the art of the woo. When he suggested that I would enjoy the bra primarily because of its comfort, I told him that, at my age, 65, support was my primary concern. There was a moment of silence. He said, "I can't believe you are 65! I thought you were so much younger!" (I am not making this up) "You sound so young!" I blushed. I stammered. I ran the phone slowly, all over my body. I thought I could hear him growling.
I ordered four bras.
I woke up this morning and realized what I had done. I was ashamed. I could barely look at Now Husband over our morning coffee. We have only been married for six years, and already I was straying. Now Husband is a good man, an honorable man. I knew what I had to do.
I cancelled my order. I know that I can pick up the phone at any time and call Carl to talk about bras. He'll be waiting. But I also know that even as I write this, he is talking to another woman about her breasts bras. And so I will go on, knowing that at anytime, I can watch the infomercial and remember...