First Mistake: Yesterday I took my three-year-old son bra shopping.  

Second Mistake: We went to Victoria’s Secret.

They escorted us back to the dressing room and I was about to get measured  when he started screaming bloody murder. Full-on diva tantrum.

As I attempted to hush him, bribe him, threaten him, the sales woman politely knocked on my dressing room door, “If you’d like to purchase some bras in your size, you can return them in 90 days if they don’t fit.” 

I got the hint. 

Third Mistake: I bought three bras and walked out—angry, sweaty from holding him, embarrassed—and heavy with the stares of other women. Yes, I know. I know  I’m THAT mom. Give me a  little grace, okay? It’s not like I wanted this to happen.

But, that’s not even the crisis.

I dropped the kid off at home and begged my husband for a few hours alone to bra shop because the bras, from VS, supposedly in my size, didn’t fit.

Fourth Mistake: I went to Kohls—tried on no less than 27 bras (Forgive me, Changing Room Attendant. I tried my best to hang them properly on those hangers.) and again nothing fit, nothing. 

I left Kohl’s annoyed, and frankly confused. How did 27 bras, in a variety of styles, not fit?

As a mom, my shopping time is limited, so although I’d been at this for hours, I was determined to keep shopping ’til I found something.

Next stop: Soma Intimates. If you haven’t been there, it’s the answer to Victoria’s Secret. The bras are cute, well-made, and you don’t have to be Kate Upton to look good in one.

Fifth Mistake: I assumed I knew my bra size. (Realizing now that mistake #5 is what led to this entire day.) 

The saleswoman was very helpful and encouraging. She measured me, but  wouldn’t reveal my size. When I told her what I thought I needed, she responded, “Well, I’m just gonna try something on you. Let’s go from there. And, oh yeah. Don’t look at the tag.”

Have you guessed the crisis?

After sacrificing my breasts for three lovely children, after body-changes and the ups and downs of baby weight, after turning thirty-five, after twelve years of marriage, and after 34 years in the same bra size (excluding my gigando pregnancy boobs), I have shrunk.  Not one, but TWO cup sizes. And it’s not just the size, it’s the…texture. (Terms like “floppy pancakes, deflated balloons, flattened beach balls” might suffice.)

I sat in the dressing room and texted  my friends, my mom and my sister: Breast Hawk Down. 

These were some of the responses:

“Sigh. I’m having the same crisis. I miss feeling pretty/sexy.”

“I’m so sorry. I know just how you feel.”

“Trust me. I know. Mine are just nothing.”

“I’ve given up bras completely.”

“Well, at least they don’t flop around when you walk. I wish mine would shrink.”
Clearly, I’m not the only one having an emotional bra-sis.

I purchased two bras in my new size (and a dress because, I mean, after this day I deserved a treat) and left the store, honestly, pretty traumatized.

Everything around women tells us that big buoyant boobs are beautiful. They attract men. They signify youth, hormones, sexiness. They make us feel, well, womanly.

It sounds so dramatic, but I just kept thinking, those were the body parts I really loved.  If I was ever on Oprah (because she’s constantly begging me to join her new network) and she asked, “What’s your favorite thing about yourself, physically?” I could honestly say, I love my breasts. They’re great!  

Now what? I have to get used to a whole new me. 

I also kept telling myself, I’m a shameless woman. I’m a shameless woman. I’m a shameless woman. This won’t shake me.

But, it’s shaken me a bit.

I’m beginning to understand why women burned their bras. They are SUCH a disaster.  Who knew underwire, padding, and satin material could cause such turmoil around the world?

So, I wish I could tell you that I’ve solved this one and am posting today to bring you some fantastic insight and meaningful conclusion about womanhood and the pressures of society and body image.

Maybe next week.

Instead today; for the children who changed them but will never apologize, and for the six bras which I will be donating to goodwill today, I’m lighting a candle for our youthful breasts.

You served us well while you were here. You did your job with dignity and justice. You bounced like the best of them.

Goodbye old gals.    

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