Friday, July 31, 2009

In My Cups: (breasts speak up!)

It is more than four months since I purchased three brassieres over the Internet, and still I cannot find anyone willing to discuss them with me.

I ordered them when I was fully employed and thoroughly exhausted, too exhausted for the racks crammed like mooing cattle on their way to the slaughtering mill. That image may not play out, but you get the idea, especially if you've ever spent an afternoon at Macy's lingerie department, searching for your odd bra size (smallish cup: B; large ribcage: undisclosed).

And praying for sexy black, sleek brown, exotic pastels - anything but - dud - white or - sigh - beige. If a bra strip slips onto my ivory, plumb and bitable upper arm, let it be enticing. Nurse's white or cleaning lady's beige excites imaginations not of interest to me.

So at this job from which I was laid off with good wishes, unemployment insurance and half a year of subsidized Cobra, I worked daily until 7:30 p.m. I was stone beat when I got home and so decided to buy online.

Now. Lingerie is a secret weapon in the war for self-esteem. I fight that battle often enough; the theater of operations is America, media, and women (and men) colluding with the enemy's expectations rather than standing up for ourselves. Sometimes it hurts, or at least gives the slight sensation of a twinge in the flesh, to be a woman. Or man.

Back to my three bras: two black as Sophia Loren's tresses and one a brown the shiny metallic hue of a '57 Chevy Bel Air. Cherry!

But the cups, I realized when I unpacked them, were distinct land mases. They weren't simply fabric. They were molded cups. When those cups sat around the house they were the house. They didn't life flat in a drawer and certainly not on my chest. My six new cups were smooth, round and mysterious. And false. Not quite falsies, but decidedly hiding my true, dear and sweet breast configurations.

Fascination and laziness. That's why I didn't return the bras. Also they were comfortable. I hadn't been aware such support was available. Since I'm only a B, I hadn't thought it was an issue. Support is a D, DD, E issue, I thought, and that may or may not be the case (gravity also being a fairly unilateral issue). Nonetheless, wearing one of these molded babies was like having a firm hand on each breast all day (as opposed to a gentle exploratory hand, during sensual moments).

Ich bin Californian, folks. Yes, born in N.Y. and raised by New Yorkers - but the raising took place in Southern Cal. Therefore, I want to discuss the experience of owning and wearing brassieres which have personalities bigger than mine. But no one bit, as it were. My wonder and fascination have been met with stares empty as a C-cup on a straight plank.

May the dialog begin. I'm at the ready, along with my six cups, half full, half empty, half live, fully committed to keeping me up.

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