Every year on my birthday I do two things immediately upon waking. First, I swear out
vengeance against every person who has given me guff over the past year. Next, I
vow to undertake one act of kindness that will benefit humankind in the coming year.
This year I decided that the act would be to convince my friend Greta to buy a decent
Greta, like most lesbians, wears only sports bras. She feels that this garment,
which is really a modified Ace bandage with shoulder straps, provides her with the
support she needs. But I'll let you in on a little secret: sport bras don't support, they
smush. They turn your breasts into a dense land shelf and the effect is not
becoming. In addition, sport bras, like all oppressive regimes, quickly lose their
holding power, allowing breasts to break free from their cotton/lycra confines and
roam about your chest unheeded.
The first time I met Greta I noticed a lot of activity going on underneath her blouse. I
suspected she might be trying to smuggle a couple of bear cubs in her shirt, so I
reported her to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. When the agents arrived and
ripped off Greta's shirt, exposing not bear cubs but rather a pair of excessively
restless breasts, I was more alarmed than relieved.
"My God," I exclaimed, pointing to what appeared to be an old grapefruit sack
dangling from her shoulders and loosely covering her breasts. "What is that thing?"
She glanced down at her chest and fingered an old, dingy strap. "It's my bra."
Last Friday, at my birthday party, as her breasts drooped down to the dinner table
and rested themselves along side her cake plate, I decided it was time for an
intervention. And, in Greta's case, we needed something more than a quick trip to
the lingerie section at Fields (where I regularly stock up on my favorite brand, Miss
Olga 36 C.) We needed professional help.
So, the next morning, I picked up Greta and headed for an Eastern European
neighborhood on the edge of the city. There, buffeted by bakeries on either side,
stood Lois' Foundation Shop, a squat, solid brick building that looked like it wanted
to beat up all the other buildings on the block.
As soon as we walked in the door, several enormous women with tape measures
draped around their necks descended on Greta. After spending many minutes
clucking in disgust over Greta's undergarments (sadly, Greta has also fallen prey to
the unfortunate thong craze), they got down to business.
The women grabbed Greta's breasts firmly, but gently, just as a good bra should.
They showed her the proper way to put on a bra, first slip the bra straps over your
shoulders. Then bend over and let your breasts fill the cups. Now fasten the hooks
(notice how the word "Velcro" is never associate with real lingerie) and stand up.
And, suddenly, you have mountains instead of molehills.
Finally, Greta learned the importance of underwire. The bra fitters told her that if your
bra does not set off alarms at airport security, you do not have enough underwire
support. As an added bonus, once your bra is dead, and bras do die from many
causes, some natural (they get old) and some unnatural (never, ever, put your bra in
a dryer!), you can strip the underwire out of the garment and use it as a cat toy.