The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Great Escape

Okay, so to tell you about yesterday requires a little background information on yours truly. Specifically, that I hate to shop for bras. I hate bras in general for the most part, but I really hate to shop for them. This is likely a holdover from my teenage years when I suddenly and inexplicably developed a rack of mammoth proportions (38D, I kid you not—the boys didn’t look me in the eyes for my entire high school career). My mom would take me bra shopping and, naturally, I would want all the pretty, lacy bras with little bows and other rather nauseatingly cute details. But, given the nature of my attributes, my mother informed me in that “we aren’t going to discuss this” tone that women with larger chests could not wear delicate bras that didn’t lend support—unless I wanted my boobs to bang on my knees by the time I was 30. Which I did not. So we always ended up buying these perfectly hideous, prison-matron bras (if you are a prison matron please accept my humble apologies for insulting your femininity but there is no better term to describe these awful things) that had almost no stretch to them, monstrous cone-shaped cups, and wide straps with little cushions on them to keep them from digging into my shoulders. All they lacked was guide wires over my ears to keep the whole shebang up in the northern hemisphere of my body. I hated them.

Now, of course, I have lost weight and have a more manageable rack (at least no one calls me Jugs anymore…..not to my face, anyway) and I only purchase lovely, lacey bras and yet, I still hate bra shopping. In fact, while I will buy panties by the case just because there’s a sale at Victoria’s Secret, I will wear the same bra until it is little more than a few bra molecules attached to a rapidly disintegrating clasp (“What? It looks fine!”) rather than replace them. Denial, again. I really should just move to Egypt.

Earlier this year I spent some time with my parents in the south central part of the state and my mother, for reasons best known to herself, decided it was time to clean out her own bra drawer and give me all the ones she could no longer wear. She’s lost weight due to an illness, so she had many that were too big. However, she was larger to start with than I am now, so most of these bras did not fit but she was absolutely certain that they did so I just took them. It is a measure of the abovementioned bra-shopping resistance that I did not toss out these bras, but actually tucked them into my drawer with the theory that even a stretched-out, faded bra with so many elastic strings hanging off it that my breasts could bungee jump is still a bra and so puts me at least another week away from bra shopping. I know. It’s a bad thing. I’d go braless but, well….I’m not a D anymore but the girls remember. They may not bang on my knees, exactly, but they aren’t enjoying a view of the horizon, either. Let’s just say there’s entirely too much wild, free boobage to let it go uncontained, shall we?

So, with that knowledge, take yourself to yesterday. It’s Friday. I am getting myself ready for school and realize that my laundry delaying tactics have been wildly successful and I am now through all my bra molecules and left with my mother’s old bras—the desperation bras. No problem—a bra in the hand, right? I grab a likely looking candidate that isn’t too stretched out and that seems to more or less contain my breasts. I put it on, throw on a sweater and jeans, and head to school.

Friday is dissection day in my A&P class (eewww) and my partner is a pleasant and very young man (18? 19?) who is quite shy but sweet in a terribly young sort of way. We begin the task of disassembling a cow leg (really, I couldn’t make this stuff up) and all is going well…until I feel it: the unmistakable pop of bra clasp unfastening and the equally unmistakable exuberant bounce of freed breasts, joyfully exploring the world outside of their confines. It was a front hook bra. Great. The good news is that I was wearing a scrub jacket to protect my clothes (and now, apparently, the spectacle of my unfettered bosom) but the bad news was that I was also wearing gore-spattered rubber gloves and there was going to be no dignified way to restore order to things. The best I could do was to quietly peel off the gloves, and whisper to my lab partner that I needed to use the restroom, and make as bounceless an exit as possible. In the bathroom, I rounded up the escaped boobs, stuffed them unceremoniously back into their cage, rearranged my clothes, and returned to class. All is well, right? Wrong. Because 5 minutes later, the girls made another break for it. And so it went. I started to worry that if I didn’t come up with some explanation, my lab partner would draw one of two false conclusions: that I was overcome with disgust at the dissection project (and even in my embarrassed, bouncy state I couldn’t tolerate THAT) or that I was mean and lazy and trying to give him all the work. But I couldn’t tell him about my mutinous boobs… I finally ended up muttering something about a “wardrobe malfunction”. Great. Now both me and my breasts are in company with Janet Jackson. Isn’t that what every girl dreams of? Needless to say, the bra went out the door as soon as I got home. I would have cut it into little tiny pieces, too, if I could have found the good scissors.

In other, less bouncy news, here (finally) is the photo of Jo’s lovely yarn:

The photo doesn’t begin to do it justice, but it’s one of about 20 attempts. This stuff is so pretty but is apparently camera shy as well. Gracie tried to help:

…but even that didn’t do it. Surprisingly. Trust me, though. It’s breathtaking. Soft, fluffy, the faintest traces of wild violet. It’s whispering to me about a lovely soft shawl….I’m listening…..I’m listening.

I also snapped a rare pic of my sweet Gussiecat.

She almost never tolerates this kind of attention so I figured I’d post it, even though it’s so blurry it looks like she has three eyes. Hey, maybe she has Gracie’s……

Lastly, a photo of Ed. He was having a love affair with a sock, and declined to offer a good pose. But he’s still a stunningly handsome puss.


  • At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Marianne said…

    Every bit as funny as the first time I read about...the girls escaping...heh.
    That is some really beautiful yarny goodness! Very pretty! Jo just posted about the goods you sent her, photos are up. Goodness all around!
    Meow to Ms.Gracie, some purrs to Ed, and a love-filled murf to Ms.Gussie.

  • At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Marianne said…

    Did you know there's a Dulaan knit-in going on in Seattle?

  • At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Jill said…

    Bra shopping is a drag. Although I try to go whenver I feel like it(once or twice a year) and stock up so I can avoid it as long as possible! Love the kitty pictures!

  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    Wow, I didn't know that anybody besides my daughters and me used the term "boobage". Of which there is plenty, among the six of us. One of my girls jokes that she could open up a Boob Bank, donate to two or three other women, and still keep a reasonable portion for herself.

    I had one of those wardrobe malfunctions long before Ms. Jackson dreamed hers up. About ten years ago, while performing in a sign song {ASL) Christmas show. There were two, two-person teams, holding a banner horizontally and wafting it up and down in time to the music.

    Up went my arms. Up went my underwires (I'd lost a significant bit of weight, myself, and was too poor to buy new bras), and when they came down I suddenly had four boobs. Thankfully, my partner on the other end of the banner was gay.

    And I was facing away from the audience, and it was our finale.

    For the remainder of the performances, I wore a *sports* bra, and the girls stayed put.

  • At 7:52 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    I can soo relate! Ok, I've never had a wardrobe malfunction myself, but if I don't go to the store very soon that could be a hazard.
    The yarn looks so soft and pretty!
    Kitty pix are always good!

  • At 10:53 PM, Blogger Kit Is Knitting said…

    This reminds me of a friend who had a similar bra that clasped in front. A terrible mistake but she was serving some people at a Sonic Drive-inn when her breasts made the leap for freedom and fortunately, these were heterosexual men with lots of money. She had money to take me out to dinner later.

  • At 1:45 AM, Anonymous angie cox said…

    I hate,loathe,detest bras .The first thing Holly and I do when we get home is rip the darned things off.I never wear one at home despite being a 40c and imagine a man invented them whilst he was torturing some small helpless animal. To make it worse the lace is all scratchy nylon even on a silk one .I cut mine up so much to get it off my husband despairs. Holly is a 34a and still it has to come off.I am a noted scruff who sits around in sarongs and tee-shirts at home but although she is always smart she hates the things too. I am sure at least 3/4 of the World doesn't wear them so why do we ? Well I merge at my age without one when I go out but then I find a lot of clothes un-comforable so it is just for public times. I look at the asian ladies in our street all loose clothing and envy them .I am not ready for a big black bag ( a sore subject here ) but it's a thought imagine what you could hide and for once some man might think ..."I wonder if she is beautiful?". In Afghanistan they used to come in pretty colours ( I have the pics) so maybe I'll resort to one and let the girls and all else go free .Eating at a restaurant must be a nightmare though so I'd have to forsake "Wagamama" that is not possible. Something called a "liberty Bodice" sounds nicer .I had a vintage one once and it was soft and held the girls up as the waist was fitted but it was more of a vest ( what is that over the pond?) .It was soft brushed cotton too.....oh lets break free girls from bras and hideous de-forming shoes.


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