I went to The Evil Empire, known as WalMart today, before work, because I needed a few things. One of these things being a new sports bra.
While I was up at WalMart, there was a mother with her daughter. Daughter was taller than me (Making her over 5' 5" tall... probably close to 5'7" or even 5'8") beautiful young girl with one of those absolutely perfect complexions and lovely skin, the color of Edy's double chocolate icecream, that you just want to go over and say, "Your skin has reached its pinacle in beautiful. It will all go downhill from here." But you don't, because why depress someone?
Because of her height, I at first estimated her age to be in her mid teens at least. But, I soon realized that the girl was just tall and younger. And I soon realized that the ritual being performed by mother and daughter was shopping for the *gasp* first bra!
And like all young girls going for the first bra, this girl didn't have a whole lot to put into one. But that doesn't matter as we all know. Archie Bunker had it right when he called first bras "Little League Chest Protectors." But still, it's a ritual.
You could see from Mother's face thought, that this tall, beautiful young creature was her baby and Mother was having a bit of trouble grasping that her baby like really really really, really needed a bra. Like if she didn't get said bra, she would become like... a total outcast and her friends would disown her and refuse to teach her all of the ancient preteen girl rituals, such as put your elbows out like a chicken, pull elbows back across the back as far as you can. Bring forward, go back, forward, back, forward, back all the while chanting...
We must, we must!I can't answer for anyone, because I was what we call a late bloomer. While other girls were sporting their nifty tripple A's in about the 6th grade, I didn't want a bra until I was going into the 8th grade. Yes, I got to start with a double A instead, but is it really that much difference? And, there is something about your first bra... doesn't matter that you don't really need it, you get it because you think if you have it, and you wear it, it will send the signals to your body. "Beep beep... hey, brain... we've got a bra on. Not an undershirt. So, start working on sending any chemical you need to send down so we can have something to put into it, 'kay?"
We must increase our bust!
The bigger the better
The tighter the sweater
The boys are counting on US!
Of course, my mother couldn't wait to get me into a bra, especially since I dragged my heals for so long. But, when we finally did have the great Day of the Bra shopping, we discovered that what we both wanted was not to see me in a bra, but to see me in the right bra. And our definition of the right bra varied greatly.
Thus, I saw the same thing today. Mother was pulling out these industrial tripple A bras with thick material for the cups that even if you were soaked with water, no one would see even a suggestion of nipple. Good bras, which probably would help keep her warm on those cold winter evenings. Bras with fairly complicated hooking arangements in the back, involving a strip of cloth over the snaps to make it a bit more difficult for guys to do that little "one hand snap" motion to unfasten said bra.
And children think their parents don't remember what it was like when they were kids. Hah! They remember all too well.
In other words, this mother at WalMart was grabbing the exact same types of bras that my mother grabbed for me.
And daughter's beautiful blemish free face was getting more and more...stern as this went along. I mean, you could tell, daughter had probably been working this day up in her mind for awhile. Mother probably told her, "All right, we'll go the Monday after School ends and get you a bra... we'll make it a girls day." Daughter probably had full blown techicolor fantasies about what her first bra was going to be like.
Clearly the industrial numbers Mom was picking out were not part of the fantasy.
Now, if there was one bra that me and my friends wanted to own above all others, it was a black, lace bra. Don't ask me why, because most of us wore light colored shirts most of the time, but whoo, nothing to us was sexier than a black lace bra. Imagine how it would look on our pale, skinny, bodies? Imagine how it would ephasize what tremendous women we were becoming? I mean, every time I imagined myself in a black lace bra, what I had to put into them, automatically trippled in size as well. I mean, if a regular old bra could send signals to your brain to make your breasts grow... just imagine what a black lace bra could do? Black lace bras would clearly send much stronger signals to the brain. In fact, probably the biggest problem with owning a black lace bra is that you'd probably outgrow it before the day was over!
We all swore that the next time we went shopping for bras, we would own a black lace bra. Funny though... none of us seemed to appear with one. We didn't ask each other about it, it seemed to be the unspoken rule. We all believed that our friends just hadn't ever been bra shopping, even if they were wearing different bras. And in the meantime, we pleaded, begged, cajolled, and did everything we could to prove how immature we were to our parents to try to get this black lace bra.
My mother's opinion was, "When you buy your own underwear, you can buy a black lace bra!" And I did, when I was 16. And to give her credit, she never batted an eyelash. To give her more credit, by the time I bought it, it wasn't a double A anymore either, it was a B cup. The only thing she ever said that could have been construed as negative in the slightest was, "Uh, Darq, you really don't want to wear that under that peach colored blouse." And she was right.
Well, back to our Mother and daughter team at WalMart. While Mom was going through the Bestform boxes, pulling out these wonderful, sensible, bras, daughter was sort of scowling and storming around looking for something else.
She finally came back with a bra. "Mooooother! This is it, this is the bra I want!" she exlaimed, with such excitement that you know, later, she'd remember saying that and also imagine that half the boys in her school were near her when she said it, and be mortified for a month.
The bra was a whispy bit of bright, I mean, devil red lace with delicate satan ribons for straps and a tiny hook in the front that seemed so fragile it might have been made from butterfly wings. It was a magnificent bra. It just oozed femininity from all those lacy spaces. It was the sort of bra that even if you were flat chested, you couldn't help but feel like a total woman in it.
Mother looked at bra, looked at daughter. Saw hope and bra lust shining in daughter's face. Looked back at bra. Looked back at daughter. Looked at sensible, bras in her hand. Looked back at bra, looked back at daughter. Looked at red, lacy bra again. Then to daughter. Round and round her eyes darted.
Finally, she drew up to her full height, which suddenly seemed almost as tall as daughter. She drew in a deep breath, trying to grasp the words she wanted to say, the words that would let her daughter know what a Bad Idea this bra was, without crushing her.
What came out was one word... very loud, very clear.
Daughter lurched back from the verbal impact and stared. Then responded with one word of her own. "Why?"
"You're too young!"
"But Mo-" the girl started to protest, and you just knew if mother's expression hadn't been so sharp, the word mother would have been drawn out for several minutes. But instead she just closed her mouth.
Smoke and flames seemed to shoot from Mother's nostrils as she handed her daughter the handful of sensible bras she had picked out earlier. "I said we'd buy you bras, and we will...but you aren't going to be running around in that bra. Now, if you want bras, go and try these on and we'll get you a couple of these."
Daughter flung the dream bra to the ground, grabbed the ones her mother offered, and stormed off to the dressing rooms. Just before she got to the place where she had to get the garment tag to try them on, she turned around and looked at her mother. "When will I be old enough to pick out my own bras?" she asked, drawing up as tall as she could trying desperately to appear mature.
Mother looked at her. "When you're in college," she said loudly. Then, in a softer tone, thinking no one could hear her, added, "and I won't have a clue what you're wearing... or doing..."
And thus, I saw the torch passed to a new generation today.
I can't wait till it comes time for the two of them to shop for her first round of Feminine Protection together. The discussion between pads and tampex will probably ring through the store for hours.