This I Believe

Laurie - Milltown, New Jersey
Entered on January 21, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe clothing should not require operating instructions.

Technology is not my forte. I don’t program VCRs, I have no idea what’s going on with Limewire, and I don’t own a camera. My dresser drawer is filled with beads needing stringing and necklaces requiring new hardware.

So when I received this super-duper bra in the mail, one that friends from Jersey to Texas had hailed as THE bra, I got nervous. It was heavy — like three-pounds heavy. It wasn’t a bra; it was a system. There were instructions. There was a gauzy bag filled with various straps. There was hardware. There were foam inserts AND gel inserts. I feel certain this bra could destroy the ozone layer, several Chihuahuas and a 2004 Toyota Echo.

Trying it on was exhausting. I required assistance. How sexy can a bra be if you need your mother to help you put it on? It freaked me out. I guess I don’t do cleavage very well.

I once told a friend in a particularly ambitious push-up bra that she could be sued for false advertising. I mean, you’re indicating one thing, even perhaps promising it, and then, when you get down to it, you’ve got mosquito bites under there. And I am generally pretty cheap about these things. My usual undergarment retailer is a big box store. But I was taken in by friends’ cleavage, their seamless bras, imperceptible beneath tank tops! I was taken in, I tell you. Sold down the river! Seduced, if you will.

OK, I was stupid.

But I was determined to forge ahead and wear the special bra to the office. After all, I’d spent a lot of money on this monstrosity — sorry, system — and I was going to try to like it, or at least act as if I did. I am plucky that way. So I put it on with one of the three possible strap combos, and it snapped.

I tried again. It snapped. I stuffed the system

— the three strap combos, the gel inserts, the foam inserts, the three-pound bra — into an envelope, filled out the paperwork and sent it on its way, back to the bra factory.

I feel as if I need to go to confession: “Forgive me, Father, for I have spent gobs of money on an undergarment that presents falsehoods.”

It’s out of my life. I’m scarred but still standing. My cleavage? Well, that’s not standing. It has been brought low.