"EVERYONE HATES A 36B!" I screamed in my head.
I didn't research this theory. I was basing it solely on what this store had in stock. Plenty of bras in the 36B tier, but only one that didn't have cups padded to resemble hockey equipment. I don't want that. Water bras. Gel bras. I like to be able to feel if a hard boiled egg has affixed itself to my chest as I lean over a salad bar. I want my bras unpadded, demi cup with an underwire. This appears to be a lot to ask.
As you would assume from my B-level ranking, I do not have large breasts. My rib cage, however, has a decent girth. An aesthetic comparison: The whole set up is a bit like decorating a dining room table with tea candles. Adding a padded bra just makes me feel bulky and transexual.
"BRA MAKERS WANT ME TO BE ASHAMED THAT I WOULDN'T PASS THE PENCIL TEST!" I screamed in my head. "THEY WANT TO EMBARRASS ME BECAUSE I WOULDN'T FILL A CHAMPAGNE GLASS!"
Now this has become a thing. Every time I'm at Target, I wander around looking for 36Bs, nodding self-righteously when I encounter bra after bra that could easily be mistaken for knee pads.
I remember getting my first bra. I had noticed my friend Gina's telltale straps one day at school, and went home to tell my mom the news. "Gina is wearing a training bra," I told her. She humored my elementary school envy and took me bra shopping that weekend, picking up three trainers that looked especially cool when I wore a Polo shirt. That line across my back like a single guitar string. Turns out Gina had been wearing a slip, so the whole thing was a little premature. I remember writing in my diary a few weeks later something like: "Dear Diary, By now I have been wearing a bra for so long that I don't even wear it anymore."
Last weekend I was at Target, picking through the leftover Valentine's Day lingerie and poking through lacy displays. Once again, I found just one unpadded 36B with an underwire, in black. I bought it.
I wore it for the first time on Tuesday, and on Wednesday noticed that it looked strange, broken, laying on the bedroom floor. I picked it up, fingered a flap of material that had come loose, and gasped:
A nursing bra?!
I dug the tag out of the garbage, and sure enough in fine print:
"One-hand easy release nursing closure."
Of all the extraneous features. Of all the bizarre things for me to own. A nursing bra! I slipped it on and showed Chuck the magic trick. "And then," I said, "Viola!"
He covered his mouth and backed away, a giant laugh about to burst to the surface.
Everyone hates a 36B.