Monday, June 21, 2010
A Bra For All Seasons
I’ve had to do some stupid things in the name of work before. I’ve had to do some fairly appalling things in the name of work as well. From dealing with an adult in a nappy at the Royal Easter Show, to calling a woman at 3am an hour after the body of her daughter was found. From contacting 1,345 people to beg them to sign a piece of paper saying they would pay a giant corporation more quickly, to dressing up in a chicken suit. I once rang a dozen hospitals in Nashville, telling each receptionist I wanted to send flowers to Nicole Kidman’s newborn baby if they could just confirm the actress had given birth in the facility.
Then there's the plain embarrassing things, like just the other day when I was asked to go out and purchase some bras marketed at tweens. There is something so gobsmackingly inappropriate about these tiny garments (also called ‘bralettes’, which might give their flat-chested owners ‘tweenage’) and it was a slight challenge to have to continuously ask the shop people for assistance in tracking them down.
My first attempt went like this:
“I am looking for… and you are going to judge me for this… and there’s no easy way to ask… but I am looking for… I’m just going to say it… for bras for 8 year olds. Not for me – obviously. Visibly.”
Polite nod. The ‘visibly’ gag might have been too much, I certainly didn’t mean to direct the shop assistant to gauge my breast size.
“They’re for my boss.”
“He’s not a tween girl either. Obviously.”
Shop assistant leads me to the correct section of the store.
“And though he is a he, you should in no way interpret this as something that might be misconstrued as…”
The shop assistant has beat such a rapid retreat I am now talking to myself, which is quite fortunate as I wasn’t too sure how I was going to finish that sentence.
As I cruised the shopping centre, my attempts didn’t improve, though my collection of creepy, tiny bras did. It was foolish to use this collection in an attempt to illustrate what I was after in one store – it prompted one confused woman to state “Well you’ve got some, but you want more. Are you making a quilt?” I don’t know if she was being serious. When I automatically said “Yes”, I think she was a little unclear on whether I was being serious.
After this torturous odyssey, I came away with one question. It wasn’t ‘Why are companies making such creepy, tiny garments?’ – if it can be sold it will be made after all. My query was ‘Why would little girls want to rush the onset of bra use, when bras are eventually going to haunt them for the rest of their lives?’ It’s like wanting to own a car – grand thought, all that freedom, but you are going to be paying for petrol until the world runs out of it.
I know bra burnings are a little old-fashioned, but for bralettes I’d make an exception.