At some point, it becomes a foundation garment.
Now, I am not exactly sure when this transformation occurred to me. I am guessing it happened sometime between kiddies one, two or three. You know, when my bra size changed with every hot fudge sundae I fed the "baby." Or maybe it was when I nursed my babies every hour on the hour through a growth spurt, when it seemed that the only thing that actually grew was the size of my bra and not the baby. It could have been when my hubby used to place my nursing bra on his head as a warped ball cap. Who knows? I'm really not sure when it happened. I just know that while my boobs were working, I admired my voluptuous self in the mirror, never realizing that I, in essence, was building my house on a platte of sand. I had created my very own shaky foundation. Congratulations to me!
Aaaah. Hindsight. It makes me want to poke my eyes out.
So at some point, my body has become like a before episode of This Old House. And the project for the episode? Fixing my crumbling, sagging, and drooping foundation. Bob Vila knows a failing foundation is serious business, and consequently, he always calls in the heavy artillery. There are forklifts, cranes, and steel reinforcement beams all in the name of fixing my support system. It is not a pretty sight.
But, then again, neither is the sight of a true "foundation garment." Foundation garments are not the ones that are prettily displayed on the size 2 mannequin in the lingerie department. No, that would scare the customers. Instead, the foundation garments can be found waaaaaay in the back of the lingerie department. Back where the lighting is just a bit off. Where the management figures a few shadows in the dressing room mirror could only help their sales. There. That is where the foundation garments are located, in lingerie no man's land. (And, frankly, no woman likes to shop there either!)
The foundation garments are the ones that are glaringly white. Not because the material is particularly bleached to that hue, but because the sheer amount of material necessary to construct just one foundation garment is enough to reflect the fluorescent lights above directly into the shopper's eye. Yes, you would do well to wear your shades while support shopping. It will help with the blinding glare that angers your eyes, and it will also help to disguise the fact that it is you, in fact, that need a foundation garment for yourself.
Once you determine that you are in the correct section, you will notice that each and every foundation garment resembles a high tech straight jacket. There are rows upon rows of hooks and eyes, enough to make any inexperienced teenage male break into a sweat. There is reinforced stitching, reinforced cups, and reinforced straps, all used in an effort to force your sagging bosom into submission. There are mechanisms that can lift you up, push you out, or if you prefer, smash you down. Your choice depends on your particular foundation problem. Basically, when a sales person recommends a foundation garment, he or she is really saying, "Go get a harness! That's about the only thing that will shore these girls up!" A sobering thought, at the least.
So, when on a recent shopping trip, the sales lady smiled at me and recommended, "Honey, you should try a more substantial foundation garment for superior support."
I knew what she was really saying.
Good-bye bra. Hello harness.
To hell with the college fund, I need it for my plastic surgery.