I fought the bra, and the bra won......

**Disclaimer** This post will not be of interest to any male readers. Consider yourselves warned.

For as long as I can remember, it's been a Lenhart family joke that whenever one of us kids was going away to camp or a missions trip or college (!!), my mom made it a priority to get us new "underthings". For some reason, children's undergarments (especially boys' undergarments, in my experience!), have a dire necessity to be replaced before being seen by any human being who is not a member of the immediate family. It's a strange phenomenon, but I know it exists. In fact, yesterday, I experienced it for myself.

Sydney and I are heading to Costa Rica tomorrow morning (at 3 a.m. to be exact!) and so this week, I have been making final preparations for our trip. As I was compiling, laundering, and surveying my clothing options, I happened to take a good, hard look at my own, shall we say, undergarments. When I noticed that most of them seemed to have assumed the ever-fashionable "dinge du jour", I knew it was time for action. So I did what any good, self-respecting Lenhart with a 30 percent off Kohl's coupon and a Victoria's Secret free panty coupon would do before going away--I went shopping!

Immediately after work yesterday, I headed to Kohl's. As I surveyed the endless sea of panties, push-ups, and playtex, I decided there was no time like the present and dove in. After about a half hour, I decided that, out of 53, 679 bras, I could surely find one that fit, and I headed for the dressing room.

It's at this point that I feel the need to interject my strong belief that if the latest "stimulus" package can include all the ridiculous funding that it does, why in the world can't someone establish uniform bra sizing standards to which undergarment manufacturers must adhere? How is it that Mr. Maidenform, Mr. Bali, and Mr. Olga all interpret a size 34B differently?? Every undergarment I tried on was the EXACT same size---on the tag---yet some were too big, some were too small, some gapped, some pulled to the left, others pulled to the right. How does that happen? Is uniform sizing too much to ask?

And while I'm on the topic, I don't want push up, extreme push up, or water in my bra! Nor do I want a minimizer, a maximizer, or any other kind of "izer". I don't care about leopard print or zebra print. I don't need a bra that eliminates "back fat" (seriously!) or one that "plunges" to various levels of immodesty. I have nursed four children for a total of 63 months, and I am not going on my honeymoon. I am going away with 40 eighth graders on a missions trip, for heavens sake! I just need something utilitarian that will keep "things" where they belong when they belong there. (Is anyone else quietly humming "Love, lift us up where we belong"? No? Okay, then, it's just me.)

After a few unsuccessful attempts at new underthings, I sighed deeply and decided that maybe a sports bra would be a good choice. They are pretty utilitarian. No frills, nothing fancy, they just get the job done. That is.........if you can get them on. Have you ever tried one? Evidently, the term "sports" is used because the makers naturally assume that the woman who is trying them on is in the best physical shape of her life. I realize that they are meant for, shall I say, "anti-bounce", but seriously, the material was so tight and so unforgiving, that I thought, for one horrifying moment, I may have to scream for help. I looked around frantically for one of those call buttons they have in hospital rooms. My arms were up, over, and around my neck. I looked like a human pretzel. I was being held hostage by a sports bra!! I couldn't reach my cell phone, I couldn't reach my lotion (thinking I might be able to "grease" my way out of my predicament), heck, I could barely breathe.

I took several deep breaths, let the panic subside a bit, and very slowly and carefully wormed my out of that stupid sports bra. My neck muscles would never be the same, but I was free! And, believe it or not, I bought that stupid sports bra. In fact, I bought two of those stupid sports bras. They kept things where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there and covered everything that needed coverage. I'm quite certain that my roommates in Costa Rica will be very appreciative of my new "underthings". I just hope they're also good at untying knots!


Anonymous said...

Oh Jen, this is just too funny!! And too true!!!
On a serious note, I am praying now for you guys as you head to Costa rica.
Karen in FL

carla said...

LOL!!! I cannot tell you how much money I have wasted over the years on bras. I have yet to find one I really like for all the reasons you described so well. Have a wonderful trip. Maybe the humidity in Costa Rica will aid you in removing said bra. :)

Jill said...

You are so funny!!! Praying for you and Sydney as you travel to Costa Rica.

Andrea Blazer said...

Hi Jen,
Although I do love reading your blog, (in the rare opportunity I have doing nothing at the computer!)....I'm actually using this means to enter in contact with you. For three months your verizon email has been rejecting my emails.....send me a note so we can catch up.....when you get back from Costa Rica that is....hey and while you're already half way to Brazil....drop in for a visit. I'm sure the students won't miss an adult...and that bra of yours will come in handy here. ha.
Drop a note when you can.
Andrea in Bauru, Brazil

Amie said...

Oh how I wish that I would have been along for that shopping trip. :)

Jen said...

Andrea Blazer!! I miss you friend! So glad you thought to drop a note on the blog. Our e-mail changed to vestrands@comcast.net I'm sorry! I haven't been very good about getting that out to people.

Wish we were coming to Bauru instead! Hello to Tim and the kids!


jodie said...

I'm glad you refrained from the lotion idea. Remember the episode of Friends when Ross was in his date's bathroom and couldn't get his leather pants back up? He tried lotion then powder. Ended in a mess.
Knowing you, however, you would have walked out of that dressing room with your head held high regardless of being covered in lotion and powder.

Denise Kay said...

You are just so funny. I could picture it all in my mind. (is that a good thing??) Praying you have a safe trip. I look forward to the many stories you will have to share when you return.

Cathy said...

Jen, you are hysterical! I do agree that a little standardizing of sizes is in order. I hate bra shopping. Thanks for sharing!

Kerry said...

Title 9... I pretty much only buy bras from them anymore!! LOL

Hope your trip goes well.

shaninvb said...

LOL I have felt that very same way...paniced but who wants to call for help in a position like that?

Thanks for the laugh....I am glad that you had a wonderful time in Costa Rica.

The Nester said...

Bravo! You are my new favorite writer!

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious! Once I tried on a dress and it actually DID get stuck. I was in the dressing room for 25 minutes!!!!! trying to get it off. (and I'm in great shape, but I was nursing so things were a little off ketler) so... I finally heard a motherly voice talking to a teenage sounding voice and poked my head out and asked for help. ---HUMILIATING.

I quickly left the store and have not, nor will NEVER return to it.

southerninspiration said...

I feel your pain....and laughing right along. Thanks for sharing with such transparency! :)