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|The Bra is a metaphor for my life.
I took my Mom to get her perm today. Phone bonging all the way with emails coming in fast and furious, tweets and Facebook updates, last minute travel things to care for and the threat of freezing rain. Two hours it takes for a perm to set from start to finish and well with my iphone in hand, hint of bad weather – which makes my mother extremely nervous – and numerous gift cards burning a hole in my wallet I thought I might as well stay and shop at Masonville Mall while her hair sets.
For two hours (which goes way faster than it ever used to by the way) I walked the corridors of the mall staying nearby in the event my mother’s hair doesn’t turn out the way it is supposed to and she has a major issue, or forgets where she is. Life with Alzheimer’s on board means that I stay nearby as support. In the event something unravels, breaks or snaps.
I am generally within five minutes of her shout, should there be a shout, a confused moment or any other little glitch. I imagine the worst still sometimes when I stray, because the worst has in fact happened and does when you are not vigilant and ready for battle. But this is not that story. Up and down the mall hallways I went and found bra store after bra store, until I rounded the corner and spied another bra store. Bra stores are suddenly like Tim Horton’s at the mall nearest my home. I wonder at that. How can there possibly be that much demand for bras? Aerie. La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, La Vie En Rose, and more on the upper level of the mall alone. Pink and so on. Bras on every corner. So I reminded myself I needed a new bra and stopped in one of those stores and took half an hour to look. Now, one of my daughters is also needing proverbial foundation garments. So I started looking also for a couple tween bras for her in Aerie.
I tried a couple of the fanciest bras I could find with so much embellishment that I could scarcely resist that girly wow factor. Snaps and ties and bows, oh my. But I couldn’t help thinking why exactly would I ever need a bra that fancy? It’s not like I wear it outside of my clothes to the PTA. Maybe I could start? Maybe not. So I settled for my standard with a price I could handle and bought something for my daughter, a sporty innocuous bra that will hopefully help convince her to want to wear one because right now my tween is firmly stuck in that zone where it’s no longer a novelty for her and she realizes she may have to wear one every day for the rest of her girly years. I bought a soft lace one that didn’t offend my Mom radar too much. A quick pop into Lululemon (sports bras on sale right now) and Oh I love my lulus, but if a sports bra on sale still runs me $40-$50 I also want to wear it outside my clothes and we’ve already established I am not that kind of girl.
Time was up. Back to Sears, official store of my Mom for the last 30 years and, just as we are about to leave she spies the Wonderbra sale and in the name of all that it holy, what does she say? What does she say? “I need another bra.” And like that I am bra shopping yet again. This time gauging the size and width and style for my Mom. Once upon a time, when I was an infant she wiped my butt and changed my diaper, so I am never surprised any more when I find myself feeling underneath my mother’s sweater for a bra tag, hiding behind one of the rows of Jessica or Tabi blouses peeking at what’s written on the label of my mother’s bra. I really should write this stuff down and carry a card in my wallet with everyone’s bra size.
I comment on my Mom’s newly permed hair and realize, at some point in this past year, I became in charge of this entire family’s breasts. I am kind of like a bra.
Are you bra shopping yet for tweens? For your own Mom?