Never, never, never underestimate the power of a good bra. I had forgotten what wearing a good fitting bra can feel like--and let me tell you, at least in my rather limited life--it approaches heaven.
Because I have endured endless fertility treatments and borne two children over the last 10 years, my breasts have seen more fluctuations in size than Pamela Anderson's, on a WAY smaller--- make that a WAY, WAY, WAY, smaller--scale. I was going to say "seen more ups and downs" as opposed to "fluctuations in size," but frankly, the only direction in which my boobs are travelling lately is down. And that leads me to another question--how is it possible that someone with barely any, um, leverage, can sag? I never thought it could, much less would, happen to size 32 me, but hey apparently when it comes to National Geographic breasts, God has made sure not to discriminate among the sizes. Big, small, infitesimal, somehow gravity manages to grab ahold and pull. Hmm, do men stretch out like that? (And I'm not talking breasts). I do not think I want a visual survey.
Anyhow, it had been a couple of years since I'd bought new bras and my current ones were ill-fitting, constricting and uncomfortable. I let this go on for months until I just couldn't take it anymore. I had an unusual hour free during the day and popped into the local lingerie/bra store. You know the kind. The one with the old ladies who size you up apprasingly and manhandle your precious pearls into one sling after another, then personally rearrange them for the perfect effect. Sounds creepy--but it really is the breast, um, I mean the best. (Okay, that was just bad punning. So sorry). The sensation of suddenly having my breasts supported instead of squashed was liberating. It might sound counterintuitive to feel liberated while being contained, as it were, but it is much more liberating than just floating free. Ask any woman of a certain age--or bra size.
It's interesting, I've gone from hating padded bras (back in my perky days, when natural looked, well, natural AND good) to refusing to wear anything but padded bras. And there have been great strides made in bra technology. Man, I can go up a bra size, add killer cleavage and have it look like ME! Why anyone without a medical reason (say, mastectomy) would want to go under the knife when you can just walk into Saks and have a whole new set within minutes is beyond me. Cheaper, too.
Men simply do not understand the pleasure of a good fitting bra, although they have been known to appreciate the effects of a good bra. I was prancing around, gleefully re-trying on all my bras post-purchase, positively singing with joy, and my husband looked at me like I was an alien, albeit one with really good cleavage. . .which in turn led him to some leer-worthy ideas--most of which involved removing my bra. But he simply could not understand how good it felt to be wearing the bras.
The next day, in contrast, I mentioned to a friend who was visiting how great it felt, and she immediately knew what I was talking about and launched into her own story of her recent bra purchases. We bonded for a good half-hour over bras and boobs and mutual admiration of our newly supported assets. Now that's what friendship is all about.