My daughter Sophie and I had quite a haul in the mailbox yesterday. For me, my very-first-ever pair of prescription sunglasses, scored from Zenni Optical for $45 bucks, because I finally have had ENOUGH of wearing sunglasses perched precariously on top of my glasses when I go anywhere bright and actually want to see in focus (what a dork I am, I know, I know).
For Sophie, the mailbox contained her very-first-ever grown-up BRA. As opposed to those cute, cotton bralettes they sell in the “junior” department (basically very short tank-tops), this bra sported adjustable straps, a back closure, and LO! actual cups. So cute!!!!
So. Cool Wayfarer stylin with polarized lenses for me, and injection molded foam for wire-free support with a simply gorgeous image of Space emblazoned on the cups for her. It’s a wonder the mailbox didn’t pour out blinding golden light when we opened it up.
Online shopping is amazing, isn’t it? On the Zenni site you enter in your prescription and your various desires (lens material, fancy coatings, etc), then you upload a picture of yourself upon which you can “try on” any of their frames. Sweet. Click order and they send you your glasses in a week, and the prices are jawdroppingly low. I uploaded a crap-tastic picture of myself, (because I don’t want to have to look good for my glasses, you know what I’m saying? I want them to make ME look good, not the other way around) and a week later, here I was, mugging in the rear view mirror.
Sidebar: Seriously, I love my eye doctor (who is, I have to say, hot), but at $400+ for a pair of his glasses, I do not see how he can possibly compete with Zenni which gives me the same (or better, because they have a huge selection) glasses for 1/10th the price. $40 vs $400, there really is no comparison. Although I seriously pray this boon to me is not coming out of a sweatshop-for-glasses scenario.
Anyway. Back in the car, Sophie is ripping open her package from Herroom.com, another online wonder, this time a knickers emporium with 100,000 bras to choose from. It even has a sizing page where you enter various measurements, hit calculate, and boom, it gives you your bra size.
What witchery is this? No older woman “fitting” you for a bra while making veiled snarky comments about your back-fat and trying to sell you a bra that clearly does not fit? How can local bra shops compete? I was dubious that a web-applet could produce a proper size—but damn if the bra we purchased (for $9 bucks!) fit Sophie exactly. Amazing.
$9 bucks!! My stupid yoga bras are more like $40 and I pass out from sticker shock every time I go to buy one, resulting in me wearing them to tattered rags. $9 bucks! Maybe I need to rethink the yoga bras.
Sophie put her new bra on the car as we headed out to do errands. I sang the Star Wars Theme because it is, after all, the Galaxy Bra. Seriously! it’s a Maidenform “Softie Contour Bra,” and when we found it on the site, the color options were black, nude, white, or ‘Galaxy’.
“Which do you want?” I asked.
Sophie gave me a look. “Duh. Galaxy.”
That’s my girl.
“How is it?” I asked, driving through the autumn colors. Sophie peered down, stretching left and right. “They both look the same size now.”
I laughed and sang Star Wars some more, the wind blowing my hair back from my new jaunty shades—which are excellent, by the way. I’ve never been able to see in focus, and without glare, BOTH at the same time. I can’t believe I waited this long to get these. “Mom,” Sophie said, “Please. My boobs do not need a soundtrack.” Ha!
“Of course they do! And you know you’re a woman when you discover what yours is.” We were both cracking up.
And let me just say, it isn’t just bra-selling technology that blows me away, it’s the bras themselves. Holy cow, I’ve been wearing my cotton yoga bras forever, and, I have to admit, nursing bras before that, I am WAY behind the times on the high-tech, molded foam, wireless possibilities out there. The Galaxy Bra is soft, comfortable and according to Sophie, very supportive. Amazing. The dang thing is just shy of a levitation device for breasts. On top of all that, it’s dramatically pretty. My first terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bra was a no-size-fits-anyone disaster that I had to jerk down in the front every time I moved because it rode up constantly—for a year.
In comparison, the Galaxy Bra is a work of art, both engineering and aesthetic. It’s goddamn beautiful. (And my little girl! In a real grown up bra! I can’t even tell you have astonishing that is. My life, it’s passing before my very eyes.)
Anyway, what with the sunglasses and the bra, we felt so celebratory (celeBRAtory, heh heh, cough, sorry) we ended up at a coffee shop. It just happened, I swear. But online shopping had yielded us life changing treasures! Clearly we needed sugar to commemorate the moment.
Staring at the bakery case I said, “Should we get a chocolate chip cookie, a cannoli, or tiramisu?”
Sophie gave me a look. “Duh. Tiramisu.”
That’s my girl.
We sat outside in the sparkling fall weather, beneath a juniper tree and a red maple the color of fire, and shared the tiramisu, me with the sun on my face and NOT in my eyes, and her in her secret, fancy underwear.
“This is awesome,” she said, through a mouthful of espresso soaked cake and mascarpone.
“Yep,” I said.
Later, in the yurt, Luc, 9, said, “So, what the heck IS a Galaxy bra?”
“It’s a bra emblazoned with Hubble deep space photography,” I said. “It’s lovely. I want one.”
“But why would you even want a bra with stuff on it?” he said. “No one is going to see it.”
“Dude. Fancy underwear can change your whole day. It makes you feel like a million bucks. It’s an instant boost.”
“You need therapy.”
“A bra is cheaper.”
Sophie started to lift her shirt. “Want to see it? It’s really comfortable.”
“NO. Definitely not.”
Which brings me to the painfully, wonderfully funny memoir of Caitlin Moran, How to Be a Woman, in which she says, “The bra is, perhaps, the rudest item of women’s clothing. If you do not doubt this, try this simple test: throw a bra at a nine-year-old boy. He will react as if he has had a live rat winged at his head. He will run, screaming, away from you – like that Vietnamese kid covered in napalm. He cannot handle the rudeness of bras.”
Too true! And listen, there is so much truth in the chapter on bras alone that I was laughing so hard reading it I fell off my chair at the kid’s aikido class. Very embarrassing. Basically I was trying so hard NOT to laugh (aikido being a rather serious endeavor) that my butt just…slipped…and I ended up half-wedged between seats, hanging onto the appalled parent next to me, concerned that Sensei was going to need to bring in a crane to get me out. Imagine a hilariously funny British stand-up comedian giving you the feminist 101 download on an array of topics from clothes to childbirth to wedding receptions to journalism, all while telling her own life story and making you pee your pants. I highly, highly recommend.
I also highly recommend Zenni Optical and Herroom. And bra shopping with your daughter in a way that makes you both laugh. And tiramisu. Lots of tiramisu.
Overheard just now as I was typing this out:
Sophie: “I’m going into the man cave.”
Luc: “Says the person wearing a Galaxy Bra.”
Sophie, thoughtful: “Maybe you can’t go into a Man Cave in a Galaxy Bra. Maybe it would cause them both to combust, like matter and anti-matter.”
Luc: “Which one is which?”
Good freaking question. I have no idea.