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Monday, January 13, 2014

I Haven't Talked About My Boobs In A While, So Let's Do That.

HAPPY MONDAY, in other words.

The last time I left off, I was still pregnant with Tova. So it's time for an update, yes?

With nursing her, I topped out at a 40DD. Which was INSANE. Of course, that didn't last long and as soon as she weaned, I was back down to a 38C pretty quickly.

Or so I thought.

Over the summer, I stumbled up on this Jezebel piece that pretty much sucked me down the wormhole of correct and proper bra sizing with a couple of my friends. Despite reading post after post about how yes, dahlings, you're not wearing the right size and DMing some of my closest lady friends, I finally, after this Tumblr post of brilliance, took some measurements myself.

Now this is where I interject that I've worked at two different, large, well-known mall lingerie shops, so I thought I somehow was above the wrongness of my own bra size. Somehow, magically, despite being taught all the wrong ways to measure and size and then being presented with a very limited array of sizes and being told I *must* fit within that range, I was sure I was still okay.

But a funny thing happened.

My ribcage collapsed.

Not literally, mind you, but after three straight years of baby-making my body finally realized that the only thing taking up residence in my uterus is a Y-shaped piece of copper, and all of my internal torso bits did a bit of musical anatomy and my ribcage retracted itself back to a less spacious size.

After measuring myself and having a literal OMFG THIS ISN'T REAL moment, just like the Tumblr piece talks about, I took myself to Target and bought three 34DDs.

And they were still not right.

Sure, for a minute, it was close to heaven. My clothes started fitting better. I looked like I'd lost some weight without really much effort. I almost had cleavage instead of a veritable wind tunnel between Romy and Michelle. But I realized that they were still not ideal after getting used to a tighter band and larger cup I made them work because money and opportunity and have you ever tried to explain the necessity of proper bra sizing to a man, namely one who already knows your own menstrual cycle better than you do yet is still irked by the cost and speed at which you acquire feminine hygiene products?

Yeah, that.

So with running and going back to hoop classes it wasn't long before I was on the shortest clasp of the band and it was still riding up in the back, meanwhile it was a party in the front like whoa with overboob everywhere and I couldn't even dream of trying to wear my 36Ds if I wanted to maintain any sense of support and dignity, never mind my super-supportive sports bras were starting to flag under the strain and then, after many months of pretending I didn't hate how ill-fitting everything was, then I got a clearance email from Figleaves at the same time a lovely lady I saw speak at BlogHer posted this little tidbit to her Pinterest:

And I knew it was time to try, try again.

So re-armed with the above-mentioned posts, I remeasured myself with the assistance of Kyle who was just happy to hear me stop bitching about bras for two seconds and see me try to do something about it.

And I measured as a 32FF.

Let that sink in a minute.

Now, thanks to math and science and that handy Pinterest chart, you can tell that it's more a relational size to my shrunken ribcage than anything else, but still, that's a pill to swallow, right? Especially since it means my days of being able to wander in to practically any old store and easily purchase cheap bras are definitely over.

After some discussion, I used a little bit of our Christmas money to snag some clearance deals from Figleaves to try out, and I'm rather impatiently awaiting their arrival. And while I wait for them, I've been scouring all the websites (meaning Pinterest, Tumblr, mainly) trying to find exactly what comes in this size and if this is the end of pretty lingerie for me without having to sell a kidney.

It doesn't hurt that it's creeping up on Valentine's Day, so saucy underthings kind of abound right now.

And, after some thought, I think this mild crusade is a little bit how I'm handling things in my life right now. Last time I had to deal with my certain set of circumstances, I concentrated hard on feeling attractive to myself, not through anyone else's lens -- I started at the dance studio, I expanded my wardrobe (everything got tighter and shorter, for the most part) and I bought all the goddamn ridiculous shoes I could afford. I stepped up my hair and makeup game and worked really hard on presenting myself in a way I found comfortable and I'll say it, sexy, not just in efforts to gain my husband's attention, but to learn what it felt like to be okay with my body and myself and to represent myself as the attractive person I'd always kind of ignored I could be.

But now, I'm okay with who I am on the outside, but I long for feeling ... I guess put together(?) ... even when no one is looking. I want to feel a little indulgent, like I'm worth nice, mostly frivolous, things. I don't want to feel like I have to put in all this effort to feel attractive -- I just want simple items that make me feel like I'm putting my best foot forward without layering on eight different kinds of stuff to maybe make it there.

I just want to feel pretty -- and dare I say it, sexy -- no matter what I do in a day.

And having nice bras that fit correctly that maybe are a little pretty to look at by themselves is a start to that, I think. I'm not trying to fill a hole inside myself with lingerie, or anything -- I'm actually pretty good with me -- but I guess it would be nice to feel like I'm in the right sizes and to have unders that make me smile instead of kind of grimace and ignore.

(Of course, as we're working on our budget and doing a "spending purge" during the week -- no extra spending on anything save emergencies -- Zulily goes and has a sale on unders that actually come in a range of sizes beyond 34-36. If you're not a member of Zulily yet, here's an invite. It's my favorite of the kid-stuff flash sale sites. Meanwhile, I'll be in the corner, cursing being a responsible grown-up.)

So I don't know how this will pan out. I could still be completely wrong in my measurements and these may not fit either (thank the shopping gods for free returns, right?) but I guess I have hope.

And I think that's a good lesson for pretty much everything in life -- just try to have hope.