I’m not talking about my first “training bra” (who came up with that stupid term anyway?). I’m talking about the first real bra that I bought with my own money.
I was maybe 11 or so, and I carried a purple purse with a
unicorn on it that enclosed a purple wallet which held some red hot birthday
cash. So, it was off to the mall!
My mom brought me and let me go into Dillard’s
by myself (which may have been Diamonds at the time).
My birthday money was burning a hole in my wallet!
I wandered into the lingerie section of the store. I hadn’t really been in that part of the
store before and had always glanced at it whenever we had walked by in the
past. The pretty, lacey things with soft,
shimmery fabric that looked as fragile as flower petals seemed so much more
interesting than the kid’s clothes section we usually spent time in. I felt excited and somewhat out of place browsing
through the racks of pretty undergarments.
My underwear to date had been nothing but sturdy, practical cotton
underwear that came in multi-packs from Kmart.
And, as far as I knew, that’s what my mom wore as well.
But, this underwear was so different. Who would wear something so pretty, and
why? The notion that a woman would wear
pretty undergarments to impress a man was far from my adolescent mind at that
It was then that an older woman approached me. She was a shopper, like me. And, I’m going to paraphrase the conversation
“Such pretty things, aren’t they?” She asked while lovingly admiring
something from the rack.
“You like them, don’t you?”
I nodded shyly.
“I always find that I feel extra confident if I’m wearing
something pretty underneath. It’s like
it’s my little secret,” she said, and smiled at me.
I nodded again and turned my attention to a Christian Dior
bra in my size.
“Oh, that’s a very pretty one,” she said. “Well, I’m going to go try these on.” She left with a small pile of lace draped
over one arm.
I turned my attention back to the bra, and checked the
price tag. It was on sale! It was going to take all of my birthday money
to buy it (meaning I wouldn’t have enough left over to get the new Duran Duran
album), but I couldn’t resist. Confidence, she had said. The bra was so pretty. It was all off-white lace with light blue
And…it became my first real bra. I wore it to school under my silly purple
unicorn shirts, and it gave me confidence.
It really did! I had a pretty
secret below my awkward surface.
My mom thought I was silly to spend all my money on a
bra. But, I didn’t care!
I still think about the woman who told me of her secret to
confidence, especially on the days that I need a little extra…if you know what