Monday, December 04, 2006

Go ahead, give it a wave

So, I have mentioned some recent resolutions about Being a Better Person and Exercising. I was nervous about putting that stuff in writing, because I am atrocious at keeping resolutions - I thought I might jinx myself. I also have held off on buying special clothes for exercising, knowing that if I stopped going to the gym, the sight of the fancy yoga pants would inspire that really gut-wrenching self-loathing that I usually only get when I pay my student loan bill.

But guess what? Me, the no-willpower woman, the one who's ALWAYS last out of bed, the non-camper - I am still going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. 15 minutes on the Elliptical, which truly truly kicks my ass and I'm still not sure I'm doing it right 'cause of the way my left knee buckles a little on the upswing; and 15 minutes on the bike.

I don't know if it's doing any good. I haven't weighed myself, I figure any loss would be microscopic at this point. I pretty much look the same to myself, but then again I was 5 months gone with Big Man before I observed to Bob, "You know, I think you can actually see that I'm pregnant and not just fat," so I'm apparently not that observant. I haven't tried my regular pants yet. I've been getting by with some hand-me-downs, some old pants, and my Luckys, which are low enough in the front that I can pull my t-shirt down over the fat part and hope for the best.

Loren helped me pick out 6 new t-shirts at Old Navy just for this reason. I don't enjoy clothes shopping, so I treat it like a trip to Sam's Club. I buy in bulk. It isn't always easy for me to find long-sleeved shirts that reach my wrists and go down past my gut and yet aren't just huge and tenty, but these totally do the job. Plus, when you put 'em together with the bras that Juliet helped me find, well. Let's just say I'm inspired to stand up a little straighter.

There is nothing like having a bra that fits. Holy smoke. I was 30 and needed a strapless bra for my first wedding dress before I first got fitted by a pro. I went to Bloomingdales on 60th St and got shoved around by this teeny fairy-tale lady with a tape measure and a thick accent. Naturally, I found out the bras I'd been wearing were WAY off. She set me up with a couple 34D's and I have never looked back.


When I was pregnant, and baffled by my body, I went down to the Lower East Side. I searched for and found the oldest "foundation" store in the city, Orchard Corset. Just a hole in the wall on grimy Orchard Street, this place looked just like Ollivander's Wand Shop. The walls were lined with little cubbies holding flat rectangular bra boxes, and a gruff Hasidic guy was behind the splintered wooden counter. He did not snarl, "Whaddaya want, girlie?" but he may as well - I felt like a debutante on a construction site. I told him that I no longer could fit in any of my bras and I needed help, and he bellowed, "Mother?!"

Another one of those wee, ancient fairy-tale crones beckoned me behind a curtain, where I stripped to the waist. She measured, then brought me a few intensely plain but totally serviceable bras. I do not care to remember the size.

Since then, I have had two kids, nursed for like 5 years, gone down to my high-school weight and then way back up. It was ugly. I was buying bras at Target. I was wearing nursing bras and sports bras. Meanwhile, my friend Juliet was setting everyone and her mother up with her favorite lingerie store, Lingerie Lingerie, and they were all raving about their tits.

Best yet. Barbara at Lingerie Lingerie is neither tiny nor ancient. She measured me and brought me about 20 bras to try on. Pretty ones. She surveyed me in them and came back with more. I bought 5 bras that are flattering, supportive and comfortable, and which I don't fall out of when I lean over.

I know of very few grails in this life. The job that you enjoy and which pays a living wage. Music that calms children and doesn't make you want to stab your ears with a chopstick. A reliable ISP. Warm comfortable boots that look cool. The school that encourages your child's development and doesn't bankrupt you.

Ok I guess I know kind of a lot of grails. But bras that fit make the list.

And that other resolution? Not yelling? I am not doing too badly. Laying off the caffeine has made a big difference. Luckily, Thomas at Zeke's Coffee makes a half-decaf blend that is almost indistinguishable from regular.

Bonus section: Things to Watch Out For When Buying a Bra


Quadra-boob


Spillage


Uni-boob


Uni-boob with dagger and flames