Monday, January 9, 2012

Wake Up and Smell the Adhesive Brassiere

Or: The Lies Our Undies Tell Us

Over the holiday break, I gave my clothes closet a thorough exorcism cleaning. (Yes, I'm fun like that.)

It was during these excavations that I unearthed this item:

Or, more specifically, this item:

Also known as THIS ITEM:

I know. What. The. H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks?

I was so thrown by this discovery that I had to collapse onto a heap of discarded leg warmers and bootleg bikini bottoms to regroup.

I had no memory of buying this marvel of modern engineering, but (as I was relatively certain it belonged to me and not my husband) clearly I had.

The question was why? I examined the item, turning it over in my hands. I could not have made a discovery more disconnected from my real life if I'd unearthed a UFO's tailpipe in my Zen garden. (Hey, I could have a Zen garden. Don't assume.)

Yet here was the fleshtone evidence that, at some point in the last 5-9 years, I had considered myself a stick-on, anti-gravity, bra-in-a-box kind of person. Really? During which typical activity had I imagined strapping on this bad boy? Grocery shopping? Opening doors in the school carpool line? Whitening the tile grout around the shower head?

It just didn't seem like me. Perhaps I had suffered some kind of psychotic break one day while waiting for the kids' swim lessons to wrap up. (Now that I thought about it, that would explain a lot of things.)

Think, Anna. Think.

And then I heard it.

The voice was smooth. Authoritative yet inviting. The voice was seductive.

You can wear it when you go dancing.

"Who's there?" I said, looking around the closet.

Or when hosting an impossibly chic dinner party.

"A what?"

You could wear something slinky...strapless, even, the voice purred.

"Well, that doesn't really fit my-"

Why not? Who says you have to give up sexy, grown-up activities just because you've fallen into a bit of a rut?

"I wouldn't call it a rut, it's just that-"

So you're done? Done with things like dancing? It's going to be jeans and t-shirts from here on out?

"Well, no...I'm not saying that, exactly. It's just that these days my lifestyle is more-"

Do you see what it says on the box? "For the modern woman." Are you saying you're not a modern woman?

"Hey! I'm plenty modern!"

So what's holding you back?


Why not make plans to go dancing this weekend? I can see it now: lights flashing, music thumping, you in a fabulous strappy cocktail dress.

"Really? What color is it?"

Um, let's say blue.

"Blue," I pondered this for a moment. "I like blue."


"Is my hair doing that flippy thing it only does when I've been to the salon?"

Why, yes, it is, Ms. Modern Woman. So...what do you say? Are you ready to embrace your sexy, festive new lifestyle?

Just then my husband stepped into the closet. "Hey, you're talking to yourself again. Have you seen my car keys?"


At least now I knew how I'd ended up buying it.

I Have to Share With You...

"A Defining Moment for Women

This is the title of a wonderful article by Heidi Stevens of the Chicago Tribune, who interviewed me last week about The CHICKtionary. Ms. Stevens really "got" the book and I was thrilled when this piece ran shortly afterward.

"At the Intersection of Funny and Feminism

The Chicago Tribune piece inspired an article on the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop website that touches on Erma's thoughts on what will apparently be an eternal public debate about a woman's "place" in the world of humor.

Believe it or not, this debate is just as lively today as it was in Ms. Bombeck's heyday, a fact that (ironically?) I find quite amusing.


skywind said...

Oh, very funny! lol

Alexandra said...

What's sadder than the conversation with yourself?

That if you're doing a giveaway for the flesh toned knockers, I'll take 'em.

ALSO: LOVED your interview re EB at EBWW page.

So many people take things much too's humor, why is that so hard to get across?

It's such an effortless and joyful emotion...why do people make it into work?

It's about people that are happy making others happy.

Clean and dry, that's it right there. The joy of making people laugh.

The Big Blue Frog said...

That's bizarre — or bra-zarre!

Is it reuseable? What does it feel like? Is it squishy?

Harley May said...

I love conversations with yourself in the closet. Your closet self sounds very reasonable. Mine just yells at me.

And I love that photo with the bra on the rocks. It totally gives new meaning to "bolder holder."

Anonymous said...

I truly loved reading this, it gave me a laugh I really need. BTW, I would never, ever assume anything regarding you, Anna. You always amaze me.
Thank you!

Suniverse said...

Awesome! [The Erma Bombeck thing. Although plastic flesh boobs do have their place.]

Gina said...

My 21 year old "had" one for her going out clothes. Someone in her sorority "borrowed" it recently without returning. Yuck! That thing just suctions on with sweat. I guess they're in high demand with the younger set.

Kara said...

Wow! That inner voice of yours is quite the smooth talker! And a little scary...

writingdianet said...

Shut the front door! I cleaned out my sox, undies, pantyhose (I never wear anymore) drawer and I too, had one of those gizmos. Except mine was black. I got it to wear with a backless dress I bought to wear to my dh's h.s. reunion in a different DECADE. Never wore it again--the dress or the black, peanut shaped thingy.

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

i think i had those chicken cutlet thing at some point, too. went by the wayside of my unused ped-egg, i think.

Unknown said...

Curiously, I just want to touch it.

LTYM said...

I read & loved both of those articles--yay, Anna!

And I think you should melt that bra down and make Super Balls. Just a thought.

Gigi said...

Funny....your inner voice sounds a LOT like mine.

Jayne Martin said...

I never understood how those things could actually defy gravity. Especially if you're dancing. And now the Elaine Stritch song "Bounce Your Boobies" is on an endless loop in my mind.

Ann Imig said...

I shudder to imagine the matching bottom to that bikini.

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant. I could almost hear the smooth voice in my own ear as it enticed your to put it on and go out dancing.

Number Whisperer said...

Here's an entirely plausible reason why you might have this in your closet: cover ups for the perfect swim suit that failed to include bra liners. Least that's how I ended up with mine. Btw, they're waaaay creepy when you forget you have them on and catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror while changing.

Erin said...

Oh, the chicken cutlets. They frighten me. Much more so than your internal dialogue.

HermanTurnip said...

Is it wrong that I'm now sexually attracted to that stone stairway?

Unknown said...

That looks just like something Dusty Earth Mother gave me for my swingin bridal shower. Except it was hot pink.

Unfortunately I remember where each thing came from in my drawer, I just wonder when it all stopped fitting!

Julie said...

I'm loving the fact that you displayed your adhesive brassiere on a wall.

There's an irony there. Or something. (Since that Alanis Morrisette song, I always question my interpretation of the word.)

Anyway, rumor has it Erma Bombeck not only had a Zen garden, but also liked to to bra-less.

But whether or not this is true, my favorite color is blue.


Carry on with your modern self.

Nora Blithe said...

Jeans and t-shirts don't make a modern woman. Crap. There goes my wardrobe.

See you at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop! I can hardly wait!

meleah rebeccah said...

Can I please borrow your smooth talking inner voice? I could use some coaxing. Maybe not to go out dancing, but at least convince me into changing out of my pajamas.

K A B L O O E Y said...

Wait: are your chicken cutlets conjoined or kissing? I bet they were happy to get out of the box for a while. Are you going to donate them to charity or auction them off? I never had the cutlets, but I did once buy a pack of underboob stickers to try to keep the girls aloft. Fail. BTW: your interior voice is hawt.

When Pigs Fly said...

I have a pair of those stick on booby things and their terrible. I too couldn't remember why I bought them until much later in the day. Putting rubber suction cups on your breasts does not a sexy woman make. Or should I say, I don't think it would make me feel sexy, just clammy.

Heidi said...

Phew. I'm not the only one that talks to myself.
I love that it's for the 'modern woman'. Of course it is.

jb said...

Anna, what the hell I bought something like that at La Sensa it's the canadian Victoria's Secret well they think they are but I think they're just a really cheap tacky lingerie store. Now why I bought stick on boobies I will never reveal to you but it may have been a small lesbian break down...maybe! Great article and congrats on the new book.


bernthis said...

Um, did you toss it or is it still available? What? You have breasts. Mine disappeared with child birth okay?

Okay, they weren't there before childbirth. Look all I'm saying is...oh my God, now I'm having a psychotic break.

Hey let's do lunch soon! What do you say?! Anna? Are you still there?