Friday, April 29, 2011


This will probably send the guys running while the gals will be searching their own memory banks about a long ago event. Have faith fellows, a lot of you have daughters so this post should be a little familiar.

Brief back ground. My Mother was a sickly person as long as I could remember. She had severe asthma at a time when there was little help to treat it. Part of my very first memories were hospital runs with Mom gasping “I can't breathe !”

Complications from that disease eventually took her at a fairly young age. Because of her illness, a lot of my life lessons came from this woman who often held class from the couch while wrapped in a blanket.

Mother was a very late bloomer herself so she never thought I might be ready for the “facts of life and the joys of womanhood lecture”. Thus, all my information came from school yard chatter, most of which wasn't close to the truth. I was a teen and woefully ignorant of biological matters that happen to a young girls body. I just knew that until then, nothing was happening.

My body finally started to develop when I was around 14. Camisoles were no longer doing the job. My best friend took me aside at school and said I really needed to do “something.” If my parents noticed, they never mentioned anything but according to my peers, I needed a bra. Good grief, now what.

Mother wasn't physically able to take me bra shopping had I even felt able to discuss the matter. Also I knew she would tell my Dad and that wasn't acceptable. So I went back to my school yard source. My bosomy best friend who originally brought the matter up, showed me a catalog that offered training bras for $1.50, including shipping.

Boy was I excited. I was becoming a woman. This was pre credit card days so I sent off my order with a dollar and two quarters taped to it. I made getting the mail my responsibility for the next 10 days. Finally it came and I locked my bedroom door to try on my new equipment.

Ouch--- I felt what I'm sure the ancient Japanese women must have experienced trying to bind their breasts. My trainer was too small. A super tight ace bandage would have worked as well. I dug into my baby sitting money and sent off for a bra that actually had a size attached to it—AA. Evidently, I was out of training.

It took a total of three tries and $4.50 of my hard earned money to get it right. My learning curve was huge. Who knew you had to measure the chest area but success was finally mine. I was both proud and self conscious about my new look. It was hard to strut proudly and hunch over at the same time but I managed.

One day, I forgot and left the bra on a chair in my room and my Mom found it. Her eyes were dancing with sad amusement as I explained myself. Sad that I was growing up and not needing her but amused that it had taken so many tries and maybe I did need her.

She bit her lip half in two trying not to but my tale of trial and error made her struggle with laughter till she was out of breath. She tried to be soothing with a few “Aw Sweeties” between struggles. Pretty sure I wasn't fooled. It was only much later that I appreciated the humor.

When she settled down and quit choking on her giggles she got serious and decided I was over due for “the talk”. I tried to convince her that I all ready knew all “that” but she insisted and we both began that sometimes uncomfortable journey into knowledge of what a woman can expect and the facts of life.

Learning I could NOT get pregnant from sitting on a strange toilet seat was a real shocker. That was only one of the gazillion misconceptions I harbored. I kept saying “Are you sure about that?” She kept insisting she was sure.

This was gold and I couldn't wait to get to school the next day with my new found knowledge and fist full of myth busters. Funny thing is that I wasn't totally believed. Seems school yard lore had more credibility than clinical facts did. Their loss I felt. At least I no longer feared strange toilet seats.

Back to the bra. The really sad thing there was that I basically wore that same size bra all through high school, only moving up to an single A size when I graduated. I ended up throwing my mortarboard, tassel and my AA's into the air on the same day.

Ok, now all you double D's can brag about your first bra.


  1. My mom took me to a women's lingerie shop to get my first bra - a AA was stretching I remember it was white with blue stitching. I felt very proud of it and I was hoping all the girls at school would see the straps. Can you believe???

    I had a lot of street knowledge about the facts of life too, and when I heard the truth, I couldn't believe it. I thought "why on earth would people ever want to do that? and EW!!"

  2. Sorry your mom had such a hard time and that you lost her at a young age. I got my first bra in 7th grade because we had to "dress out" for Phys. Ed. and everybody else had a bra. It was also suddenly uncool to wear socks. But to this day I'm still more comfortable without a bra and with socks.

  3. I can't even remember my first bra although I do remember the girl who needed one in 4th grade.
    My mom had one one of "the talk" in her, so she sat me (age 12 or so), my two brothers, and my sister (age 6) all down together. That was weird.

  4. First I want to say I am sorry that your mom was ill and passed so young.

    You know I can't remember my first bra at all so it must not have been a big deal for me. I do remember my first high heel shoes and when my mom told me some of the facts of life. I couldn't wait to tell my sister what I had learned although my mom told me not to tell her because she wasn't ready yet. I told her everything! We figured my mom knew I would tell her because she never had the talk with my sister.

    As always I really enjoyed your post. Hugs

  5. I was way early, at 11 I began to develop. I remember that first bra, and I do have to admit I skipped size A altogether. And let me tell you, by the time I was thirteen they were HUGE! I had stretch marks all the way to my collarbone, they grew so fast. I was mortified, but my mother couldn't NOT notice I needed a bra. In those days they were pointed cones, too. Lordy!

  6. I read this with tugs at my heart as the memories of those young teenage issues of my own flashed through my mind. I am glad I lived it; don't want to live it again, though! I believe my first bra was a cast off from my older sister, sometime around grade 7. My MIL is only 17 years older than me, but I can remember her once saying that when she reached that age her own mother wanted her to wear a 'binder' rather than a brassiere ... only loose women wore something that would lift and separate! We've come a long way, Baby!

  7. The things you ladies go through. I appreciate my Mrs every moment of every day. She sometimes says to me "You have no idea..." and I know she's right.

    Here's to you, ladies.

  8. I had to beg my Mom to rescue me from the terrible older girls in PE class laughter at my not wearing a bra. That was in 7th grade...who would have guessed 5 years later, I'd be burning mine. I'm with Ellen....socks no bra please.

    As far as the talk...I never got it. Not from my Mom or my older sister. The knowledge that I had when I went into my high school was what I heard on the play ground. Made for some...uh interesting "a ha" moments.

  9. I can't remember the first bra I had...wonder why... My mom wasn't very forthcoming about the facts of life. As I was raised on a farm, she must have felt I would just know.

  10. Oh how I wish I would have had money to buy a bra with in those days! I never had over 50 cents at any one time until I was probably 16. At any rate, anything I would have ordered would have been confiscated by my parents and made a big deal of. Remember undershirts? I had to wear those for way too long. Ugh! It was very embarrassing when all the other girls had bras.

    As to the facts of life, my mother didn't do a very good job of explaining. But they were so strict that I didn't dream of getting too close to a boy for a very long time. I remember a boy sneaking a kiss on a hay ride and I was worried sick that my parents would find out! Ha!

  11. Oh how fun to read this piece! It resembles my story too. I used to worry about my bras size for years and years!

  12. What a good post--but kinda sad that you didn't really have your Mom around at times like that... Bless your Heart ---but many girls go through having to grow up ALONE....

    To be brutally honest, I truly don't remember getting my first BRA...But--I do remember going to high school at about age 15 or 16--with a light tan skirt on when my period started --and I got it on the back of that skirt...

    Had to go home (obviously) to change clothes. I was SO embarrassed and cried for days over that.. It was like the end of the world.. I still remember that experience well--even though I had had periods since I was about 12.

    The Bra thing??? I have no idea. I was not too well-endowed --but never wore an A cup I don't think... ha....


  13. I love how they were called training bras. Were we being trained to wear one or were our tiny breasts being trained to be encumbered?

  14. I seemed to "develop" overnight, and I do mean DEVELOP! My first bra was a 34B. I had a friend who whined about being a 28A. I would have traded with her any day.

    My father explained the facts of life in a very clinical manner (he was a doctor). It nearly killed him. I don't know why my mother didn't do it. lol I remember the day I greeted him at the door with the announcement, "Today I am a woman."

  15. Awww, sorry you lost your mom at a young age but I AM glad she was able to have 'the talk' with you! Funny as it was! I actually can't even remember getting my first bra but then again, I had an older sister and acquired all her hand-me-downs so it was probably just a throw in my direction and put this thing on; okay! sure, why not!
    my mom also never had 'the talk' with me...which makes me curious because she always said she did not know I was sexually abused, but ...oh well, never mind!

  16. I also started with AA at 14! I don't know where I bought it. I am sure my mum did it.Well it's a long time ago.

  17. Too cute. Oh the memories of those days when we wondered if we'd ever be women. My first bra came late and only after I had suffered at least a year of humiliation because my cousin who was my age had been flaunting her bra around for exactly 12 months before my mother agreed I could get a training bra even if I didn't need it. I was a VERY late bloomer.

    Once I did start to bloom, I didn't stop. In fact, I had a bust reduction later in life.

  18. Sorry about your mom!

    I don't have a memory of getting my first bra. I have an older sister so I knew I wanted one, but the need really was never there in high school. Today, I am 30 lbs heavier than when I graduated, so a bra is good but sadly still not a major need in my life.

  19. kenju,
    How funny about showing your straps. I know I couldn't wait for gym class the first day.

    Thank you. She was a special lady. I have to wear socks but hate wearing a bra.

    Wow, you had a co-ed facts of life talk. That would be weird.

    Thanks about my Mom. She managed a lot with all her ills.
    I'll bet she hoped you would tell your sister.

    I knew there were some double D's out there. I am trying to feel sorry for you but I just can't.

    My brothers were no help at all with hand me downs.
    Ouch on the binder. I might have been loose if I'd had more to work with.

    Aww, you are such a great guy. We accept your salute gratefully.

    Linda in NM.
    If there is a socks and no bra club, I see three members. Me too. I hope your school yard knowledge was more accurate than mine.

    Well farms did expose you to mating and birth. Don't think foreplay is covered in the barn yard.

    If it weren't for baby sitting, I'd have worn camasoles till I graduated. That was funny about the hay ride.

    Know what you mean. I think I finally quit thinking about my lack of size when I hit

    I knew you would be one of those double D girls. I didn't even start my period till I was 15. Real late bloomer.

    Ha ha,I have always wondered about that choice of words also to describe a beginner bra.

    Ah, another biggie. I'd have killed for a 28 A also for different reasons.
    Wow, you learned all the big words.

    Oh my, I am so sorry that you were abused but even more so that you had no support. You have over come a lot haven't you?

    Reader Will,
    I guess that makes us bosom buddies.

    Retired English Teacher,
    Wow, when you got the hang of it, you went to town. I pretty much stayed steady all my life.

    Know what you mean. The older I get, the less the need for a bra. Comfort trumps style.

  20. Nice post. I must have been traumatized, I can't even remember my first bra. Go figure.

  21. I learned a great deal of erroneous info from the school yard, usually from girl friends who bragged about their bra sizes and later their knowledge of the facts of life, etc.

    My mother was too modest for us two sisters' education. My brother was better educated by my father.

    At some point I summoned the courage to tell my MY mother I wanted a bra and further a razor as I had too much hairy growth under arms and on legs.Further I needed two types of deodorant, underarm and feminine.

    Although surprised, she immediately complied. I guess she thought everything I needed know was in THE KOTEX "GROWING UP" BOOK many girls entering puberty received when their menstrual cycles began.

    I didn't have to do much explaining.

    However, sometimes when I heard schoolyard conversation that seem unbelievable, I went to the library to check it out. Our library was in no way censored, even though it was in Texas where content is many schools study books are tightly monitored.

  22. I ain't gonna brag about anything. In fact I can't remember my first bra. All I know is I hate them. I never wear bras in the house, haven't worn one all winter because I haven't been anyplace and wear sweat shirts usually. So summer is coming and that means dig the bras out again. Geez. !!!

  23. Well I am just getting to a place in life where at times I it time for a man-bra? I haven't succumbed to one yet but if I do I am not using mail order. Thanks for the tip.

  24. My first bra was unremarkable. My Aunt told my cousin and me to tell our mothers we needed bras under our thing summer dresses. My aunt was Mama's older sister so her word was the last.

    My better story is about my friend who told her husband that she was buying their daughter a training bra. 'Training bra!' he exploded, 'her mother still wears a training bra!' Her mother still wears a training bra but the daughter took after his side of the family with her grandmother's ample bosom.

  25. Training bras. I no longer wear the wonder bra. I wear the wonder where it went bra. At least my eyes still work. Dianne

    OK OK I stole the joke from Marge.

  26. Lynn,
    We tend to remember the bad and the good. Your experience must have been uneventful which is good.

    I envy you the razor. My mother would not let me pluck or shave. She said I didn't need to. Tell that to a teen.

    Warm weather is here and bras are no longer optional. Rats. Seems stuff moved around over the winter.

    4th Sister,
    Gosh, I am glad you think so.

    Just get a really tight undershirt. Should work. I think that is why Under Armor went into business.

    Welcome to TNS. Had to laugh at the wife still in a training bra. I am not far from that myself.

    I don't care where you stole that from. It is funny and oh so true.

  27. I missed your post about loosing electricity and the storm; I am glad you are ok.

    Sorry you mom had to suffer so when you were young, that coudln't have been eash for either of you. You have the greatest stories; my mom gave me a book to read about the facts of life, can't even remember my first bra, but no double ddd's here either.

  28. Thanks for your visit! Yes there are still people living in mills, which are converted into modern dwelling, which are still very small of course.

  29. I can relate to a mother having asthma and hospital run this was a common experience at our house. As to the rest having only brothers and sons.... well.....

  30. Hi Patti,

    What a great story, as yours always are. I don't remember getting my first bra, but I remember when they began to grow, because they hurt. I was kind of a late bloomer too.

    My Mom is an RN, so that stuff was it was probably talked about all along. Nobody was too shy about walking around in their underwear at my house either.

    I was a "B" for a long time, and now after 3 babies (the oldest who just turned 30), I have grandma boobies and they droop. I still can't figure out buying bras and therefore, put if off. The straps always fall down. They hurt my back, and come undone as soon as I hit the front door, lol!

    I'm sorry that you lost your Mom early on.

    Have a wonderful week, my friend!

    Kathy M.

  31. I was one of the last in my class to get a bra. I never grew out of an A until I was out of school. I'm still just a B, but have never had any desire to be bigger.
    I was told the facts of life when I was 6 years old by some older girls on the school bus. I went home and asked Mom about what they told me and she cleared up a few of the false facts.

  32. I don't like the Eye for an Eye thing either. He should have been judged in the International Court in The Hague like all warcriminals.

  33. Linda Starr,
    Mother did have it hard but she kept a marvleous sense of humor about everything and was very popular amoung my friends. They never seem to notice her frailties.

    Reader Wil,
    I don't mind small spaces, I could probably live in one. How quaint that would be.
    We do think alike on that subject of "eye for an eye."

    So sorry you Mom had the same struggles. There just wasn't much help for it in those days.
    You are excused from the bra part.

    Oregon gifts,
    Thanks and you were lucky to get the straight story early.
    Me too on ditching the bra as soon as I hit the door. Aahhh.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    I wish I had been content like you but I have been single a lot of my life and would have killed for a "huge rack." Now I am so grateful that I did't have one.

  34. This is definitely not from a DD. Heck, I thought I was going to go off to college without needing one. I remember Betty Fuller in 5th grade when she let her bra straps fall on her shoulders past her sleeveless blouse. I had strap envy.

  35. I'm sorry about your mother's illness. I know that had to be hard on you as a child. I imagine that losing her so young was even harder.

    I was flat chested in 6th grade. But, when I went back to school for 7th grade, a lot of my school friends thought I learned to stuff my bra over the summer! Well, needless to say...the bra's been 'stuffed' ever since!

  36. marylee,
    Now that is funny and "strap envy" does describe what we went thru.Those show offs.

    Thank you, I felt lucky to have had her in my life as long as I did.
    Had to laugh, for I was once outed for having a "stuffed" bra only mine was toilet paper, not the real thing.

  37. Loved this post, Patti! I got a lot of my information on the school yard, too. However, I can't remember how I got my bras. I don't think I needed one for a LONG time. I developed pretty late. I don't think I had anything worth noticing until I was pregnant. When I was a teenager, I thought you could get pregnant from kissing. Then I thought you had to rub belly buttons. Sheesh!

  38. My mom never had talks till I was married. Not sure why. My dad taught me and told me if I ever got pregnant to come to him first because he was the softer parent. Mom was the strict one.
    As a teacher I was often selected to do the sex change talk for 10/11 year olds. Seems I was the least shy.
    I cannot recall my first bra but I recall learning how to measure bust size in sewing class, grade 7.

  39. Kay,
    How funny. Your false info was cute. But when you think about it, if you were kissing and rubbing belly buttons, you probably actually were pretty close to possible pregnancy.
    I am really feeling better at the lack of double D's out there.Pretty sure we out number them.

    What a neat Dad you had to tell you that.
    I didn't take home economics till my senior year. Wish I had taken it earlier, wouild have saved me some money.