On Sunday night, after dinner should have already been put on the table and eaten, we decided that I would go to Panda Express and bring home Chinese food. We had been having a lazy kind of day, and it was a quick fix kind of night. So off I went.
But as I was driving, something just didn't feel right. Something was not the same as all the other times I had hopped in my car to drive somewhere. Something felt ODD. I finally narrowed it down to the way the seat belt strap felt as it rested against my shirt. What was up with the seat belt? I ran my fingers underneath it and against my shirt a few times, and then it hit me. There was one less layer of material between the seat belt and my skin. I wasn't wearing a bra.
How on earth did I leave my house without realizing that I wasn't wearing a bra? I usually take it off when I know we'll be in the for the rest of the evening. And normally I put it back on if I need to go back out. But that night it totally slipped my mind that I was running around so care free.
My dilemma was if I should keep going, or turn around and put my bra on! I called my dear friend B, who if anything would appreciate the humor of the situation, and offer me support. After deeming my call worthy enough to turn away from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which she has a very personal relationship with, she talked me through my options.
After it was decided I would continue on, we discussed how I should walk into the store. At this point I had already parked, and the only spot available made my path to Panda Express a long one, crossing in front of many other restaurants, and several families enjoying ice cream at outside tables.
Some women are perky enough to not have to worry about finding themselves suddenly braless, but I have nursed a child. I am not perky. B and I discussed in detail the advantages of hunching versus walking as straight as possible, and if I should walk on the sidewalk or slink through the parking lot. She wished me luck as we hung up.
Alone and still not sure what to do, I took a deep breathe, and decided to just go for it. I got out of my car, and walked tall along the sidewalk. I found that if I pushed my shoulders back, the counter balancing actually helped minimize the bounceage! While inside, shuffling along the counter, I just tried to move as little as possible. And the best part? I realized I could totally hold the bags in my arms when I left the store, shielding my chest from view!
But by the time I had selected items for four separate meals and paid, I had not only forgotten my shielding plan, I had also totally forgotten about not wearing a bra. This is because I am a mother with Mommy Brain. Studies (yes, real studies) have shown that a mother's brain cells actually shrink in size up to 30% while pregnant, and take an average of six months to a year to plump back up again. I am defying all statistics and have retained Mommy Brain a good three years after the birth of my daughter.
As I walked back to my car, swinging my bags of food and humming, I was snapped back into reality by a man staring curiously at my chest. The only thing I could do was glare back and pretend I was braless on purpose, and how dare he question my choice as a grown woman to be free from bra bondage!! I proudly got into my car and drove away.
Ever since, I've been having panic attacks, thinking I'm not wearing a bra. Like yesterday on my way home from work, when I thought for a few frightful seconds that I had been minus a bra ALL DAY LONG. And just a few minutes ago in a meeting, when I had to glance down and reassure myself that I was, indeed, wearing one.
Considering the shock to my system, I doubt I'll ever leave the house without a bra on again.