The Year of the Bra

I recently put out a call, via the Bag Stranded Facebook group, for guest author submissions. The reason behind this is that occasionally I have more to do with my week than to figure out how I can twice or thrice embarrass and ridicule myself for your entertainment. Not often, but occasionally. And so, a good friend of mine, Marintha Halladay, answered the call and submitted this wonderful story in which you are about to embark. If you are reading this, feel free to e-mail me your own story for consideration. The one rule is, if it is about me, you will receive preferential treatment.
Note: This story has nothing to do with me. I am not the assailant mentioned. The lawsuit is pending.

The Year of the Bra

by Marintha Halladay

I often title my years by events or memories that define them to me. Some are self-explanatory, some may require a brief explanation, but all represent some memory that has not been able to escape my thoughts! There was the Year of Monopoly, the Year of the Yard, The Year of Obligation Vacation, and of course there was, the Year of the Bra.

It was back in the days of Elementary school. I was of a young prepubescent age. Hormones were just beginning to pour through the minds and bodies of my young classmates and myself. I was young enough, that I had not yet come of the age where I was taken to the special informational program called the Maturation Program- a seminar where someone explains to you what will happen to your body as it matures in the next few years; a program so embarrassing and uncomfortable, your mother had to trick you into going with the promise of ice cream at programs end.

Being of such a young age, and not yet blossoming into womanhood, I had little knowledge, if any, about what would soon happen to my stringy childish body. At this time in my life, I had no need for the so called “over the shoulder boulder holder”. I hadn't given any thought to this simple supportive device. I had never contemplated owning one, nor had I dreamed of the age when I would finally need one. The time would soon come for me to purchase this symbol of the presence of female hormones in my body, but unfortunately, it would not be decided by me, nor would it be decided by dear old Mother Nature.

It was the first week of school. What grade is not important to the story, and even if it was, I am not telling. We all know enough to know the school year had just begun. We were still getting used to a new teacher. We were busy making new friends, and making ourselves familiar with a new classroom. On this, the unfortunate and unforgettable day of my tale, we had just gathered in a line at the classroom door as instructed by our teacher. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the order of the line. I suppose it was a first come-first serve kind of a deal as I was placed somewhere in the middle. I know this, because my last name always placed me near the back of the alphabetical order, and today there were an unusual amount of students behind me. The boy directly behind me would normally be close to the front of the line. However, today fate had brought us together!

We were getting ready to go to lunch. Some of my classmates were goofing off around me, but I was standing quietly, keeping my arms to myself as we had so often been instructed to do. I was obediently and patiently minding my own business, and waiting for our time to go. Suddenly from behind, a hormone filled male hand ran up my back, like a shark darting in for the kill. The hand attacked with the same speed and force of a Great White when charging his prey! The target had been spotted and great haste was needed to obtain his goal. It was sudden enough to first cause me to stupor, but then as my wits returned to me, I spun to confront my attacker. It happened so quickly then. I was turning around, curiosity filling my somewhat insecure childish self at who would do this to me... and why. Then came the ultimate betrayal! In that horrible instant forever burned into my memory, he shouted out for the entire class to hear, “Ewww! She's not wearing a bra!” Everyone turned. All eyes were now fixed on me. My attacker continued to further humiliate me. “I was going to flip her bra, but she's not wearing one!”

The “ewww” was said in pure disgust, just as the old peasant woman in Buttercup's dream. “The Queen of Slime! The Queen of Filth! The Queen of Puuu-tresc-ence! Boo! Boo!” The disgust in her face mirrored exactly that of the boy who had just discovered I was not wearing a bra. I am sure the confused and abashed expression I now wore, was equivalent to that of the hurt Princess Bride when she too was called out by her unintentional cause for disdain.

My ears and neck were burning! My face felt flushed. Tears were welling up, but being forced to stay. I was shocked, and wished more than anything I could have super human powers that would allow me to either turn invisible, or have lightning fast speed to escape this humiliating situation! I felt like a Queen of Filth and Rubbish!

Those awful words will forever be pressed into my memory! “Ewww! She's not wearing a bra!” Not a physical wound to warp my body, but a mental wound that is still there, mangling my scarred self-image. My mom took me shopping that very night. The next day I came to school wearing a brand new white and completely unnecessary bra. I would not be caught in that horribly embarrassing situation ever again! Need it or not, the next time a curious hormone filled pest of a boy tried to flip my brassiere, there would indeed be something there to flip.
I would eventually overcome my disgrace. I would again be able to face my attacker, which was good because he would continue to share my classes until we would graduate from high school. I also later learned that I was not alone; most of the other girls in my class did not yet own a bra.

So ended the Year of the Bra. Everyday since, I have faithfully worn that sometimes white, somewhat necessary, and often inconvenient, simple supportive device. I have need for it now (though debatable), but in the back of my mind, I still find comfort in the fact that it will be there if needed for other reasons.


Kara Thacker said...

Yeah for Marintha!!! That took incredible courage, and I empathize in a different way.

mh said...

I just thought since we all enjoy a laugh at Cameron's expense all the time, I could help out a little! So, I want to see everyone else sending in a story too!
And who says the assailant is not Cameron? ;)

Rachel said...

I am so not going to submit a story. I don't mind humiliating myself by sharing something embarrassing because I do that on a daily basis in action. I will not, however, let all of you know how terrible my writing skills are. At least, not any more than I am already doing. Awesome story, by the way, Marintha.

mh said...

Cameron, it is me again! I just wanted to tell you a big thanks! I now understand a little better just how much work you put into each article! Thanks for for all your hard work to give us a few minutes of entertainment!