If you imagine that the various aspects of your life are playing cards and that you have flung them up in the air, you can either clench your butt in fear and anxiety, or exhale deeply and let the cards fall where they may.

My deck of cards is still raining down and I am exhaling like a yogini who accidentally sniffed some glue. Most of my belongings are in storage and the essentials are strewn about in a motley armada of bags and boxes. At any given moment I am searching around for my car keys, batteries, an onion, or my passport. I have come to accept that I can’t reliably put my hands on anything at any given moment, which is a big deal for me because I am a very organized person.

Until we resettle in October I will continue to lose my socks. Keys will vaporize. Vegetables will be absentmindedly stored with canned goods and not found until they start to stink. My jewelry will get lost and test my faith, only to intersect with my orbit in the future. Eventually order will be restored, and until that happens I can either surrender, or make myself crazy trying to control the uncontrollable.

Now that the stress of selling the house is behind me and the money is in the bank, I am following the path of least resistance and giving into the pleasures of summer in South County. I didn’t get a job this summer, so my only responsibilities are to my volunteer commitment and my tyrannical back, which demands constant maintenance at the gym.

Before I threw the cards up in the air, I kept myself battened down pretty tightly, including my size 34C boobs.

Tall, toned, with an hour glass waist, straight teeth, legendary legs and an abundance of naturally wavy hair, the only thing that I can see in myself are my wayward nipples (always front and center) and a small pouch on my stomach, the very pouch  that once housed a 10 pound, 9 ounce baby and was never the same after March 26, 1995. 

The fact that my waist is now the same circumference as my rib cage has been a constant source of disappointment, and my many blessings have been lost on me as I ferociously judge myself against the person I once was.

The headlights are always on, and because I refuse to endure those nipple obliterating foam pillows that are inserted into every bra, I struck a bargain with myself long ago that the nips could abide, but only if the girls were contained in something supplemental to my shirt. 

My compromise was a barely functional sports bra configuration. The girls rode higher, but I was sweaty and hot, and the ends did not really justify the means, especially during the heat of summer. 

Last summer, I got so sweaty at work that the dye from my cheap bra offset pink crescent moons onto my shirt. When I took off my apron, the pastry chef took that opportunity to draw all over the front of my shirt with a Sharpee, incorporating the sweaty, pink crescents into a giant poop face that went from my belly button to my neck. Feeling no shame, I went straight from work to the bank and then met a friend for a beer.

Letting go of possessions, order, and the past was nothing compared to letting go of the bra. I probably would have put off my emancipation, but when I lost track of all of my under garments after washing them, I had no choice but to go forth to the gym without a bra, unless I wanted to endure crippling lumbago for the rest of the day.

Part of my card-flinging endeavor this summer has been an examination of my childhood via a 12-step program for Adult Children of People Who Drank Way Too Much. One of the things I have learned about myself is that I am not ugly, lazy, mean spirited or dishonest! Of course I was happy to learn that my character was basically good, but what really rocked my world was feeling free to inhale deeply and completely, unencumbered by a crappy bra. 

Feeling the love for myself and all of my physical imperfections I went to the gym where it is my practice to loosen up with a half hour medley of aerobic exercise on the machines. I like to start off with intervals on the stationary bike. Because the legs are taking on the resistance, all is pacific from the waist up. I’ve got this, I thought to myself. Why do I worry about the shape and movement of my boobs?
After the bike, I like a nice brisk walk on the inclined treadmill. This proved to be more dynamic, but because the machines all face the same way, I took comfort in the fact that most likely, no one was staring at my shamefully bouncing breasts.

The cross ramp, my third and most vigorous destination in the aerobic realm sent my boobs into a asynchronous gyroscopic orbit as I pushed hard to lift my heart rate to its peak. By then, a telltale rivulet of sweat had stained my T-shirt between and under my disgraceful breasts!

I got off the cross ramp and sidled toward the paper towel dispenser with my arms casually crossed over my chest, while mentally admonishing myself for harshly judging the morbidly obese man with gynomastia sprawled on the recumbent bike, unconcerned about his boobs or his giant mass of junk that was glaringly apparent in his sheer shorts.

Next up were hamstring stretches. As I stretched I contemplated the unattractive way that my breasts slid to either side of my rib cage before reminding myself that I was no longer 14 and that it would be freakishly weird if my breasts did not point east and west when I was lying down.

Downward Facing Dog and Plank made me aware that my boobs are two different sizes. As I took my 10 breaths in Plank, I wondered if in a pinch, could the nipple be used as a plumb line?

It goes without saying that in my braless state, the weight training portion of my workout was devoted to the upper body, specifically the pectoral muscles, because my next port of call after the gym was going to be Belmont Market to buy some melons, where one can expect to greet, if not embrace, at least one friend or acquaintances.

A few weeks back, My Royal Consort and I had been to a five day music festival called Floyd Fest. The theme this year was “freedom” which I thought was highly amusing, given that lately I have been very heavily focused on freeing myself from the things that no longer serve me. 

Bras were not on the top of the list of things that no longer serve me, but they were definitely on probation. Before tackling bras, I had planned to unencumber myself from more pressing things like self judgement, dysfunctional relationships, pointless anxiety and guilt. 

At Floyd Fest, way up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it was easy to love myself and everyone else in the magical pop-up universe that invariably forms over the course of a music festival. Walking around with a permanent smile, connecting with others and taking in all of the great music made it easy for me to think about what I had just left behind and what I could look forward to. By the end of the week, I felt like I had made a solid start on vanquishing my inner critic, but once the fairy dust washed off, I found that I wasn’t quite out of the woods yet.

As far as bras were concerned, my intention had been to throw all of mine out and replace them with those sexy, lacy T-backed things that hot twenty-year-olds wear. To that end I had even gone so far as asking a woman in the line at Belmont Market where she got her bra, and had learned that they can be found at Free People. 

Who knew that losing my under garments would lead to spiritual enlightenment? Eventually I found my socks and underwear in the black suitcase that now holds all of my important documents and computer cables. 



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  1. debbydrew says:

    I love your writing LaVie and I wish you did more of it. I wish you good travels and happy settling in to your new home in Tuscan – consider a visit to Managua and all of Nicaragua. We would love to have you. With love to Jack – DD xxoo

    1. admin says:

      Thank you! We absolutely would love to see you guys in Nic. I have always wanted to go there, and from Tucson, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump. I wish I could write more too, but I have to be patient and wait for the stories to come to me. I have a folder called “blog fails” and it’s chock full of stuff that just won’t hunt. BTW, guess who turned 25 yesterday?

  2. Kathryn Speary-Donahue says:

    Once we moved to the Little Farm and I “retired” I chose to not squeeze myself to death with a bra if at all possible. I wish I was an “A” cup but I’m not…however when I’m here alone I “roam free” and happy!

    1. admin says:

      Rock on!

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