Monday, August 09, 2010

You Know I'm Bad, I'm Bad (I'm Really, Really Bad)

A few days ago, I was trawling through the old lingerie drawer, grabbed a bra and I thought, “Oh, I have to do laundry.” And then I thought, “Why do I know I have to do laundry?” I realized I had to do laundry because I was holding the Bad Bra. This bra was bought many years ago at Victoria’s Secret, and it promised me it could be worn up to, if I remember correctly, six ways. And, technically, I suppose it can be worn six ways, but all six ways are freakishly unflattering and the strap cuts into one shoulder blade.

Only one. But it's never the same one as the last time I wore it.

Also, I think there’s a rough elastic fiber which has sprung loose and spends the entire day I’m wearing the Bad Bra trying to give me a spinal tap. It is, in sum, an unpleasant experience to wear the Bad Bra. But I can’t throw it away because it’s not a worn-out bra, merely a Bad Bra, and it provides its own service, which is if it’s the one I’m wearing, it motivates me to wash lingerie, a tedious little task which can only be motivated by reminding myself “Yes, but if you do it, the Bad Bra will go away again.”

I did a little research; I asked female friends if they had a Bad Bra. Every woman I know has one. One woman said sheepishly, “I’m wearing it today, which is why I’m wearing a loose-fitting shirt. I swear to God, the Bad Bra causes my breasts to sit lower than when I’m not wearing a bra at all. But it’ll remind me to wash bras tonight.” Another woman I know doesn’t as a rule wear a bra, but she has a Bad Bra she bought years ago as a sop to her now ex-husband, a lingerie fan. Her Bad Bra involves a lot of lace and a padded cup which apparently wants to ride up and cover her chin. Her Bad Bra exists to remind her she still hates bras and possibly her now ex-husband. And yet, she still doesn’t throw it away.

In fact, not only do all women I know own Bad Bras, they own Tragic Underwear, underwear with the flaccid, grey, unflattering contours of a shroud, with just about as much fabric. Our Tragic Underwear is useful but, also much like a shroud, when you’re in them, things aren’t going all that well in your life. And yet right after admitting they own said Tragic Underwear or Bad Bra, not one single woman then said, “You know, now that you’ve brought it up, I really should throw out any underwear which makes me feel fat, sad and itchy.” Most women seem to accept the misfit toys of their underwear drawer as some kind of karmic retribution for previous misdemeanors. Or they forget to throw them out and then the drawer is nearly empty and look! The hot-pink strapless bra and the droopy bloomers await you!

Readers, play along at home. Do you have a Bad Bra? Do you have Tragic Underwear? Did you ever actually get up the nerve to throw away underwear which had committed no greater sin than being dreadful? And do men have Tragic Underwear?

I assume certain men have Bad Bras, and if they wish to write about them, I think we’d all love to hear about it.


Blogger The Bug said...

I finally bought FOUR good bras so that I could throw out my bad bras. But they're still there, lurking under the good ones.

I just yesterday put a pair of underwear in my drawer that I had pledged to throw away. I don't know why. I don't have a shortage of good underwear.

You've inspired me - I'm going to go home & throw out that one pair of panties! But not the bras - that could have tragic consequences.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

A while back I thought long and hard about when I was wearing my Tragic Underwear...and decided to replace it with several nice pairs in bright red. Which means I can't wear it under light-colored clothes, but light clothes are out at the time of the month anyway.

All my bras are Bad Bras. I hate bras and wish I could get by with the braless look.

My husband has some Tragic Underwear. He saves it to wear along with his Tragic Shorts and Ventilated Shirt when mowing the lawn.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

My Bad Bra made it's return last week. While putting it on I remember wondering why I don't wear it anymore. An hour later I was reminded.. The underwire on the left side slowly twists itself around and stabs me in the ribs. I took it off and shoved it back into the drawer next to the Panties of Doom.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Tragic Underwear is reserved for the week Aunt Flow comes to visit and for the few days beforehand when I am feeling particularly tragic.

1:00 PM  
Blogger kate said...

My friends and I call those "Period Panties" - sad, dumpy, high-waisted undies that I've had forever and only wear when feeling particularly gross or while at the very end of the road in terms of laundry. I actually threw away most of them when I moved into my new house because I was sick of them taking up space that could be filled with cute, attractive pairs.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I finally threw all mine away and bought a pack of white cotton hi cut Hanes. Liked them so much I ended up throwing away all the rest of my panties and just buying those.

Then, a few months ago, as I was buying a new replacement pack, I accidentally grabbed a pack that was 2 sizes smaller. Didn't notice until I could barely squeeze into them. I decided it was a sign that my new diet was going to work and I'd soon need the smaller size, so I kept them.

And guess what?

Yep, wearing'em now.

Although, I'm actually hoping to soon replace them with travel undies. Bras and panties made of comfy quick dry fabric, for washing in bathrooms while traveling around the world. Can't buy it accidentally, but will maybe buy some to kind of give fate a push in the right direction.

1:29 PM  
Blogger landismom said...

I just recently threw out a whole bunch of underwear that was just bad and not worn out, and it felt great. Everyone should do it.

My dh definitely has tragic underwear. I don't know why that man hates shopping as much as he does, but it shows in his briefs.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Char said...

i have bad bra that causes uni-boob - very tragic indeed. and i forget it's bad bra until i put it on...and about the same time i realize that laundry day has passed again.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Guy here...I have a pair of boxer shorts that on look so girly (and that isn't a look I generally go for) when I get down to that pair I know I need to rethink events occurring in my life.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I have those bras I will not, for whatever sad, co-dependent reason, part with. There are the Stiff Two. The fit correctly, but their underwires were clearly made for Amazons. If I were tall enough to have that much distance between my breast and my armpit, I'd look fantastic at my current weight. Alas, I am 5'3/4".

My tragic panties are cotton and torn on one seam. I don't wear them. I keep them as reminders of how bad it can be.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Heck yeah, I have Bad Bras and Tragic Underwear. I think it is mandatory, or else one has to turn in one's ovaries and Midol coupons.

I once had a bra go rogue on me, with the underwire on one side (left boob, for those who Must Know), working its way free from the fabric and impaling itself firmly into the flesh just south of my armpit.

Mind you, despite how it went rogue and tried to kill me by embedding its curved edge within centimeters of my heart, I didn't throw the bra out. Oh no. When I took it off, I pulled that underwire out, then snipped a tiny hole in the other side and removed that underwire too. And then continued to keep the bra in my drawer for those mowing the lawn/yardwork type situations.

Tragic for sure. (Then again, most of my fashion choices tend to the tragic, so this is no real surprise.)

2:07 PM  
Blogger Cat Connor said...

About a month ago I tossed ALL the tragic undies in my drawer away and replaced them with awesome yet still practical - not an easy find!

The BAD bras went a few months back - tragically they've been replaced with "what seemed like a good idea at the time" - yep, new BAD bras.

In my defense though, I am new to the whole bra thing, having only grown boobs 5 years ago (very very late bloomer). Pretty much find ALL of them uncomfortable and evil. Underwire is the devils work! Sports bras aren't so bad...

2:18 PM  
Blogger Lene Andersen said...

Forgive my rebellion, but what might be called my Tragic Underwear is in fact my most comfortable underwear. This is the kind of underthings our mothers told us never to wear in case we were in an accident and people - medical professionals, innocent bystander - would see just how Tragic life could get if you let yourself go. Some of it even has holes (that I keep intending to mend, but never do). I've finally reached the point where I actually wear it and don't care about the psychic scarring others may experience.

Of course, there is that bit of lacy fabric sold under the misnomer of panties in my size that means laundry day is imminent. Which is Bad and Tragic, but not in a good way.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh, men definitely have Tragic Underwear. My husband has several pairs that just don't contain what they're supposed to contain. At all. And much as he hates them, they still keep making it back to his underwear drawer, where they serve the same purpose as your Bad Bra.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Maya said...

As someone whose bra choices involve a) plain beige cones, 5 hooks and a price inching toward 3 figures at a specialty store catering to old ladies and mastectomy patients, or b) untested bras purchased online from England for around $40 each, I am the owner of many Bad (but beautiful) Bras, many of which are only bad because they do not fit properly and returns across the pond are a bit complicated. So I have 2 bras that fit well (which are plain and beige, oddly enough). Tragic underwear are multitude in my drawer. In fact, the few I have that aren't, I rarely allow myself to wear (because clearly my karma will clear faster this way?). I've never owned bloomers, but due to bad timing and lack of supplies on hand, they all go tragic eventually. Husband's tragic underwear magically disappear from the dirty laundry when holes appear, only to be mystically replaced by new ones in the clean pile. No one has ever seen the Shorts Fairy, but clearly she exists or my husband would have the most tragic shorts in the land.

No. No, you are certainly not alone.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Xanadu said...

So, I have Bad Bras and Bad Panties. I realize I keep these only because they are the specific undergarments that can be be worn with said outfit - you know you have those.

But, do you ever find yourself thinking about how smart you'd look in that sheer spaghetti strap summer dress, only to realize you'd have to wear Bad Bra and Bad Panties to make it possible? Back in the closet it goes for another season and you remember why you haven't worn it in 5 years!

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an 8th grade teacher, and kids that age are particularly critical and observant of all flaws. One day I was teaching and kept feeling something poke me in the clavicle area. I kept tugging at my clothes and kept on talking. I realized the kids seemed a wee bit more attentive than usual and appeared to be gazing at my chest. I looked down and realized my white underwire had worked its way out of the bra and about 3 inches of white underwire was poking out of my black shirt. I had to fake a reason to turn my back on my class and yank the underwire out and toss it. In front of 30 13-14 yr olds. Then I have two differently shaped boobs due to the one missing underwire. And this is STILL my bad bra I wear when dire situations require it.

8:28 PM  
Blogger badrhinogillett said...

My most recent bra purchase ended up being Bad Bra. I saw it was on clearance and couldn't figure out why this lovely bra was so cheap so I bought it. Because I was having a "I'm too fat to face a dressing room mirror" day (and really, who isn't too fat to face a dressing room mirror...does anyone look good in those?) I didn't try it on. Hence, Bad Bra.

How it is that the underwire manages to hurt me down to my toes, I have no idea.. but it does. I could just throw it away, but then I'd have to do laundry even sooner!

9:26 PM  
Blogger Kyddryn said...

I have one bra. Yes, one. It is a perfectly nice bra. I don't wear it. It was purchased in a fit of optimisim one day when I thought I might lose enough weight to finally fit into a bra. You see, I am rather on the plus size of the weight issue, but am not blessed in the bazooms...unlike most of the other well-padded women I know who could carry books on their shelves. No one makes a bra that fits someone big around but tiny in the cup. So I lost some weight and thought maybe I'd lose some more and be able to fit into this perfectly nice bra. Alas, it still does not fit, and so I am braless for the duration.

I also have the horrid underthings...but for a reason. I save them for the few days a month when I really would rather not ruin the less tragic of my granny panties with...erm...issues. So the played out, grey, saggy, baggies come into play. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

ALso, thanks for the blog gave me an idea for a post and I can use all the help I can get these days...inspiration is not as prevelant around Casa de Crazy as perspiration, these days. You're welcome for the mental image.

Shade and Sweetwater,

9:36 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Every January, whether I need to or not, I buy a six pack of white Haynes.

It's all very very sad.

One six pack a year. No one could ever accuse me of excess.

As for bras? A new one every time a child of mine marries. They are all married now, and yesterday my newest bra bit me. It's not yet a year old, so the timing seems right.

(my word verification is 'cones')

8:08 AM  
Blogger Narya said...

I don't wear bras, so I don't have any Bad ones. (I do have a bunch of sports bras that I wore when I played sports, so I could wear t-shirts with the sleeves cut off.)

I have a bunch of panties that are ugly in some way that I use for working out and that I used to use when I still menstruated (thank the goddess of menopause that THAT seems possibly done). But I decided about four years ago that i wasn't going to wear Tragic underwear, except for working out, any more, and that was seriously the right decision.

10:34 AM  
Blogger DB said...

I had bad bras for years and only just got rid of them all last year as a lesson for my 16yo stepdaughter. We both got professionally measured together and stocked up on new bras. I told her that no woman should wear a bra that isn't comfortable and doesn't fit well, so I hope she carries that throughout her life and ditches any bra the minute it gives her trouble.

At the same time, I got rid of all my Tragic Undies for the same reason, though I must admit there is a hierarchy. Some pairs will never see period days, and the others know they may have to sacrifice for the cause.

As for men, they have 2 categories of undies. New and Tragic. I don't know what happens in between, and for that I am grateful!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Quirky said...

What is it about the bad bra that makes it impossible to throw away? Mine is missing underwire, but only on one side, which means that when I wear it, one of the girls sits up straight and the other slumps noticeably below her twin. I look like my right side is melting. I can't decide if I should try removing the other underwire so that they both slouch evenly, or just keep going with the vertical boob look.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Pat'sPen, Ink! said...

When I was in my 20's, my stepmother, who'd worked in fashion retail for years, found me a specialty bra manufacturer in Texas (we lived in Illinois) who could actually provide a bra in my size, which at the time was 42KK. It had been made by a bridge designer, and all I could think was that I hoped his bridges held up better than his bras, because with the weight of my boobs, the bras lasted, maybe, four days or so, and then both sides collapsed and refused to offer anything remotely like support. Eventually, the underwires would poke out, and occassionally rust, and difficulties would ensue. Eventually, fortunately, I was able to get a breast reduction. They took 10 pounds off my chest and it was marvelous. But I still had the last two of my evil bras. I wanted to have them bronzed, but I had two problems. One, I couldn't afford it, and two, I could never decide whether to make them into a planter or a footbath. Eventually, in a fit of pique, I threw them out. I still wish I could've done the bronzing thing.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Kris said...

I'm envious of all these women who go bra-less! At 34DD I don't have that option. I'm also 5'3" and petite and these suckers drive me nuts. Oh and they didn't arrive until my mid 30's. All those pre-teen years of bust exercises on my wee A cups must have caught up to me.

I purged all the Tragic Panties recently and it was cathartic. I purged Bad Bras too only for New Bra to become the new Bad Bra.

I also have Fancy Bra. Fancy Bra was bought after a professional fitting and is lacy and French and expensive. It's in the back of the drawer awaiting Special Occasions. It's the Good China of bras. I have worn this bra twice. It's not particularly comfortable or practical and I always feel ridiculous wearing it. I also bought the fancy lacy French matching panties. Maybe I'll wear them tomorrow. Just because.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a woman who happens to wear boxer shorts primarily (and, yes, I have some Tragic boxers, though my preferred brand is Gap or Banana Republic, and they seem to last quite a long time.). The handful of panties I've had for years but just can't bring myself to throw away all fall into the category of Tragic underwear for me. I do wear them once in a while, but that's when I know it's time to do laundry.

My bras are not Bad, but some are Tragic.

10:08 PM  
Blogger TheHappyHomemaker said...

My bad bra is also my best bra...but one of the clasps in back has some sort of arthritic condition and will no longer hook. It simply spends the day scratching at my back in some sort of futile attempt to regain its youth.

My bad underwear only gets out when ever last pare of cotton underwear is sitting in the washer. This is my only pair of expensive panties, and it tries to show off by proofing it can also serve as, ta da!, a thong.

No thank you.

Show offs are not appreciated around here.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

My bad bras are nursing bras. While I am still nursing a little one, these are nursing bras from when my oldest was a baby. Most of them are old, decrepit, and angry. All of them have started stabbing me. At least one of them has underwire on only one side. And I wear them like that. *Sigh*

What a PR opportunity for a bra manufacturer this batch of comments is...

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Ian said...

There are indeed two types of man pants, new and tragic. However there is the 3rd type that most people don't realise. IT's called the slide to despair pants.

These are the pair that once used to have white waistband, that once used to have a lovely colour, that once used to feel comfortable and supportive...

They are now greaying on the waistband, whether that be black going lighter or white going darker. Their colour is washed out and quite possibly they have bobbled or are splitting at a join.

These are the real pants that men love to wear as they are worn in and comfy, well maybe not always comfy but you know how they fit and are familiar. Men are creatures of habit.

Yes I like wearing new pants - for those occasions when others might view them. But even now, if you can slip into bed with the lights off then there's no need!

The typical man will not buy pants regularly, In fact in the last 4 years I've probably bought 5 pairs total to add to the sad collection I have accrued. Some have been in there for nearly 10 years!

If you have a man, do him a favour and chuck out the ones with holes in them - please.

We wont do it first!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Jodi said...

I have a bad bra and it is the worst kind. It has that horrible, cheaply made underwire that likes to make a bid for freedom into the side of my boob at the most inconvenient moment and send stabbing pain throughout my chest region, usually when I'm already tender from being on my period.

My awful underwear turned out to be a god send after my son was born though. It was nice to have a collection of underwear that I don't care about since my uterus decided that after not bleeding for nine months the freaking flood gates should open.

1:34 AM  
Blogger deelyte said...

hahaha I needed the laugh today. Ah, the dreaded bad bra. Mine had the right side underwire go postal on me at the most inopportune time (isn't it always). The right side underwire broke right in the middle and I spent 6 hours with a right breasticle you could slide down into a pringle can! Once the broken wire was removed, children linked hands and danced around me singing "London Bridge is fallllinnng down..." but it's not the worst bra.

I bought this sexy number that looked fantastic in the pic...but when I got it in the mail and slipped it on, it had a huge gap in the middle and pushed the girls out to where I looked like a pigeon with an "eye" on each side of my head! Seriously, you could've parked a car between them. lol I keep them, and I wear them...when times are hard and I must. Life is keeping laundry days few and far between!

2:21 PM  
Anonymous RobinRaven said...

What a funny blog (and had to read the comments, also funny). What's really sad is that my bad bras are now my only bras, due to moving losses, and I hate underwear shopping too much to replace them. I think that's truly bad. ;-)

I so appreciate your writing. I will never be a funny writer, no matter how much I try. I've come to accept my morbid writing nature, but I really love yours. :)

7:57 AM  
Blogger Michaéle said...

Bad bra that digs into the bones in the front of my chest. Bad underwear that just makes me cranky when I wear it. Bad jeans with the tag that rubs on my skin all day until I want to scratch my eyes out with my own fingernails and bad sweater that itches like there is no tomorrow. The common denominator is that despite how awful they all feel, they remarkably all look good in their own weird way. So I guess I'm either too cheap or too vain to chuck them all and move on!!!

5:40 PM  
Anonymous MollyAnne said...

my tragic undies are also reserved for that one week out of the month when EVERYTHING is tragic. i also have what i refer to as the aha undies....these are those sexy undies that i buy when i'm feeling daring and rather attractive. then they are placed lovingly in the front of the drawer only to be skipped over day after day and finally pulled out with the response "AHAHAHAHAHA, yea right" because they are so uncomfy.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Lauri Hahn said...

My Bad Bra used to be the Good Bra, having paid a week's worth of groceries for it. Now, 5 years later, I have cut & re-sewn the back of the now Bad Bra, moved the hookie things over a couple of inches & ignore the fact that it fits more like a dickie than a bra. I'll tell you why. Because French bra & knicker maker no longer makes Good Bra & since I'm in negative value cup sizes, I figure a customized reconstructed FKA Good Bra beats a new I Give Up Bra any day of the week.

7:59 AM  

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