Pointer Sisters ;-)

pointy brasAmen Amen I say unto you, buyer beware. You handmaidens out there especially!

Verily I say unto you, seek not the bras that promise to flatten for a more youthful look, for they will not hold your headset, your hair elastic, your quarter for the parking meter anywhere near as well as the regularly shaped pointy bras that Nature  has suggested you wear.

Your humble servant – this handmaiden herself – has been carrying her credit card in her bra for full many a year .

Then yesterday while wearing her new silhouette-reducing bra, her bright green Am Ex worked itself free in the parking lot just outside Market Basket and was gone a full 24 hours before your humble servant missed it, panicked, contacted American Express and finally called the store itself  to see if someone had perhaps turned it in.

Someone indeed had  and all is right with the world again but tell you what,  tell you what:

THIS handmaiden is back now for good in her trusty old Bali with the bow in front and the twin embroidery hoops under each cup.

Guard the goods! Live and learn!

money lost



Others Really DO

Others really do see you better than you see yourself:

“Are you finished talking about your brassieres yet?” someone asked me the other night, at the end this lovely evening I spent with my Shakespeare pals, reading Henry V and eating great food.

My eyes widened. Finished talking about my bras? My BRAS? Had I fallen asleep during the reading and talked in my sleep? About my bras?! In front of these lovely people?

Then I realized that he was talking about this blog and what I wrote about for much of last week.

Which was bras, all right,even my bras, God help me.

I had forgotten that this man had told me he reads me every day here and so he really knows me, of course he does.

He sees the unvarnished day-by-day truth of who I am in the same way students know their teachers: in other words in ways that teachers might not imagine. The kids really do ‘see’ their teachers. They see them when they’re annoyed and when they’re tired, when they’re excited and when they’re eyes travel out the window during test times and anyone can see that their thoughts have moved far from the classroom.

They know when the teacher has had a haircut, even a tiny trim. “Miz Marotta! New shoes!!” my own students would call happily on days when I was a young teacher and showed up now and then with fresh footwear.

So what can I say here to the elegant bow-tie-wearing man who asked me that question? Yes, I am finished writing about bras, my bras, the bras of others, bras on dogs, what have you.

At least for now.

And I’m finished showing pictures of bras. Well, almost finished, as you can see.

Tomorrow It’s on to bathing suit bottoms.



I rarely get embarrassed these days and certainly the tubes of Astroglide and the extensive collections of sex toys on the counter of that fancy bra shop didn’t embarrass me.

“I see you’ve expanded into new territory“ I said to the young woman helping me, since really there was no avoiding these bright and fanciful gadgets.

“Yes, we thought a touch of something light and fun,” she said, blushing as prettily as a contestant in the Miss America pageant.

“Well I’m all for sunlight. It was never right for a girl’s sexuality to be a mystery to the girl.”

“No,” said the young woman, who seemed so sweet I decided to tell her what else was on my mind.

“I really appreciate the fact that during the fitting you didn’t used the kind of slang I could hear other clerks using with their customers. “Let’s hoist these girls high!” one of them said in the dressing room to her client. I just find that so sort of …awful.”

She blinked – in surprise? – and said “Well I appreciate your telling me that and I will certainly pass it on to Management!  You find it inappropriate you’re saying?”

“No, that’s not the word quite. Most times I hear the word ‘inappropriate’ somebody’s using it to shame and one-down somebody else.”

I went on, understanding my thoughts only as I talked.

“It’s just that in the old days we didn’t have the real words for things. We could only point vaguely, saying “here,” or “there” or, God forbid, “DOWN there. The only words for breasts were the guys’ words for them and we couldn’t use those!”

“I was raised by two women and in all my life I never heard either one of them use the word ‘breast,’ which seems pretty sad. So a clerk saying ‘these girls’ or ‘these babies’ just seems terrible to me. We have the language now – we even have shops like these!” I said, indicating the virtual candy store of sexual aids “and it seems like all of this grows out of respect for and an appreciation of our bodies which work so hard every day to do our bidding.”

And there ended the conversation. She thanked me for my thoughts again, and the male shop owner, who I’d seen lurking in back, drifted out front to see who the HELL was assigning so much meaning to his inventory.

But he was nobody I wanted to talk to. I had said my piece to this young woman, sweet as she was and helpful, and so I took my two $85 miracles of engineering and walked out into the parking lot.

Flesh and More Flesh

Rereading this last post underneath here makes me remember that I actually prayed that my family would move, because of this same kind of ‘exposure.” It was after my big sister Nan pulled down my pants in front the neighborhood boys. A few weeks before that, she’d told them I didn’t have a bellybutton and then tried to get me to prove I did by showing it. I wouldn’t though: everyone knew bellybuttons were sex organs and anyway of course I HAD a bellybutton. You just couldn’t SEE it, hidden in the folds of my fat little tummy, so yes I was also chubby but Nan was working with me on that too: “Here’s what people do to lose weight,” she told me: “Every day they peel down a stick of butter and eat the whole thing.”  And I was doing it – of course I was doing it.


Maybe these things seem mean on Nan’s part but were they no meaner than what I did to her a few years on, locking her out of the bathroom while she was trying to bleach her hair behind Mom’s back. With me locked in there she couldn’t get at the neutralizer ha HA! And her hair would be just crazy bad straw tomorrow I thought from my perch on the closed toilet and was all the while reading from her diary in loud mocking tones.


The diary was all about boys, natch. As was the bleaching. As was, for me, a whole high school career spent worrying that I was so homely the very walls at the CYO dance would have to look away when I showed up.


Well there’s more to be said about boys, and flesh and girdles but too, but right now it’s time for me to go to the hospital so that a needle can be sent into three places a hair’s breadth away from that crucial tube the spinal cord. My cervical vertebrae are gonna be starrin’ in their OWN little TV show in just about two hours so I’d best jump into my pantyhose and get on over there. If the procedure doesn’t kill me I’ll be back with even more deep insights – and maybe, if I’m feeling jaunty enough, the tale of the fancy foundations lady who told me I was a 32F, then sold me the bra to prove it.


“GAD!” as Mom used to say, “What’s next?”

 haha (this is not me by the way)