Who says women are the weaker sex? Forget about the whole giving birth thing, forget about needing that degree in accounting just to keep the bills straight, forget about cooking, cleaning and organizing a household. Forget about all the things that your average, everyday woman does that would cripple your average, everyday man if he had to endure them. Because even if you take all those things out of the equation, I still say a woman is mentally and emotionally stronger than a man could ever be. And just how and why have I arrived at this astonishing conclusion? Well I'll tell you. A man never, ever has to shop for and/or wear a bra. Period. Talk about a Test of Strength! Bra shopping could, and probably should, qualify as an Olympic sport. First of all, not only do bra sizes differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, but they sometimes differ style to style within the same manufacturer (i.e., the Beautiful Benefits bra, size 38C by Vanity Fair, may fit so differently than, say... the Body Elegance, size 38C, also by Vanity Fair, that you may actually wear a different size in that style!). So to buy a new bra, you can't just waltz into the store, pick up "your size", then traipse on over to the register with it. No, sir. You have to pick about 450 different bras to take to the dressing room to try on. Six at a time. (As most of you women know, most stores tend to frown on you taking copious amounts of clothing into a dressing room with you so they limit the number of garments you can take at any one time). So say you "normally" wear a 38C...that means you have to not just find that size, but you also need to check out some 40C's, some 36C's, some 38B's and some 38D's. All in the hopes that one of those sizes will actually corral your girls into some sort of perky, figure enhancing style without actually causing grievous bodily harm to your shoulders, your back and/or to your girls themselves. 'Course, there are stores that have an "attendant". A person who will not only bring you different bras in different sizes, but will also assist you in donning said bras and adjusting the straps accordingly. However. This little chicken (i.e., ME) is not terribly comfortable with having a strange woman jerk me around while trying to snag "the twins" into a set of elastic bowl-like devices. (Heck, I'm not even comfortable with a familiar woman doing that, much less a strange one, but let's not digress.) If you're looking for two different types of bra (for example; a strapless bra and a sports bra) your work is pretty much doubled. Sports bras don't fit the same as a strapless. In fact, no two types of bra fit the same. And heaven knows, they have enough different types out there to torture a person with. So many, in fact, that simply deciding what kind of bra you need can be a mind binder. There's the underwire bra, the wireless bra, the demi-cup bra, the full cup bra...there's the padded bra, the shelf bra, the t-shirt bra and the convertible bra. There's also the minimizer bra, as well as the maximizer bra. I even saw a sign in the dressing room at Kohls that said "Discover our newest brand of intimate apparel....The Push-up Plunge Bra"! Say what? Push up and plunge?? My girls immediately started writhing in agony and I had to cut my shopping trip short just to go home and apply an ice pack to my chest. Oh, okay. That's a lie. But what kind of goofy name is that for a bra anyway? I mean, honestly. I won't even get into the strange visuals that crazy name inspired. Suffice it to say, I think someone down at the ad agency has a sick sense of humor and some idiot at Kohls fell for his joke.
Anywho, whether you call your bra a "Push-up Plunge" or a double-barreled slingshot, a "Live-It-Up Seamless" or a booby trap, the fact remains that shopping for a bra is not for the feint of heart...and actually wearing one should qualify a woman for a merit badge in Long-Term Torture Survival. I don't believe I've met the man who could stand up to the kind of punishment bra wearing entails. But in the interest of fairness, I'm willing to be proven wrong. You fellas, go ahead, strap on a Man Bra and wear it for a week or so. Then let me know how "weak" you think I am afterwards, okay? I'm just saying.