The Patsy Cline Training Bra

My dad nicknamed me “Rosebud!”, and it took me years to learn that that was no term of endearment.  Ah, the growing pains of being a girl…even when nothing is growing.

When my mother first told me about the training bra, I was five and thought the idea of it was fun—like a new purse or colored socks. She had found one for me with Strawberry Shortcake on the front at a garage sale, and because of the bargain, she saw no harm in letting me wear it under my clothing for the day.  Just like most things in my life, I was over it in about a month.  It became a nuisance to put it on—always getting it twisted over my shoulder or placing my arm through the head hole. I shoved it to the back of my drawer, and I’m sure it wound up in a garage sale for some other little girl.

My sister Lindsey, on the other hand, stumbled upon the training bra quite differently.  Poor girl learned about it from our Great Aunt Patsy.  Actually, her full name was Patsy Cline, and the song “Crazy” fit her nicely.  She was a hairdresser with a shaky hand.  She would try to balance a beer, a cigarette, and a pair of scissors while cutting our hair.  She claimed a spare bedroom in my grandmother’s house and kept all of her “glory day” attire in the closet.  She was known for her beauty and being the life of the party back in the day, and those clothes helped her remember.
Lindsey loved to shop through that closet of clothes, but one day she pulled up a chair and, on her tippy toes, scanned the top shelf, which every woman eventually learns is top secret.  Lindsey ran her hand over the surface and snatched the first thing she felt—a lacey, nicotine-stained brassiere.  Lindsey bypassed the training bra market and went straight to the Patsy Cline line.

For the next few months, Lindsey was a woman—an old woman but a woman all the same.  She only removed that bra when she bathed.  It hung loose and low on her, sitting on her rib cage.  I made sure to roast her nightly. Even if I hadn’t teased her, Lindsey stopped wearing it because she feared it would stunt her growth—Was she on to something there? ohbygolly

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