I hate bras. It’s one of the few topics about which I will use that word and mean it. Hate ’em. Always have.

Bras do not fit me. When I was skinnier, I wore a 36″ 3/4A-cup. Yeah, I know. There’s no such thing. A’s were too big. Trainers too small. The A’s that tended to fit were padded because, y’know, clothing designers are adamant about the fact that being an A-cup must be a hideous embarrassment that needs to be “fixed” with a foamy insert so that when I walk into a room, I can lead with my boobs. Not a real high priority of mine.

Besides, I’m pretty sure that if I did not have corrective surgery to fix the “lots of character” portions of my otherwise plain face because it’s beyond me to be something I’m not, then I certainly will not pad up my chest to make it something it is not.

Now that I’m chubbier, I wear a 38″ A. Yeah, I know. There’s no such thing of that either. Even at Victoria’s Secret — the holy fortress of all feminine underthings.

(Side note: When I walk into a store like Victoria’s Secret sales attendants are both more uncomfortable and less amused than I am. In fact, this sales chick’s attitude clearly conveyed that she would rather be sales assisting a transvestite with a thong choice. Considering the number of times her eyes darted away, I think she was actually looking for a transvestite underthing-emergency to call her away from me, or the hidden candid cameras. I left the store empty-handed and with the assurance from her eyes that I should take my freak show to a discount store. Thank you very much for your time. Whatever.)

Bra-design experts are pretty sure that if you have a 38″ chest, it’s sporting a B-cup. Not so much here. Thanks to my dad’s DNA contribution, I have this barrel chest that requires extra space at the sternum. With my new, plumper, for-reals A-size I can shift a bra 1/2″ to 3/4″ to the right or left and get that one cup to fit pretty good. Yeah, I know. Awkward.

There’s no fitting both of my breasts in at the same time. They’re just crammed in there as best as possible, and bursting to fall out of the outside bottom edge of the cup. I’m forever adjusting — pulling my bra back down into place.

Guy relevance: imagine this happening in a jock strap and cup. Yeah, now you know.

Plus, I’m a little claustrophobic with a tight band around my chest. In fact, I stopped wearing sports bras that slip on over my head rather than clasp. When you try to “slip” off those pull-on bras over your head while they’re all sweaty, they roll up and bind, and you’re stuck with your arms — elbows high — bound to your head and your thumbs cinched into the knot so you can’t get loose. It’s terrifying. I have run headlong into the wall in a panicked attempt to free myself.

Just saying, there isn’t a whole lot I like about bras. I went many years wearing only dark T-shirts so I didn’t have to wear them, except when riding horses and for “occasions” that required something dressier than a dark T-shirt. Now though, with the office job I have almost daily “occasions,” and even a dark T-shirt can’t hide that flop of age-related connective tissue failure.

I wear bras frequently. It’s a horror.

I bring all this up because the other morning John walked into the bedroom while I was getting dressed for work and said, “Oh my poor, honey. She had to harness up for work. Look at her Cooper, she’s all cinched down and her boobies are going to suffocate.”

I chuckled and moved along to the bathroom to dry my hair, and I admit, I kind of tuned him out for a second as he rattled on to the dog. Then I realized what he was saying.

“It should be a crime to strap down a bodacious set of tah-tahs like that. We prefer free-range boobies, huh, Coop.”

I’ve never before heard of anyone calling an A-cup “bodacious,” but I do love the free-range boobies, so I’m thinking of having T-shirts — dark T-shirts — made that say: “Save the tah-tahs — free-range boobies only.”

I think they’ll be big-ticket items at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com