Five things.

Stuff that happened today.

1. Whenever I go to St Lukes people apologise to me. I don’t seem to get this reaction at any other mall. Fo’ example, today I was walking along a corridor. I needed to turn right down another corridor that lead to the toilets. A woman was coming along that corridor and we ended up reaching the corner at the same time. We both paused and she said “oh, sorry.” What was she apologising for? I was in her way as much as she was in my way. I’ve also noticed a few times at St Lukes I’ve been in a crowded store and have kind of bumped into someone and they’ve said sorry. It always seems to be women, and I’m getting sick of it. Stop apologising!

2. Waiting at the lights on Dominion Road I saw the most spectacular sight. A woman, probably in her late 30s, was walking along the road. She was wearing a pair of baggy, MC Hammer-style pants. The fabric was a red and white pattern and was quite a thin fabric. I know this because I could see her underwear. Oh, how I could see her underwear. She had a pair of black bikini briefs on. They were so clear through her trousers that it was almost as if she was only wearing her underwear. Was it deliberate? Was she going for a “I don’t give a damn about fashion” thing, or did she just not look in the mirror before she left the house?

3. I was driving up One Tree Hill and there were cows all over the road. It was quite exciting driving through the cows. It reminded me of living in the country, when there was that day when all the farmers used to herd their cows down to the saleyards. (I hated living in the country. Like, do you know how inherently uncool cow poo is?). As I slowly drove through the cows one of them jumped up and started humping another – right next to my car. Wow, a hot bovine lesbo a go-go show.

4. I was going to get a latte from Starbucks at St Lukes. I waited in line one person made coffee, another made frappuccinos and another served at the tills. The serving girl was really, really slow. The following took place:

Serving Girl (at microwave): Um, excuse me, do you want this heated?
Customer: What?
Serving Girl (moves closer): Do you want this heated?
Customer: What is it?
Serving Girl (goes to cash register to see the name of the pastry): Um, the cinnamon roll. Do you want me to heat it?
Customer: Um…?
Serving Girl: I think they taste really nice when they are heated.
Customer: Uh, how hot?
Serving Girl: It makes it nice and warm.
Customer: Um, well, as long as it’s not too hot. I don’t want the icing dripping.
Serving Girl: Ok, right. I’ll heat it up for you.

She then went through a similar painful conversation about some minor detail of some other item ordered. I couldn’t stand being witness to such mundanity so I went downstairs and got a latte from the Take 5 coffee stand. I was served quickly and there was no arsing about with the customer ahead of me. By the time I’d put my change in my wallet, my coffee was ready. This may possibly be part one of an occasional series of visiting the nearest alternative to Starbucks (i.e., if, like my neighbour’s homemade bumper sticker says, friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks, where do you go for coffee?)

5. I don’t get why “Lose Yourself” by Eminem is so popular. I’ve always thought it was really mundane, but then, I’ve never really been big on those “go for it, don’t give up, hold on to your dreams” kind of songs. “Lose Yourself” seems like a combination of that kind of song and a promo from “8 Mile”. But so many people I know like it – I mean, really like it. It seems that even though the lyrics are pretty specific, people manage to put themself in the song and come out of it feeling elevated, uplifted and inspired. Well, that’s not a bad thing.

Brassiere

This month is breast cancer awareness month, and it just so happens that I realised that I had a bunch of bra-related anecdotes to share, and now seemed like a good time. So here are a series of vignettes on bra-related incidents.

Breast Awareness Week

My mother was on a TV quiz show a few years ago. It was one where about a week’s worth of shows were filmed all in one day. It was done very fast, with no stopping for minor slip-ups. The lovely hostess was meant to announce that it was breast cancer awareness month, but instead said it was “breast awareness month”. She corrected herself, and that mistake ended up on the show when it was screened.

Ha ha ha

When I was about 13 my brother used to tease me with “Ha ha ha. Robyn’s got a bra.” and I’d scream out “I HAVE NOT!”.

Silicon Valley

I was having a look around in a department store at lunchtime and wandered over to the underwear department. In what could best be described as the new releases section, was a new Elle McPherson bra from Bendon. It looked like a fairly ordinary bra, but it was called “Silicon Valley”.

It seemed like a really strange name for a bra. Normally if bras are going to be named after a place it’ll be somewhere fairly exotic and European like Capri or Venice. It seemed really odd to be naming a bra after a place known for its geekiness.

I did the usual bra inspection, which consisted of feeling the material that the cup was made of, as one does not want to wear a bra that’s made from a scratchy fabric.

Just to digress here, once I was helping a friend of mine buy a birthday present for his girlfriend. He was really uncomfortable being in the women’s underwear department and just wanted to pick something – anything – and leave. For the first time it occurred to me how women’s underwear and men’s underwear are so different. I sometimes amuse myself checking out the Lion Red y-fronts at K-Mart, but if a man were to do that in the women’s section, he’d probably be escorted from the premises.

So back to the Silicon Valley bra. The bra inspection gave me a fright. Instead of getting a handful of normal bra, I found myself grabbing a handful of fabric-encased goo. Yes, there was a great wacking glob of something squishy sewn in in the bra.

What was going on here? Were Earth women so desperate for a bit more cleavage that they were prepared to buy a bra with a sac of goobly, squishy stuff at the bottom?

The bra came with a tag that had a few questions and answers (and how many bras come with a FAQ?). According to it the squishy stuff was “non toxic white medical oil”. (Hey, does that mean you could make your own Silicon Valley bras at home with some olive oil, plastic bags and sticky tape?)

The FAQ also said that if the bras are cared for correctly the oil sacs will not break, but they may burst if poked with a sharp object. So if your boyfriend has a pierced nipple, you’d better watch out, or there’ll be tears.

Thinking about the bra’s purpose, the name starts to fit. It suggests that by wearing a Silicon Valley bra, your bosom will resemble that off a woman who’s had silicon implants. And perhaps also that rather than resembling a plateau, your bust will be more like two mountains with a valley running through them. But the computer geek connection is still there (for me at least) and that just ruins it.

The whole thing is just a bit creepy. Any woman who would wear a bra with a bunch of oil in it seems a bit sad and desperate. Padded bras have been around for about as long as the bra itself, but there just seems something really tragic about these wobbly oil bras.

Bra Theft Confession

My Dad used to have this apartment in Auckland where he’d stay when he was working there. Once when he was there a woman knocked on his door asking him if he’d taken her “very expensive Elle McPherson bra” from the communal laundry room. He hadn’t. Then a bit later my friend and I were staying there one weekend and we wrote a poem from a fictitious man who was apologising for taking the bra, and we stuck it up on the wall in the laundry room. It went like this:

Ha de ha de ha,
I found a bra.
I found it with my clothes,
How it got there no one knows.
It looked at it on the table,
It had an Elle McPherson label.
I did it up the back,
The seams went “crack”.
My heart was filled with despair!
I’ve wrecked your underwear!
By corry horry,
I’m come to say sorry.