I was seven years old, and it was Christmas! Is there anything better to a seven-year-old than Christmas? We went to my grandparents house and opened gifts with my entire extended family: my grandparents, my aunt and uncle and their two kids—my much older cousins, and another uncle I hadn’t seen in many years.
At this particular grandparents’ house, there is a very special tradition: we open gifts one at a time, and when you open your gift, you hold it up and slowly show everyone in the room what you just opened. This makes for the world’s longest present-opening, but is also kind of fun, because you get to see what everyone received.
Anyways, after presents were opened and the room was awash in wrapping paper and ribbon. My grandmother suddenly announced, “I see one more present on the tree! Who could it be for? Amy, why don’t you go look!” I went over, and saw my name on the tag. MY NAME. I was thrilled. A special present! Just for me!
I sat down, the entire family’s eyes on me. Slowly, I unwrapped the box, watching my grandparents beam. I opened the tissue paper very slowly, and then I saw it.
A bra. Two tiny pink triangles, with lace and a bow. A training bra, for me, a seven-year-old with tiny spider bite boobs that probably were sprouting but not quite in need of a bra just yet. And certainly not so in need of one that I NEEDED TO RECEIVE IT AS A GIFT. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE.
But no, it didn’t stop there. My grandma insisted that I hold it up and show everyone. Oh, and of course show everyone the tiny, pink panties that matched with it.
And then? The kicker.
She told me my grandpa helped pick them out.
I don’t think I made eye contact with any of my male relatives the rest of the day. I was horrified. And even though I know my grandma meant well, meant to acknowledge my maturity, and give me something girly and special, I was mortified. I thought that my mom and I would one day go shopping for my first bra together, and while we’ve had many special shopping days since then—bras and more!—I definitely never, ever imagined that this is how I’d get my first glimpse of bras.
So, how did you get your first bra?