Middle school is just the worst. It’s when Mother Nature rips everyone a new one, whether you wake up one day with boobs that apparently grew overnight or you wake up every day hoping to find boobs and realizing, once again, nothing has sprouted. Everything that used to be comfortable and familiar is suddenly terrifying and awkward. Seriously, becoming an adult is the worst thing ever.
Grade 5 was the year the little girls in my class started wearing bras, whether they needed to or not. I, being a famously late bloomer, had no such underthings in my possession, which made me a bit of a freak show when it came time to get changed for gym.
I went to my mom and told her I wanted a bra. She laughed at me and said “What for?”
Then she told my father over dinner. “Do you know what Amy asked for? She thinks she needs a bra.”
My dad laughed too. “What for?”
After the hysterical laughter died down I was told I didn’t need a bra *yet* but I could get one in Grade 6. I slunk away from the dinner table, defeated. Basically I was social roadkill now. I might as well start hanging out with the kids that brought their stuffed toys to school.
A couple weeks later one of my friends who was (I swear) flatter than me came to school and it was obvious she was wearing a bra and flaunting it to make sure everyone noticed, adjusting her stupid straps and whatnot.
“Good for you,” I hissed at her at recess. “It’s probably uncomfortable anyway and it’s stupid to waste money on something you don’t need.”
“No, it’s actually really comfortable because IT PROVIDES SUPPORT,” said my 25AAAAA-cup friend. “You can try it on if you want. SINCE YOU DON’T HAVE ONE OF YOUR OWN.”
“As if,” I said. (Well, I probably didn’t say “as if” because Clueless wasn’t out yet.) But the seed had been planted and all through the rest of the morning I wondered what it would be like to wear one of those forbidden undergarments.
At noon, I sidled up to her in the lunchroom. “Can it try it on?” I whispered.
“I guess so,” she said. “Where do you want to go?” We decided on Mrs. Hopkins’ empty classroom, which would be more private than the girl’s washroom.
I stood guard by the door while she got changed, then she “stood guard” while I attempted to hook up the mess of straps, two tiny white triangles and a ridiculous pink bow in the middle of it all.
I was mid-hook, shirtless and sweating from the effort when in walked two other girls from our class to get something out of their desks.
They gaped at me.
“I’M GETTING CHANGED!” I screamed.
I have never seen two girls exit a classroom faster in my life. I wondered if maybe they hadn’t seen anything.
But word got around. It always does.
Thankfully, some other kid got her period the next week and my bra fiasco was quickly forgotten. And yes, I waited until Grade 6 to get a bra of my own. And I hated it.