My mother has always been the queen of nicknames. Somewhere within the depths of her mind burst out these terrible, sing-songy cute, conglomerates of names and words which make one feel loved yet at the same time compelled to cringe. Mine being, “Aub Bob Corn On the Cob,” or the more embellished version, “Aub the Bob Eats Corn On the Cob like a Slob,” were some of the more tame ones. My sister, “Mariah Papaya E-Legged Bow-legged Stick Stack Stya” and brother “Lucas Pukass Big Fat Mucus” were the recipients of the more grotesque names fortunately. Most of these nicknames sounded as though they were birthed on an elementary school playground, rather than a 30 something year old woman’s mind.
Well, when I was getting about Jr. High age, and starting to develop into a young lady, (or so I thought) I saw that it was due time for me to acquire a bra. That’s what girls my age were doing and I figured I’d better baton down the hatches ‘cause the boobs were coming any day now. (Sadly still anticipating their pending arrival…) After careful consideration I decided that I should address the need head on. While out for a walk with my mother I bravely prepared to state my case. I began, “Um, mom, I have a question.” I blurted out during a lull in the conversation. She, obviously not as nervous as I, replied coolly that she would oblige.
I was not ready for this. How could I let the cliché and self exposing words out of my mouth of “I need a bra?” I chickened out and tried to change to subject. What if I was wrong? What if I didn’t actually need a bra? What a fool I would have made myself out to be! I changed the subject quickly and let go of my bra pipe dreams for a bit until one fateful day at Target. My mother and older sister, Mariah Papaya, were on a quest for bras of their own and in discussion (like most women are at all times) about it. I walked along, hearing them discuss the different kinds they were to get, complaining about things called “underwires” and praying to Jesus to let me someday be able to complain about underwires! I was no sooner done with my inner bellowing that I heard my name come into the conversation along with some snickering. “I guess it’s about that time, oh my gosh, should we?!” …they turned to me. “Aub, should we get you a bra today? Aawww!” The cackling and suspicious levels of enthusiasm did not bode well with me. I tried to act all aloof and swiftly gave an “Alright,… I guess, shut up!” While inside, I was doing “The Carleton” dance.
One awkward hour later, I had, at last, a training bra within my pre-teen clutches. (No underwires though, but I was fine with pacing myself.) At last, my troubles were over I thought! At least until I went down to dinner that night. Everyone was eating and in conversation about what they did that day. My mother recounted various activities of her day and people she had talked to until she recalled a certain detail and her eyes sort of lit up as a grin spread across her face. She turn towards me, “…And Aubrey got her first BRAAAA today! Aw, Little Miss Do-Dah New Bra!” I looked up from a piece of broccoli I was cutting on my plate to four sets of eyes a glow with laughter, worst of all my father and brother. Then an explosion happened. Everyone chimed in their own tune of my new nickname in between teasing me about my recent acquisition for the remainder of dinner… and the rest of the night. Why would she expose me like that? Did she not know that little brothers feed off of this kind of thing?! And that nick name, oh God the nickname…
Little Miss Do-Dah New Bra was a hit. I knew I couldn’t win this battle. I retired to my room, staring at the training bra sitting on my bed. How did things get so out of control? I sat there hoping tomorrow would provide a clean slate; that they would forget about it, leaving me to sail by undetected in my new cotton contraband. Well, let’s just say that was another pipe dream, seeing as to this day, at 25 years of age, and multiple bra ownerships later, I am still often called, “Little Miss Do-Dah New Bra.” (And it doesn’t make me cringe any less than the first time I heard it.)