DEAR ABBY: It looks like the laugh is on me. Months ago, while reading your column in the morning paper, my husband and I had quite a laugh about the 90-year-old woman who recycled everything and found an unusual use for the "panty" part of control-top pantyhose. She said she used them "to keep her 90-year-old breasts under control." (She'd cut off the legs, cut out the crotch and wear the remainder like a strapless bra.)
A couple of weeks after that letter appeared, I broke a rib in a horseback riding accident. Aside from the pain and shortness of breath involved, I couldn't wear a bra without great discomfort. I tried every bra on the market to no avail. Being well-endowed, going braless was out of the question. I may not be 90, but I'm no teen-ager.
Thanks to that letter, I was able to return to work without embarrassment and in relative comfort while mending. I salute that woman and you, Abby, for letting the world know. You provided a workable, economical answer for both men and women in similar situations. Broken ribs, breast surgeries, you name it. When you need light support without binding, THIS WORKS. -- GRATEFUL AND NO LONGER LAUGHING IN OREGON
DEAR GRATEFUL: Thanks for the testimonial. Recycled pantyhose can be a godsend in more than one kind of "medical emergency." Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Not everyone will have a use for this, but it is a solution for the person with a mastectomy who wears a breast enhancer in the bra.
The breast form is slick, and it can be very embarrassing if the bra is a little loose and the form slides out and drops to the floor. This happened to me twice.
I took a clean knee-high nylon, slipped it over the form, and folded the top across to make a little more filler for the bra. After that, I had no more worries. It was the perfect solution for me. -- ANOTHER RECYCLER, SUGAR CREEK, MO.
DEAR RECYCLER: Bless you for sharing your solution, and bless the inventor of nylons and pantyhose. Something tells me there may be a run on both.