I’ve been thinking about getting a new car.
Because that’s crazy talk, I instead fixed the AC in my car, and then went clothes shopping.
Here’s the deal: I really hate buying bras. First of all, I think they are just way too expensive. You can buy ten pairs of panties for the price of one good bra. And you have to buy the good bras, because I’ve found the ten dollar variety will come apart in the wash, or the underwire will jab through and slice up the underside of your breast. I’m not having that.
But it was time for me to buy some new ones. The old one were getting a bit tired. I took a deep breath, left Eric at American Eagle, and went to Victoria’s Secret.
I found some really cute bras. In 34B. No D’s in sight. I had to walk all the way to the back of the store. In the corner, on the bottom shelf, hidden behind the shameful writing, was one 34D in white. I snatched it, and looked around the store to make sure there weren’t any chesty girls waiting to punch me in the eye for my loot.
I walked around the store. Every bra was padded, pumped, or clicked. They were small, cotton, and without underwire. They had little tiny straps and cute little snaps to close. They looked like t-shirts, or parodies of bras. They looked like training bras that I had when I was fourteen.
I must have looked both confused and frustrated, because it was at this moment that the saleswoman offered some help. “Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Yes,” I said. And perhaps I was too loud, too proud, and too indignant. I took a deep breath, pushed my chest out and said, “I don’t need a Miracle Bra. I don’t need a miracle. I don’t need anything that’s going to push up or pad. I need a 34D. I know that’s a bit of a miracle in itself, but I really need you to find something in a 34D for me.”
The saleswoman realized that I wasn’t embarrassed about shouting those numbers followed by that letter out loud in a store full of tiny women, so she took it upon herself to be embarrassed for me. She lowered her head, gave a tiny smile and whispered, “34D?” Like I had said, “My boyfriend wants me to buy a bra for his penis.”
She looked around the room and bit her lip. “I don’t know if I can help you,” she actually said. A small girl with small lingerie walked up and asked where she could find the thong underwear. My saleswoman perked up when she realized she could show 36C over to the next table.
I asked the saleswoman which bra came with the free panty they were advertising in the front of the store. Again, she lowered her head, gave an embarrassed sigh, followed it with a giggle and whispered, “Those bras aren’t for you.”
I walked away, went to another wall of bras and started pulling open each drawer. I found another. In black.
Score. One white bra, one black bra. Don’t get greedy.
The saleswoman figured out that the “Full Coverage” satin collection has 34Ds. I calmly explained that I own seven of those bras over the past ten years because that’s the only bra Victoria’s Secret carries that they really make in my size. I told her that if my two findings didn’t fit, I’ll just buy another one of those. But I’m tired of them. I really am. I have one in every color, and in six months they just stretch out and die.
I went into the dressing room and put on the white bra. Oh, Lord. I don’t know what they made this with, but clearly they didn’t mean to make it in a 34D. I looked like I was wearing a corset. But in like, a good way. I put my t-shirt on over the bra.
Yeah, baby. I’m like Maime Van Doren.
I took off that bra and tried the black one.
I don’t know. This one was all lace with lace things, and this string in the front. Not really a bra, but kind of a bikini top. The cups only go halfway up the breast, and there are only two closures in the back. I eyed the bra suspiciously. And then I noticed the straps. Little. Tiny. Black. Strappies. Perfect for under tank tops. They don’t normally make bras like this in my size. Clearly someone has made a mistake, and clearly that person has been fired by now. The only thing I have that comes close is this Lycra tube top thing that I wear that doesn’t lift or separate, but just puts my breasts on hold while I wear a tank top for the evening. You can’t even break into a skip in it. I put the bra on, shifted and tucked, held and shoved, wiggled and jutted and made that bra fit, dammit.
I walked out of the dressing room. The saleswoman asked if the bras fit. I asked about the black one.
“What about it?”
“Well, is it supposed to be small and not really lift or separate, but rather push to either side and hold?”
Again, her shame for my ridiculous bosom. “Well, it’s from the Body Collection. It’s supposed to be, like, like your body.”
“Like you’re not wearing a bra at all.”
“Well, it’s doing a damn fine job of that.”
“Ha. Oh. Oh, ha. So, do you want the full coverage satin in beige?”
“Ah, what the hell. I’m adventurous. I’m taking these black lace panties to match. If the no-bra look is in, then I’m sticking with the times.”
My saleswoman looked more disappointed in my than that time I told my mother that I had dyed my hair red.
I walked up to Eric. “Did you find anything?” he asked.
“The two 34D’s in the store. Quickly, we must run!”
“Good job, baby.”
“My new bras will shock you and confuse you.”
“Well, they’re eighty dollars.”
I turned around and he was gone. He was outside the store waiting for me. He does that. He just leans against the railing outside Victoria’s Secret with the other men that have a hard time walking into that store. I don’t know what that is, because that railing-lurk is much creepier than them just walking in and offering to help me find something in peach. “Baby, is this underwire okay? Or is it just going to end up pinching your underarms again?” See, I could use help like that.
“Baby, how come they don’t have any bras in your size in there?” Eric asked as I walked away with my settled-for purchases.
“Because Victoria’s Secret is created to make boobies for girls with no boobies. Their bras are machines that lift and puff and create the illusion of full breasts. I am the enemy. They hate it when I walk in because it looks like I’m bragging. Because they hate me, they don’t let me have any of their toys.”
“Then why don’t you shop anywhere else?”
“I am not going to Foleys and buying a bra that looks like I nurse a tiger cub. It’s disgusting.”
“So, you just go in there and have to hunt down two bras?”
“I’ll tell you Victoria’s Secret.”
“No boobs,” we said in unison.
It’s not up yet, but it will be later. Your summer treat. I’m recapping Young Americans all summer. Have fun. You thought Get Real was bad?