I'm not like those women in gym locker rooms that walk around naked as if they're taking an afternoon stroll through a rose garden. I'm not immature about it, I just think putting on my intimates before bending over to blow dry my hair in front of a room full of strangers is common courtesy. It's that same line of thinking as to why I prefer to try bras on privately. Surely I know if something fits or not, I don't need a stranger manhandling the ladies like she's trying to stuff bread dough into ziplock bags.
That's why I became really irritated when bra shopping with my older sister.
"Surely, you can't be serious. There's no way you're a 36 C. Absolutely no way. You're probably a double G or something. Here let me get some help," she told me while I was holding the latest leopard print Victoria Secret demi.
"Excuse me, I'm not a double G - and I don't want any help trying it on. I'm fine by myself."
"No, you're in bra denial and you need to be measured."
"Seriously, stop it. I'm trying this on by myself. Do NOT get somebody."
"Ok whatever. Wear a bra that doesn't fit. I don't know what the big deal is."
Honestly, I didn't really know what the big deal was either. All I knew is that I didn't want all that hullabaloo over trying on a few bras. Plus, it was laundry day so I was currently wearing a bra I had rode hard and put away wet many times before. It was like a child's favorite stuffed animal that had lost an eye and stuffing was coming out of the stitching. This old girl and I had been through some tough times together, but she had been strong and supportive all these years and I didn't want to let her go. The last thing we needed was a sassy 19 year old with a measuring tape around her neck judging us.
At this particular store, the dressing room doors opened up to the main shopping floor - there wasn't a separate room you entered to get to a dressing room. As I made my way into a vacant one I immediately heard my sister outside talking to someone. "Excuse me, can you help measure my sister? I think she's shy about it, but she's in serious denial about her boobs. She's in there trying on a 36 C and we need to intervene quickly."
"Oh yes, right away," she said as if I'm in there heating up meth crystals on a spoon.
Suddenly, I heard someone pounding on my door like the cops. "Alright, honey - let me in so I can see what we're dealing with."
Oh no, I thought to myself. It sounded like my sister solicited help from Wendy Williams. Why hadn't she pulled aside the meek younger girl I could intimidate? With just a few words, I could tell this lady wouldn't be putting up with any of my bull-crap.
"Ummm, well ... I don't know, I think this bra looks just fine. I've got it. Thanks, though."
"You've tried it on already? Oh, no. Put on the bra you came in wearing and let me in so we can get you measured up right."
I glanced over at my tattered bra that was starting to look like old dish rags sewn together and suddenly I grew flushed and hot.
"Um, no I think ..."
"Anna, don't be stupid! Let her in!" My sister shouted at me though the door.
Ok, this was starting to get ridiculous. I have my sister and Wendy Williams standing outside my room in a public (and very busy, may I add) Victoria Secret, trying to get in my dressing room like I was holding my new leopard print bras as innocent hostages.
It was then I realized not letting her in would be far more awkward than having her wrap a measuring tape around my boobs. I begrudgingly threw on my old bra then cracked the door open ever so slightly, considering the door opened up to, you know - the entire mall basically.
Wendy, I'm going to keep calling her, grabbed the door and threw it open. My sister was standing there, grinning, proud with approval, as well as some random woman behind her looking at panties.
Wendy paused when confronted with the state of my current bra, but like a total professional, didn't let her shock affect her stride.
"What size bra are you wearing now?"
"A 36 C."
"Girl, we both know you ain't no 36 C!"
"That's exactly what I told her!" My sister said, now sitting in the dressing room with her legs crossed. "See, buddy? It's so good to know what size you are so you can actually get a bra that fits."
I felt something tingly go over my body, like a slight rush of humiliation. I am a grown-ass woman and nobody cares!
"Alright, lift your arms up for me."
I lifted up my arms, then by the blaring glare of giant bulbs overhead, realized I hadn't shaved in a few days. I mean, honestly - everyone just leave me alone!
"What do you think she is, a double G or something?" My sister casually asked.
"Get off the freaking double Gs!" I snapped.
"Arms down ... oh no, she's not a double G ... she's 38 D."
"Really?!" My sister and I said in unison. Except I was shocked they were that big and my sister was shocked they weren't bigger.
"I'm gonna go get you some bras in this size," Wendy said as she grabbed the smaller bras I had chosen. Then, chuckling to herself said, "Comin' in wearin' a 36 C ..." then swung the door wide open as I stood awkward and shirtless in police interrogation room lighting. Quickly I pulled the door shut.
"I'm going to go check out their Pink stuff," my sister said getting up. "Call me when you have your new bras on." Then she left, also swinging the door open - then just left it open! Why is nobody respecting my privacy?! I pulled the door shut, yet again, just in time for a woman to walk by and shoot me an awkward half-smile.
Within moments, Wendy was back. "Here you go, honey. Try these on."
So, I did. And you know what? It was glorious. It wasn't tight, but I felt secure. Everything seemed to lay exactly how it should. I twirled around a bit and thought maybe this whole measuring thing was a good idea, after all.
Boom, boom, boom! My door rattled. "You got 'em on honey? I'm comin' in!"
Before I could even respond I heard her key fishing around in the lock. Wendy swung the door open like she was making way for a king. Again, I stood there - now in my new shiny bra - for the entire Victoria Secret to see. Behind Wendy, my sister with a grin swooping up like a ray of sunshine, standing next to my mom who had returned from exchanging a top at Anne Taylor, just in time from for my grand reveal. Behind them - some man with a stroller staring at me like a deer in headlights.
"Now this is what I'm talkin' about. How does it feel?"
"Good, good - can we just shut the ..."
"Oh BUDDY! You're like a new woman! Aren't you so glad we had her measure you?"
Then my mom chimes in. "Let. Me. See! Do you love it?" She dropped her bags to get a good look. Apparently no matter how old I am, I'll always be the freaking baby around here. It was like they were all watching a two year old put on her brand new Easter dress. It was a leopard print bra that fits for cripes sake, everyone take it easy!
"Ok you guys, yes I like it. Can we shut the door?"
"Oh, who cares," my sister said. "No one's paying attention." As she's saying that, I looked past her to yet again make eye contact with the dad with the stroller. Then another woman walked by, did a triple take and scuttled off out of view.
"Ok, that's enough I'm shutting the door!" then I slammed that puppy shut right on their proud, gleaming faces.
I was about to take the new bra off until I looked at my old one, once a beloved old friend, now looked like a worn out old hag that just had to go. I ripped off the tag on my new bra and put on my shirt. I grabbed the rest of my things with a bounce that can only be described as a newly confident pep in my step. Who knew a little extra non-bulgy support for Laverne and Shirley (those are my boob's names, I forgot to mention that earlier) could have such an effect?!
I hate to admit that my sister was right. Granted, I could have been treated with a little more respect - but that was several years ago and I'm still reaping the benefits of her aggressive wisdom.
So thanks Buddy, this one's for you.
This post was originally published on HaHas for HooHas March 3, 2013.
Picture credit: Lode Van de Velde