I'm not sure why I titled this story "The Bra Story." As if someone who is a 36DD has only one bra story. So, while there may, indeed, be another bra story down the road, this one, for now is "the bra story."
A few months ago, I was watching an Oprah rerun about bras fitting well and how wearing the wrong bra can make you look fatter. As a person who is always looking for an easy way to look slimmer, I thought "Aha! That's my problem. My bra is the wrong size!" (Not sure how wearing the wrong bra can make your belly spill over your waistband, but if Oprah says it will make me look slimmer, I believe it.) All of the ladies were fitted by a bra professional at Nordstrom. I don't normally shop at Nordstrom, but I wanted the right bra and the right fit, so I went. I thought that I would get fitted, find out my correct size and maybe buy a bra. I normally buy mine from One Hanes Place at about $20 each because they are "slightly irregular" but if I had to buy one $40 bra to get a good fit, I would do so. Plus, I need a black one for something I'm wearing that night, so it will be a good excuse to have to buy one.
I walk into the bra department and am immediately approached by a very nice looking young girl. I tell her I'm afraid I'm wearing the wrong size and I want a good bra. She is all too happy to help. We go to the back and I strip to my bra so she can measure me. She immediately says "Well, I can see one problem right now. This bra is very old and the elastic is all stretched out. You definitely need to update your bra." Okie dokey. Slightly embarrassing when you are standing there half nude, but I can handle it. I need to look slimmer. I will tolerate anything to look slimmer.
She finishes measuring me and states that I am, in fact, a 36DD. Which is what I'm wearing now. That cost $13.99 from One Hanes Place. Crap. I'm wearing the right size. Which means that, not only is this a wasted trip, but I'm going to have to buy a more expensive bra just because I don't want to be rude. Oh well. I need the black one anyway. Plus, a bra is a bra, right? I mean, just because it's Nordstrom doesn't mean their bras are all expensive, right? I mean, the most expensive bra I've ever seen is a Wacoal at Macy's and it was like $38. I can handle that once.
Ok, so salesgirl asks me what my preference is...seamless? Strapless? (hell no.) lacy? Plain? I tell her I don't need anything fancy, but I do prefer seamless. You know, when you are wearing a tight knit halter, you need a seamless look.
She offers me a drink before I leave. Diet Coke? Water? They may even have some wine in the back, would I like for her to check? Just water, thank you.
She comes back fairly quickly with the water and 5 or 6 bras in my size. She makes me show her each one, which is, again, slightly embarrassing, but whatever. She is constantly bringing more bras, and after trying on about 73 different ones, I decide on the first black one that I had tried. Which I had told her I loved. But she wanted to make sure. So we're both sure now, and I say I'll take this one. I didn't look at the price tag because of course, a bra can't be more than $40 and I'm prepared to bite the bullet and spend it because I need it and it is a nice bra.
She tells me that they recommend that you buy a nude one and a black one. I'm ashamed to admit that, at this moment, I was intimidated by the Nordstrom brand. I was embarrassed to admit that I could only afford one bra; in fact, I couldn't even afford the one. I was only buying it so as not to seem cheap for coming in to get fitted and drink their water only to say "Ok, thanks, I'll go buy one at Target now." So I caved. I said I would take one of each. $80 on bras? What will Aaron say? He'll say, 'Holy Shit, $80 for bras?'" Oh well, maybe he'll start to seriously consider getting me that breast reduction when he hears about this.
I dress and go out to the checkout counter, where she is happily wrapping my bras in lovely silver tissue paper. No one has ever wrapped my bras before. I could get used to this.
"That will be $148.36 (I don't know the exact cents, so I made up the 36)."
"What's that?" I say, certain that I've heard her wrong.
For the love of all that is holy, did she just tell me that two bras is more than our weekly grocery budget?
I stay cool. "Ok, here's my card." I act as if I spend $70 per bra every day of the week. As if I have all the money in the world and I'm not giving this a second thought. In reality, I'm worried sick...do I even have that much in my checking account right now? How in the hell will we buy groceries next week? How can I get out of this without embarrassing myself?
I can't see any way out of this without feeling like a total douche, so I just pay and walk out of the store. I feel totally sick to my stomach. And then it hits me. I'll just return them later. But I never have alone time to shop at the mall. Could I send Aaron to the store later this week to return them? I can, but he's not going to like returning bras.
So, do you want to know what I did? I decided that since I needed the black one, I'd just keep it. I would never spend that much on one bra, but I needed it for that night and it should last a long time, so I kept it. I wash it lovingly by hand and only wear it when I have to wear a black bra.
Do you want to know what happened to the nude bra?
I went outside, got in my car and drove around to the men's department downstairs. And returned it at the Diesel counter.
Three lessons I learned from this experience:
1. Always look at the price tag. There are people who will actually pay exorbitant amounts for everyday items, such as bras and underwear, so don't assume anything.
2. I need a boob job so I can buy cute little flimsy bras at Wal Mart and Target. Feel free to send donations. Just think...if each of you donated $1 a day (just substitute my boob money for the money you are currently sending to feed the starving children in Africa), I'd probably have enough money for a breast reduction and lift in oh, about 3 years.
3. If you are fat, you will look fat, even if you wear an overpriced, $70 bra.