Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bra Hopping.

My sisters arrived on Monday. That is why I've been a bit quiet this week. We've been having fun doing the things that sisters do together- shopping, eating, crafting, talking. I am in heaven.
Tuesday morning we decided to go shopping. Not just any shopping but bra shopping. I should have stayed home.
We went into Atlanta where, according to their advertisements, the place that will make you look years younger by fitting you with the proper brassiere is located. My only exposure to bra fitting was in the dressing room at the JC Penney in our local mall years ago, where a rather pinched saleswoman wearing brown pumps and a tightly wound bun in her hair, measured me for the latest in harnessing equipment. I hated every minute. So why then, did I think that this trip would be any different?
Well, first because at this new shop you are not measured. Ever. That in itself was a point in their favor- no cold saleswoman hands wrapping an even colder measuring tape around you. So, off we went, my mom, my sisters and myself, for an adventure of a very different kind.
When you walk into this shop, you are greeted by a hostess who gives you a card to fill out with questions designed to help your personal fitter choose the right bra for you. Dayna and I filled ours out and waited our turns. (Mom and Gayle perched themselves on the bench and read magazines. They made the smart choice.) Our turns came and we ended up in dressing rooms beside each other. Thus ended the calm that you feel when you walk in through the front door.
As I said, you are not measured in this shop. No, instead you are viewed, which means that from the waist up.... um, yes. I was not amused. You are then turned to a rather large, enlarging full length mirror to discuss where you need the most help. Oh, dear. The Fitter then exits to gather a handful of choices, leaving you standing in the middle of the dressing room not knowing what to do. I can tell you what I did. I crossed my arms. Back came the fitter, armed with a rather ominous array of institutional articles of underclothing.
Now, I have been donning underclothes of this type for a long time. Almost forty years, in fact. I've been doing it wrong. Who knew? The Fitter knew. After my lesson in the correct method, I stood up and caught the view in the mirror. I think my blood pressure went up a thousand points.
"Um, this is not going to work." said I.
"What's wrong with it?" questioned The Fitter.
After a minute of trying to explain why, I uttered, "Just trust me. Okay.", my voice weakening with every word because I was finding it very difficult to breathe.
I'm a rather modest woman. No, I take that back, I am an extremely modest woman. So when I caught sight of what The Fitter thought was, "Really, the perfect bra for you.", I burst into tears.
I tried on the next few choices, all yielding the same result- mortal humiliation.
"Do you not have anything that is not quite so, structured?" I implored.
"Well, yes. But you will not get the same result." said The Fitter.
"Perfect. " I squeaked.
The whole time I was in the dressing room I could hear bits of the conversation my sister was having with her fitter, when I was not being chastised by my own. I didn't really want to eavesdrop, but when Dayna's fitter came out with, "Don't forget to do your windshield wipers!" in an all-too-cheery voice, I decided then and there that this was not for me. I thanked The Fitter and told her that I would think about the one item that I felt comfortable in and left the dressing room bearing cheeks the color of a perfectly cooked Maine lobster and sweat rolling down my back. Thus ended my quest for an undergarment that fits me properly. I will now have to go through the remainder of my life looking my age.
I'm good with that.


Betty said...

This is hilarious...and sad...and humiliating...and so familiar! I have always told Jack he could put on my tombstone, "She never had a bra she really liked!"

Your description is so vivid; I can feel the hands and eyes of the 'Fitter' on me as I read it!

Thanks for a good laugh; sorry it was at your expense.

amy said...

oh dear...

whimseycreations said...

OMG I almost can't catch my breath I'm laughing so hard. But not at you - at the memory of me being in probably the exact same fitting room as you and not being able to breathe. And my "Fitter" saying "oh my, yes, you've been wearing the wrong size all these years" - as she put me into one three sizes less than what I'd been wearing. And then her saying "oh no, it's not too small - these are European sizes". Well sucker that I am - I bought two. After a few days of wearing them to work and sitting there all day thinking of nothing but my boobs and how my ribs were being crushed, I took the wires outta them thinking that would help. NOT! In the trash they went. Now at almost 60, as you can probably imagine, my boobs have gone South. To Mexico in fact and don't want to return. I full expect one of these days I'll think one of the dogs is in my lap and it will be my boobs. But since I'm old enough that I can legally be eccentric - I now wear a chemise and to heck with the fact that the girls ride near my waist!

Anonymous said...

Girls, Girls, Girls, ... sounds like you have had a bad experience but a good bra fitting is essensial! It changed my life! You just have to speak up and tell them that you need a bra but you want to actually wear it! I know, (from the shop I went to) that the bandwidth is important b/c it gives you lift, but that the most important thing is that you are happy and in something that you will wear nad that will make a differnce in how you feel and look. I love my new bras and I feel like I look good too. I know this is probably part of what you were trying to acheive but I say, go back or try some place new; it's worth it and so are you.

teddie said...

Oh My...Just the thought of you and your sisters having this outing is seriously amusing. However,think of the memory you made that day. This story will be one your family will remember for years to come..... "Remember the time we visited Karin and went to buy bras" enjoy the rest of your visit =)

Amy Ellen said...

I have struggled with this as well. I have not had a really good fit since geesh I think my sophmore year of HS. As ummm they increased, I discovered that they fit different and underwires, OMG this is the most hideous torture device known to man. Probably created by a man. I remove them from each and every bra I have to buy as they are in each and every bra I have to buy. Sometimes I miss being a B. I feel for you. I really need to go bra shopping and I am looking foward to that about as much as a trip to the dentist. Although at least at the dentist they give you a pain shot, LOL.