It’s been emotional these past two weeks. I’ve cried a lot. Apparently, I’ve also made a lot of you cry.
But not today.
Today we’re going to laugh.
At my expense.
Now I feel that men get off scot-free in a lot of departments: they don’t get a period, their bodies don’t go through the crazy train that is 10 freaking months of pregnancy, let alone the crazy train that is 10 freaking months (practically) of childbirth. No menopause. No using that embarrassing inner thigh machine at the gym – I swear a guy invented that.
And they don’t have to go bra shopping.
Which is where our story begins.
I hate bra shopping with a passion. I would rather shop for the post childbirth ‘special’ underwear my midwives recommended I purchase than shop for a bra. I would rather shop for the post childbirth ‘special’ pads (weirdly located in the incontinence aisle) than shop for a bra. So yeah, I don’t like it.
But after I stopped breast-feeding, the girls shifted again. My bras didn’t exactly fit, but they didn’t exactly not fit. Which was good enough for me.
Until it wasn’t.
I started feeling uncomfortable all the time. Wires were digging into my rib cage. Shirts weren’t sitting right. And other things were sitting kind of further down than I remembered.
And so I bolted into my local La Senza with all the focus of an Olympic sprinter, eager to get this thing done in 10 seconds flat.
I swiftly grabbed 4 different sizes of shiny nude (I know, exciting right?) bras and beelined it to the dressing room, as a gaggle of 13-year-olds giggled over the lace thongs. Seriously, where are their mothers?
Horror of horrors. None of the bras I picked out worked. By this time I was sweating after all the hooking and lifting and adjusting. Seeing me make a mad dash back onto the floor, one of the store employees-wearing the way-too-professional trademark black blazer-caught up with the tornado in the nude bra section. She kindly, and pointedly, asked if I needed help.
I was in too much of a hurry and too emotionally depleted to act competent. Or sane.
So I answered with a semi-frantic “Yes”.
I had barely agreed when she bustled me back into the dressing room for a quick series of measurements. Within minutes, my newfound buddy reappeared with an armful of undergarments. The tags all had helpful identifiers such as: Triple X! Super Push-Up Extreme! Beyond Sexy!
Instructed to call for her once the first bra was on, I wriggled into one and nervously opened the door a crack.
She immediately strode in and took charge of the situation. My situation.
She looked me over as I imagine a farmer looks a cow over at a livestock auction.
“So . . , ” she began, “your right is bigger than your left. Has that been a problem for you?”
“Erm, yes, ” I answered, eyes downcast, as if I my life had been much maligned by the freak show on my chest.
Actually, it hadn’t. I had never thought about it.
After a size adjustment was made for my apparent lopsidedness, the fashion show continued. My new BFF camped by the door, ready to weigh in on each fun and fabulous new option. Three bras in, I realized I was on way more intimate terms with her than, like, all my friends. So we exchanged names, shook hands . . . now it really felt civilized.
After the initial batch, there were no winners. But halfway through the second pile (seriously, 2 piles of nude bras), I found the one.
I hate to default to the cliched ‘Hallelujah’ chorus. But that’s what it felt like.
Jubilantly, I exited my stall (with clothes on). I did it! I can conquer this candy-colored-Triple X-extreme-underwear circus! I am woman!
My new bestie/store employee shared in my joy and we had, I feel, a special moment together.
While in line to pay, she asked if I would like her to write down the style and size, in case I forgot.
“Sure,” I breezily replied.
She handed me the card and I tucked it into my purse.
It wasn’t until my one-year-old fished it out the other day that I read my classification:
Beyond Sexy Level 3
Now there are only 4 levels. So somehow I ended up with something that doesn’t sound like anything a good Christian girl should have in her closet.
But what the heck.
I’ve had a kid.
I’ll save Level 4 for after my second. If I have more than that, there better be a 5th level available by then. Cause I’ll probably need it.
Or at least the left one will.