Shelf Life

The article said “70-85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra.” What more it stated “you can look 10 pounds thinner by wearing the correct sized garment.” Sure makes sense I think. The ‘girls’ should be where nature intended to give you a waist otherwise you are sporting more of a bubby look. Reading that tidbit was what landed me at Macy’s lingerie department 4 years ago cruising for an expert. The first person who stopped me to see if I needed help was a perky, in every sense of the word, nubile with a big friendly smile and a size A cup. I have to tell you I am shallow, prejudice, and a crone and there was no way this lovely young thing had the experience I needed in hoisting anything except maybe a Zima or white wine spritzer. I know that is wrong of me to think, but I wanted someone with more experience and cuppage of their own as I was seeking expertise. So I thanked Ms. Acup said I was fine and wandered about looking at styles of under things. Finally I spotted her across the floor close to a fitting room with an armload of bras and slips. She was in her late 60’s maybe early 100’s it was hard to tell. She had jet black hair perfectly coifed into a clever little saucy up do. Her eyebrows were Joan Crawford perfect and the twin set was lilac and so was she when I got closer and got a whiff. “Ah, yes the Bra Whisper” I thought looking at the ancient hills nestled in the faux cashmere sweater at just the right height. Bingo!

Her brushed bronze name tag said “Arlene” and her three pack a day whisky voice said “be with you in a minute hon” as she racked the slips. I hadn’t uttered a word; she must have known looking at me, sheesh that was harsh. Finally Arlene turned and looked up at me waiting “I need to be fitted for a bra.” I blurted.  She nodded once and clicked her dentures twice and led me to the fitting room from where she had emerged earlier.

“Gonna need to measure you hon, take your shirt off let me see what we are working with here”.

I pulled my tee shirt over my head and she looked at my current bra and clicked her dentures again shaking her head slightly.

Arlene slipped the tape measure from around her neck and reached her short arms around me as best she could. I got a full on assault of lilac as a puff of fine powder wafted away from décolletage up into my face. She pulled the tape tight under my ribcage and looked at the number, let it loose and pulled it tight again in a slightly different spot. Then adjusted my arms and went in for a third measurement yet again up against my ribs. Taking a step back she scribbled the number on a scratch pad that she had tucked in her skirt pocket. She then proceeded to measure and manipulate, yes some cuppage occurred in two other areas finishing with notes. Generally someone has to buy me a drink or two to get to second base. Arlene was the first to get there on a first “date” without libation. It was no fun. My face was beet red as I stood there counting ceiling tiles. But when it was all said and done I had the magical numbers from Arlene. She went out and brought me back half dozen bras to try on. The result was astounding. I looked good, I looked thinner, and I looked sexy, hot damn!

I thanked Arlene profusely as she rung me up for my new bras and matching panties. It was not like there was anyone who was going to see them other than me at that point in time but it didn’t matter; it made getting dressed in the morning more fun. I felt better about myself. But this is just half the story…

As most women know we can put on one style in one size and we look wonderful, then try another style in that same size and oh my Quasimodo in a dress. It’s bad, there is a reason why hand guns and bathing suits and pretty lace things are sold miles apart in Wal-Mart. Not to mention the morgue lighting many stores use in the fitting rooms, but I digress. There are times where I think I get it right, I think “oh yea I got it going on”. The sad part is I don’t and the sales girl I asked of the case of the black Bustier in Fredrick’s was either blind, stupid or had a mean streak a mile wide. Other items I had figured out for myself. Some things are self evident. I had been exercising diligently, lost some serious weight and was going on a trip with my beaux. I wanted lingerie something new and well a little tarty. I don’t know if that’s like being a little pregnant but hey I’m going with it.  There were several things I wanted to try one the aforementioned bustier and the second was animal prints. Lastly I threw in rhinestones tastefully done, I know an oxymoron, all this along with a diet mountain dew for stamina.

First off Fredrick’s ofHollywood, really is MOREReno, and has very kind lighting. I am saying that on the onset. That was the first thing I learned in this marathon session of trying scary tartware. The next nugget of knowledge was the only place I can wear rhinestones is the corners on my reading glasses. The third thing that became shockingly apparent was that if you are roughly the same size as the animal in the animal print, don’t even try it on.  It was like a Girls Gone Wild and Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom episode had melted on the same reel of film. Anything over a B cup just won’t work no matter how small the rest of you happens to be. There were some nice surprises in simple push up bras but I was holding out great hope for the bustier. I pulled it on and the sales girl came back to help lace me up and adjust. Yes I was getting very familiar with strange women tugging on my undergarments in the name of vanity, God BlessAmerica. We looked at it and she said “wow you look great.” I was thinking, “yea it’s a little familiar but different, I like it.” Ok different in this context was not good. Different in the context of breast shape can be bad; I just didn’t process it at the time. It was daring, new, and intimated me a little so me being me said, “change is good.” I bought it and a few other items and packed them off toBerlin. Well if Liza could do it…

Late one morning mid trip I planned to try the black bustier. My beaux had gone off to the city pool to do some laps and pick up some rolls for lunch. I jumped into the shower as soon as he was out the door doing all the girlie prep work one does in hopes of hot sex in the afternoon. I heard him come back just as I was struggling to get myself situated in the shelf like cups of Fredrick’s finest. I planned on asking him to do the final lace up and surprise him. I walked out of the bathroom as he was coming out of the kitchen. He paused a micro second in mid step as he looked up, I asked him to lace me up. He nodded and put the bag of rolls back on the kitchen counter. I said something like “I wanted to see if I could get this contraption on by myself.” His sole reaction after that was, “ok there you go, want me to make the sandwiches” then he fled. I got out of it with a whole lot less effort and put it in the bottom of the suitcase.

A month later we were talking in bed and I asked him what the deal was that afternoon. I am smart enough to never ask that kind of thing in the heat of the moment. The less emotion involved the better for this type of query. He sighed and said it looked awful on me essentially doing bad things to my lovely breasts by making them 1950’s torpedos. It was as if Cloris Leachman’s Nurse Diesel had crashed the vacation. Those were not his words but that was the image I got thinking back to my image in the mirror, now I got why it was familiar, drat.


About kyra333

I am a Personal and Professional Life Coach. I work with clients to help them create a life with passion, purpose and clear intent. I make a lot of mistakes, laugh, learn and write about them then then move down the road. I am a true road traveler, a counselor, writer, teacher and student who uses her intuitive skills like it's her job!To Book a Free Sample Session Contact me at
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