Friday, January 8, 2016

Every Time A Bell Rings, A Mother Buys A Bra

I"ll take five of your Grecian Bust Girdles, please.
Afternoon Readers,


It's a horrible thing to hate your husband during the Christmas season. This year, I pretty much wished peace and good will to all men, except for the one who leaves my cabinet doors open and tells me I look pretty, even when I fall over backwards trying to put on my Spanx.

But let's back up.

Christmas at the Oak Palace was what you'd expect. Santa brought things for all Kellerman children, we put a log in the fireplace, for the first time, and prayed it didn't set the house on fire, and everyone ate enough sugar to gift diabetes to all six of us. It was a silent night. A holy night. And a night I looked at a Victoria's Secret gift card and started hyperventilating.

Husband beamed back at me and nodded. "It's all for you."

What to say? Slowly, I pulled both corners of my mouth into a smile that looked, I suspect, like a cat entering rigor mortis. "Thanks."

"We both know you need new bras. Now you can get what you want."

What I wanted.  What I wanted?

What I wanted was to never go bra shopping ever again. Some women would've hugged that little piece of pink plastic to their chest and flown out the door. I stomped upstairs like the ungrateful ass I am, threw the card on the nightstand, and began rifling through my underwear drawer.

Husband was right, of course. There were bras on display from the Civil War that looked better than what I wore every day.

Underwire? I'd dismantled all those and used most of the wire to grab a bill that had fallen behind the fridge.

Sports bras, my weapon of choice. There's not a thing wrong with wearing sports bras every day, but the problem was mine had ceased being eligible for sports of any kind. Even curling. Carefully, I nudged around the pile of rags I wrapped myself in every day. "You guys aren't so bad." I picked up a rag with two holes in the right nipple. "Probably should throw some duct tape on that."

Deep down, I knew Husband was right, but why did he have to show his love in such an annoying way? The man was infuriating and had, single-handedly, ruined my Christmas. There are few things I hate more than bra shopping:

World dictators who overstep their bounds
Senseless violence
Candy wrappers I can't open with my teeth

But looking for boulder holders is right up there. Especially because it's essentially spending money on self torture. Later that week, as I dragged my feet through the entrance to Victoria's Secret, I was one-hundred-percent sure there were people who'd been hung, drawn, and quartered in the Middle Ages who'd had more fun than I was about to.

"Can I help you?"

The pretty girl with full makeup and styled hair had come up behind me while I had, roughly, five bras in each hand and was trying to figure out whether I owned cantaloupes or speed bumps. For a second, I decided to sound like I knew what I was doing. "No, no. I think I've got it."

She smiled. "So, you know what size you are?"

"A... C... or B. I see there's a D here too. Does that stand for desperation? I'm more or less sure it's one of these. If you sell anymore of the alphabet, things could start to get murky though."

Before I could stop it, she'd whipped out a tape measure and was taking my dimensions in front of the entire store and two people next to the pretzel stand outside.They ordered more salt and watched, captivated. I tried to protest. "This really isn't nec-"

As soon as I'd been violated, it was over and I was handed a card with my measurements. She beamed again. "Wow. Ok, this is what you actually are."

"Well, I guess I did just have a baby. But it's nice to know I could go work at a cabaret, if times get tough."

She shoved me toward the dressing rooms, piled various styles in the corner, and assigned someone to critique my chest. "Hi, I'm Amber!"

I cowered in my kennel. "Hi, Amber. I'm Paige, and this is both terrifying and reassuring that I might buy the correct product. Do you mind closing the door so I can weep quietly for a while?"

She pointed out what to try on, what every bra was designed to do, and instructed me to call her when I was ready to have her size zero frame bounce back down and observe whether my post partum body was strapped down in a way it wouldn't break free and smash the narrow mirror hanging on the wall. "Just hit the call button."

The door closed behind her, and I quickly snapped up a bra that was fashioned to lift, support, and make waffles. "Here goes nothing."

Ten bras and thirty verbal outbursts later, I'd narrowed my search down to two. It'd been a tough battle. Trying on bras has the nasty habit of making a woman painfully aware of what she has or doesn't have, of what's falling out or staying in, and how much fabric it takes to lift one's chest off her ankles and back up under her neck. Tentatively, I hit the call button and Amber appeared like she'd popped in from Victoria's Secret wizarding school. "You ready for me to take a look?"

I surrendered. "Tell me the truth. Does this one fit me right, or am I two steps away from busting out while I Am Woman plays in the background?"

"You look great."


"Really. Oh, and I apologize. It looks like our cleaning person left a dirty rag in here."

"That's my sports bra."

"Oh... I see. Can we interest you in some body spray as well?"

Relieved, I dragged my purchases up to the register and made an investment in proper placement and supported assets. The cashier dropped everything into a pink bag and slid it over the counter to me. "Anything else I can do for you?"

I shook my head. "No, thank you. Unless you have some public stocks I can lock myself into, that's enough mortification for today."

All in all, I'm happy I got the whole ordeal out of the way. I'm actually 100% satisfied with what I bought, and I've begun the long journey of throwing out sports bras and giving them to Husband to mop up oil spills in the garage. I don't hate him anymore. This Christmas was about tough love and doing what needed to be done. But if he doesn't get me something different, like a robe with pockets filled with chocolate, next year, we'll have problems.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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