Monday, August 6, 2007

My very own personal Victoria's Secret angel

I really am a frugal idiot when it comes to the weirdest things. I have been refusing to spend money on myself -- especially when it comes to the clothes that I'm rapidly outgrowing -- but I'll drop $20 on a nightlight plus shipping because it's for the baby.

(In my defense it really is the cutest nightlight on the planet and completely matches the nursery. Plus, it's no longer available in stores so it's practically an antique or something. Aaaannnddd, I got it on eBay, so I keep telling Jerry that I WON it, which just sounds better.)

In the meantime, Jerry has been listening to me complain about how tight my bras have become every night when I peel them off my skin and inspect the temporary red indents they leave behind and again every morning when I reluctantly put them on even though I crave the bit of support they give me.

So after catching a matinee on Sunday, Jerry practically dragged me across the street to the mall to get a few bras. I reluctantly agreed to get out of the car, but only on the condition that I found cheapo bras on clearance. I am still holding on to the hope that my boobs will return to their previous barely B cup state, which I now know to be pure bliss in the bosoms category.

We went to a department store first and it was absolute chaos in there. There was only one woman working the lingerie section and she looked beyond frazzled as one particular customer plagued her about finding a convertible bra without underwires, which apparently doesn't exist. So Jerry and I waited patiently at the counter while he kept joking under his breath how unnatural it felt to even be in the vicinity of all these "underthings." He said it much in the same way you'd say "writhing mass of maggots." Like the mere act of uttering the word caused a little bit of stomach bile to erupt into his mouth.

Eventually, the saleswoman came around and I explained that being pregnant has done really strange things to my chest and asked if she could measure me so I had an idea of what size I should be looking for. When she announced that I am now a 36D, Jerry thankfully managed to control his mouth from saying anything even moderately celebratory sounding, but his eyes nearly bugged out of his head.

"They're HORRIBLE I tell you," I said when we walked away to scour the racks for something appropriate for my rack.

It was like my first trip to the bra store all over again -- an awkward, floundering mess. Only this time, instead of having my mother with me who was doing her best to gently steer me toward all of the very conservative looks, I had my husband with me who was doing his best to subtly steer me toward all of the very racy looks. And, of course, because my life wouldn't be right without a heaping serving of irony, I wanted the opposite both of those times: racy when I was a kid, boring can-wear-under-anything beige now.

After much digging, I grabbed a bunch of clearance styles, but not without noting how readily available 36B is. Again with the irony -- I would've killed for bigger boobs in my younger years, now I curse them.

Jerry, being the trooper that he is, offered to hold my purse when I went in to try them on and wished me luck.

But finding a good bra is just as hard as finding a good man who will hold your purse in the underwear department. As I rejected them one by one, I felt my self esteem deflating. They were all uncomfortable. Whether the straps were too narrow and digging into my shoulders or the elastic was too constricting, none of them felt anywhere near the supportive relief I craved.

And, of course, because I needed help, the saleswoman was nowhere to be found. When you don't want them, they're up your ass; when you need them, they're sipping coffee in the break room.

I emerged blinking back tears and told Jerry that my old bras would have to do for a little while longer. And, again, being the awesome guy that he is, he immediately translated that to mean: "I need to go to Victoria's Secret, but I can't be the one to suggest it because I really don't want to spend that kind of money, but if YOU suggest it, I will reluctantly agree."

"Victoria's Secret?"

I nodded.

"C'mon," he said, tossing an arm around my shoulders.

Unfortunately, Ms. Victoria discontinued my favorite bra. Just when I needed it most.

Fortunately, I found the best saleswoman in the store who completely understood what I was going through. She was the only one over 19 and had three daughters of her own, who also had daughters. Therefore, she was very knowledgeable about out-of-control pregnant boobs.

She also measured me to be a 36D and Jerry's eyes again popped out of his head even though the information wasn't new this time, then she further proved her expertise by leading me over to the sale rack.

"These are all 40 percent off. If you have three months left, you may need bigger bras eventually, so I'd recommend something cheap, basic, a nude color and comfortable," she said.

Forget those fake wing-clad, skinny-ass models in the catalog. This woman was the real Victoria's Secret angel.

With her help, I found the perfect bra. It supports without leaving red indents on my skin and wasn't scratchy or gougy or ridy-uppy. And it was on sale.

I've always said that there is no better feeling than putting on new underwear, but now I know I was wrong.

It feels downright AMAZING when you're putting on new underwear that actually FITS for the first time in months.


Leslie said...

I swear Victoria's Secret makes the most comfortable undergarments ever.

Their bras are my favorite and are nearly all I'll wear.

Pauline said...

I still can't find that perfect bra. Even Victoria's secret. So I buy lots of underwear to make up for it.

kristin said...

Thank God for helpful sales women who know just what you need :)

Ray said...

Haha funny post. But what you said was true though: "When you need help they're nowhere to be found, and when you don't need them they're all up in your ass!" It's annoying really but I guess things can't always go your way. I am glad that you found the perfect bra especially in Victoria's Secrets. I know that they carry D sizes, but not many. And being a :AHEM: WELL endowed girl (I know what it feels like to want smaller trust me I know) I know what you went through and a billion times more.

It truly does feel great to put on something and know that it fits.

Take, care.

Chelsea said...

They are amazing there, and are so nice. Best thing is that they give crazy coupons, like I have 5 for free body spray!

Meghan said...

Welcome to my hell, except it's ALL THE TIME--I'm not pregnant, that's just my normal size. 36Ds are NOT all they're cracked up to be, my friend.

Kristin said...

I hate bra shopping. All the time. I actually try to avoid it, even though I know that I need new ones. lol.


Rachel said...

I totally understand. I went through the same thing a couple weeks ago...

Janice said...

That's awesome. I ADORE Victoria and her secret... I just wish it was less expensive.

Ashley said...

I love when they have their semi annual sale. I load up on bras and panties. Last time I came home with two huge bags of bras and panties. Who cares that you just paid twice as much as a department store? IT WAS ON SALE!! Plus they fit so well!

Catriona said...

I used to be a manager at a Victoria's Secret and I always felt so bad for those poor pregnant women on the verge of tears. Glad to see someone was able to help you out. As hard as it is for some to believe, there really is nothing better than the perfect bra.

Marina said...

This ALMOST motivates me to go bra shopping too, but not quite. It's still agonizing every fucking time. Grrr.

Wendy said...

VS discontinued my bra size. I found wonder bra lady at Nordstrom's who hooked me up with the most fabulous fitting bra (I was wearing the wrong size for years). And.....$32.....AT NORDSTROM'S! It's amazing how that little piece of fabric can have such an influence on your life.

Wallaby said...

I'm a 36DD and have been for years now. I have been reduced to tears so many times while trying to find underwear that fits. Bras designed for the "fuller figure" woman don't go down to 36" orlook so disgusting that even my grandmother would reject them as just plain ugly. Meanwhile bras I would actually like to wear never go up to double letter figures. Ironically, I had an easier time finding underwear when I had pregnant boobs!

the plainsman said...

Wouldn't know how to respond to this one, except that my Mom took a temporary job for a Christmas season and ended up with a 25 year second "career" in retail, most of it in the lingere section of a good regional department store.

She hated the idea of attending, but when she came back from "bra-school" she was excited as she found that the size she was wearing for years was wrong. So she became expert at fitting them and remarked about seeing customers come back with big smiles on their faces, telling her that they finally felt comfortable.

So for those that finally find the retail clerk who is your "bra angel" take the time to write, not email, a small note of appreciation to the store manager -very few do. It will bring a deserved smile to the one who put that smile on you!

Anonymous said...

Poor girl... 36D? Let me tell you something, though, 36DD is even more obscure, unfortunately. If you DON'T go to Victoria's Secret, then they're mostly old lady bras... unfortunately for a seventeen-year-old such as myself.