“Over there. Under…wear,” is a saying that my dad often blurts out. Sometimes he does it multiple times in a row; it’s just the OCD in the Lunzer family. However, his little saying has me thinking about the state of women’s underwear. Yesterday I visited Victoria’s Secret and bought two bras and paid over $100. I know this is the norm at VS and despite believing with every fiber of my mammary glands that this is robbery, I still shop there.
I used to buy bras at Target, Kohl’s or Macy’s, but once I tried my first Victoria’s Secret bra I was hooked…pun intended. I think VS adds an addictive chemical to all of their merchandise, but mainly the bras. Never before had I felt so much comfort and just from their advertising alone, wearing a VS bra made me feel like more of a woman. Not fatter, but rather fancier. And they even fitted me for my correct size. The first 52 times they asked me if I’d like to be fitted for a bra, I bluntly said no. It seemed dirty and wrong. I’m a modest Minnesota gal who believes, the thicker the layers of clothing, the closer to God. However, I am not close-minded so 10 years later, I finally allowed myself to be fitted. I stood there awkwardly as this pretty, blonde, twenty-something named Casey pulled out her measuring tape. We were alone in a dressing room. My palms began to sweat and I wondered, “Am I gay?” I took off my scarf and started to unbutton my blouse when she said, “Oh you don’t need to do that. I can measure with your shirt on.” Denied. I then decided I’d be straight again. She measured me in three different directions. It was over in only a few seconds. “You have a small waist,” she said when she finished. That made me gay again.
When she told me my size, I was shocked. I won’t share it here for fear of losing my nice girl image, but let’s just say it’s how old I’m turning next year and has not one, but two D’s. It’s sad that for the entirety of my adulthood thus far, I had been wearing bras that were too small for me and then wondering why they hurt so badly. I just never thought I was past a C because I’ve always thought of myself as average. I just assumed that if I were a double D, I would have been more successful in life. I would be driving a convertible, have a sweet tan and an older man who was willing to pay for a lavish lifestyle full of trips to Miami and plates full of Paella. But I drive a Honda, am borderline Albino, and only date younger men who pay for a nice lifestyle of trips to the Ruby Tuesday salad bar. I get Ruby’s for my boobies and I had always been fine with that. However, now how was I supposed to go back to all-you-can-eat ham salad when Paella and Miami was an option? And just as I stood up straighter and thought of the new possibilities for my life, I heard another VS attendant tell a younger, tan and much skinnier woman standing a few feet from me that she had the same bra size. And right then I was jilted back to reality. I remembered that all the trophy wives and spoiled mistresses I had ever seen looked like this woman. I continued to stand up straighter as I thought, “I’ll just have to keep working with this sense of humor thing. And who am I kidding? I love ham salad!” I then looked at my pretty breast-mate and whispered, “Don’t forget you’re SPF when you’re in Miami.” She gave me a strange look. She didn’t get it. They never do.
I followed Casey to the section with the actual Victoria Secret brand bras. Not the Pink brand. The Pink brand is marketed to high school and college girls and is a lot cheaper, but when I tried to enter that section of the store, there seemed to be some kind of “No Women Over 30 Allowed” force field that I couldn’t break through. It was so strong that I just decided to forge ahead and into the adult bra section. The section that greets you by saying, “You’re going to need your credit card for this.”
Casey asked me if I wanted a push up, padded, full coverage or demi-type bra. I had no idea. I knew that I didn’t want padded because I’m the type of gal who likes to draw as little attention to my chest as possible. Before taking a plunge into the Victoria’s Secret life-style, I was a fan of the sports bra…when I wasn’t playing sports. My friends would make fun of me. “Oh we’re going to the club? Just let me go put on my fancy sports bra and then layer it with one tank top, two sweaters and a scarf. Sexy!” In college my best friend hid all my sports bras from me. This was my bra-intervention. I felt like a piece of me had died that day. I was being forced to say good-bye to a great, supportive friend who helped to create a really classy uniboob and was extremely helpful when I ran that one time. I decided on the demi-style bra because lately I’ve been very pro-Demi Moore. I think she’s getting a bad rap and I’m really pulling for her to get that Red Bull addiction in check and seek her revenge on Ashton Kutcher by blowing up the set of Two and a Half Men. Of course John Cryer will survive because he will always be “Duckie” to me (Pretty in Pink movie reference).
After deciding on a few demi-style bras, Casey showed me some “cute new underwear we just got in.” They are called, “Cheekies.” I was well aware of Cheekies. These have not only hit the underwear scene, but the swimsuit scene as well. As if wearing a swimsuit wasn’t bad enough, they now offered bottoms that bunched in the middle and left your butt cheeks hanging out, which creates what I like to call a quasi-wedgie. And for me, if you’re going to creep up the trail, don’t be coy, just do it. I kindly declined to step into the world of the Cheekie. I had just about enough with my new bra size. So I paid for my bras and thanked Casey for her help and she replied, “Of course. But we also have full-size briefs if you’d be more comfortable in those.” I smiled, walked out the door and was straight again.