I went bra shopping this afternoon. At Nordstrom, a place I typically do not frequent. I rarely wear a bra and I can't remember the last time I actually bought one, as I pretty much gave bras up at the height of my second hippie phase (hippie phase number one began my sophomore year in high school, but then I went through an inexplicable preppie phase in college, even going so far as to A) match things and B) tuck my shirts in. I don't really like to talk about this period of my life, but I'd recovered by my early twenties).
Every now and then I TRY to wear a bra, but I always end up sneaking into a bathroom to take it off within a few hours. Bras are uncomfortable. Plus, I teach high school -- sexy is not exactly the look I'm going for.
But then Lulu started posting pictures of her boobs (for a good cause) and when I mentioned that I had boob envy, she assured me the secret lies in the right bra. Which is exactly what my friend Kate who runs a chic-chic lingerie shop in Charlotte lectures me about almost every time I see her. So I emailed Kate and she sent me to Nordstrom.
And that is where my heart got blessed by the bra lady. After she measured me (because did you know that 85% of women are wearing the wrong size bra? the horror!), brought me some bras to try on, and checked them out to discover that none of them were working for me, the bra lady said, "Well bless your heart!" as she rushed off to find ten or twelve more bras for me to try on.
"Bless your heart," for my readers in The North, is what Southern women say to indicate that they feel sorry for you. Most of the time, they really do feel sorry for you and "bless your heart" is a genuine expression of sympathy. Some women, however, use "bless your heart" to disguise bitchiness. As in, "You look like you've gained about 50 pounds, bless your heart."
I think the bra lady meant it nice. But still. "Bless your heart" is not exactly what you want to hear when you're trying on bras. It kinda makes you feel like your boobs might be, well, fucked up.
As it turns out, my boobs are not fucked up (or at least that's what I'm gonna keep telling myself). It's just that on those rare occasions when I do wear a bra. . .get this. . .I've been wearing the wrong size. Like by a lot.
So I bought a bra. A LACY bra, for the love of god. And I think I might even like it.
There you go. One small step for Wacoal, one giant leap for patriarchy.