I reached into my coat pocket today and found a sock. Just one. It’s been there for about three weeks. I know this because this was easily the tenth time I’ve reached into my pocket, felt it, questioned what it could be, pulled it out, rolled my eyes, reminded myself to put it away and shoved it back into my pocket. I had found it in the trunk of my car after a recent trip to Virginia (it had somehow gotten separated from its mate.) I was already running late, so I just shoved it into my pocket thinking I would put it away when I got home. It is a metaphor for my life.
Side note: I used a 12pt Sarcasm font for the part of my resume that says ‘outstanding organizational skills’.
Unfortunately, I did not inherit my mother’s love of order (or her love of cooking, cleaning and waiting on her husband hand and foot.) My husband can find some solace in the fact that I also did not inherit her love of expensive clothing. Of course, that may be less about defying genetics and more about body composition.
There was a time – back in my 20s – when my greatest joy was shopping. I felt as much at home at the mall as I did on my sofa. My body has changed quite a bit since then. It’s not just that it has gotten (considerably) bigger; it’s that it has kind of…shifted. Lower. And wider. I’ve searched far and wide and have yet to find a store that caters to my body type/shape – pizza dough butternut squash. The quest for clothes that will fit, be flattering and maybe even give the illusion that I weigh 20lbs less (ok, 40lbs less) is demoralizing. I have a better chance of finding a unicorn in my linen closet.
Take today, for instance. I decided to go bra shopping, which I’ve decided is even worse than bathing suit shopping because, as disturbing as it is to see my bathing suit-clad reflection in a fitting room mirror, there is comfort in the knowledge that I will only be seen in the bathing suit on rare occasions. The bra, however, is another story. The bra is the accomplice. The bra and its owner work together to create an illusion. A good bra is at least as important to the female psyche as good hair, good shoes and good friends. An ill-fitting bra is like a friend who can’t keep a secret.
My bras are the National Enquirer of undergarments.
It’s not entirely my bras’ fault, though. Holding up my breasts has to be exhausting. I can almost hear my bras sigh with relief when I take them off. I’m a 36D, but not the good kind you see in Victoria’s Secret catalogs. My breasts are simply A-cups that were stretched and (rather unceremoniously) dropped. Lifting them and keeping them in place requires Herculean strength and endurance. Most bras give in after a few weeks.
Side note: Someone needs to invent Viagra for breasts. It would fly off the shelves. I would accept virtually any side effect if I could take a pill that would lift my breasts – even for just a few hours. And I would never contact my doctor if it lasted more than four hours (except to say thank you.)
I dragged Jack to the Vanity Fair outlet for moral support (and to hold my coat while I was in the fitting room.) Normally, I avoid taking him shopping with me because he’s a bit of a retail anchor. He either stands three feet away from me with the most pathetic look of boredom on his face, or he asks if I would mind if he waits in the car while I shop. He’s usually better at the Vanity Fair outlet, though. It has endless racks of inexpensive clothes (really inexpensive, like t-shirts for $1.87.) He’s like a kid in a candy store. He stocks up on work shirts and jeans, then he spends an inordinate amount of time looking at their (often inappropriate) novelty t-shirts.
Speaking of inappropriate novelty items, during our recent trip to Florida, Nancy took us to the Daytona Flea Market. It was the best people-watching experience I’ve ever had – white trash and bad hair as far as the eye could see! At one point, Jack stopped to get a beer while Nancy and I strolled along looking at the different offerings that were available. As we walked past a table of baseball hats, I pointed to one that said ‘Don’t Ask Me 4 Shit’ and made some kind of snide remark about the type of person who would buy that hat. About three minutes later, Jack caught up with us. He had a beer in one hand, a bag in the other and a huge grin on his face as he pulled his new hat out of the bag. True story.
So, aside from having to shoot him down when he wants to buy, say, a fleece-lined hooded jean jacket or a t-shirt with a muscular torso graphic on the front of it, he’s usually pretty good about being patient and keeping himself entertained at Vanity Fair. Good thing, because I spent over an hour finding and trying on eight different bras and couldn’t find one that fit right. Depressed and disgusted, I gave him the bad news as we approached the register:
Me: You know how you said I could get a tummy tuck? Well. I think I’m going to have to get new boobs, too.
Jack: You know what I’m going to get?
Me: No, what?
Jack: A second job.
I think I’m going to go shopping for a new handbag tomorrow. They still fit perfectly.