March 28, 2006

I'm an 'Angel'

I realized, while changing into my sports bra yesterday to go running, that I never recounted the tale of Beedoo Buys a Bra. You know how some stories are funny only if you were there? This one is funnier if you weren’t. Probably because the hilarity would be compromised by your overwhelming embarrassment for the parties involved. See for yourself:

I have two bras that I wear to work. [Now, before you break out the judgy-stick, let me assure you that I have more than that at home, which I do sometimes end up wearing to work, but usually I stick to these two because they’re wonderful and don’t slip all day long. It’s a little like how Anne of Green Gables only had two dresses, one for school and one for church, because clothes are supposed to be for purpose and not pretense, and who really needs more than two outfits, anyways? I mean, if the object of clothing is just to not be naked, if you think about it… where was I going with this? Oh yeah. I have two work bras and that’s not weird. Moving on.] One of these bras is a bit older than the other, and is starting to give out (I got it when I was 21, so it has served me well), and I decide to replace it with a new one of the same make and model.

I feel I owe it to the corporation (and after you finish reading, you will, too) to put in a little plug here, so here it is:

Ladies: How often do you end up adjusting your chest, bumping the twins up so they’re back where they’re anatomically supposed to be? Three, four times a day? An hour? Every time you hit the restroom? Do you slyly attempt an adjustment in the copy room, feeling that it’s folly to ever reach for something off a high shelf? Perhaps you’ve even tried a quickie-prop in your cubicle, after twisting around for a new file folder or cavalierly taking too deep a breath? Let me tell you something: Get a Victoria’s Secret Body by Victoria. You will not have to shift, move, touch or hike those poor tired puppies ALL DAY. It will hug your precious mammaries like banana hammocks of love, and they will stay where you put them at seven in the morning until eight o’clock at night, when you whip it out the right sleeve in favor of a sweatshirt and pajama bottoms. And they last for years.

The Catch: They cost $34.

Now, that’s a damn lot for a bra. A bra should cost… I dunno, twenty bucks, at best. I remember my mother buying four bras at a time at Lane Bryant when they went on sale 2 for $40. Still, that’s eighty bucks on boobwear. That’s eighty bucks on mandatory clothing items that guys don’t have to spend. I wonder if there’s a male equivalent? Ties? I dunno. Do ties cost more than $10? And they’re mostly optional anyways. Bras, not so much.

Sue and I make the trip to VS, and I’m in line with this bra; the only thing mitigating my shopping-guilt is the $10 gift certificate my favorite pink store sent me for my birthday. I have opted for the full coverage (I don’t need an extra fake-boob in my bra, thank you), and just to be extra feminine, I get the pink. They were out of “nude” brown, but the pink was cuter anyway [CD, I know you’re riveted right now]. So Aunt Sue and I are playing with the lip glosses as I’m getting rung up, debating between mint (ugh) and grape (nummers) when the woman at the counter says “That’ll be $27.54”

I think she’s charging me for the lip gloss here, as I checked the price of the bras before I got it, and they’re $34. I put the lip gloss down hurriedly, all “No, I don’t want to get this, I’m just playing with it. Sorry,” I add, hoping she won’t make me pay for an ounce of Melon Passion or whatever the hell. “Just the bra.”

She gives me a wan little smile, and replies, “Yes. The bra is $27.54”

Wait—that’s a lot of tax. Three bucks taxes? That can’t be right. I’m poor, and confused, so I ask, “Aren’t they $34?”

Aunt Sue, rightly sensing a showdown, walks back over to the rack to see who’s right. The saleslady, now thinking she must be wrong, checks the tag. “They’re $36.” She shows me the tag. It is, indeed, $36. Now I’m really confused, because I would have bet a large sum of money (like $36) that the tag I read said thirty-four. Exorbitant, but not unreasonable, especially con coupon. Thirty-six makes it nearly forty, which means it’s still nearly thirty for me. I don’t know what to say, but I can’t argue with the facts, and I really need the bra. I hand over my card as my aunt comes back from the rack; I ask her if I’m crazy.

“No,” she says, “The As, Bs and Cs are all $34. The Ds are $36.”

My mouth drops open. “I’m getting charged more because I have bigger boobs?” I say, a little too loudly, in retrospect.

“Well, it takes more cloth—"

“MARGINALLY more cloth. And I’m a 36D, not like a 40DD—"

“Watch it.” My aunt is even better endowed than I am.

“I mean, it’s not much more cloth than a 36C, so they’re not punishing me for being fatter, just for having larger breasts!”

The saleslady concentrates furiously on the computer screen, willing the modem to speed up. She doesn’t say anything, most likely because she’s not supposed to argue with customers, but her silence only eggs me on, like I can somehow get her around to see my point if I keep babbling.

“I mean, what—two more dollars because my boobs are a teensy bit bigger than a C? Maybe, if everybody were charged more, like As are $30, Bs $32, Cs $34, and so on—then I might understand! But it’s just me! Me and women my size! Like it’s a crime! It’s an unfair tax! Two dollars?! That’s a dollar a boob!”

The saleslady looks up at me at this point with the most brilliant expression I have ever seen. It says “Wow. That is amazing. Two dollars. One per boob. That’s not even really considered math anymore, is it? Also, why in the hell are you still talking?” She said all this. With her eyes. I can hear the people in line behind me giggling, and as I can’t tell if it’s her brilliant reaction or my rudimentary division that made them laugh, I decide to split the difference and (finally) shut up.

For two seconds. Because then I feel like I should apologize to the saleslady.

“They’re good bras, though.” I try.

The saleslady is trained to respond to this comment. “I like them,” she says. Her smile has returned, but it has changed somehow; like soldier who’s come back after a war. She hands me the bag and receipt, and I thank her. She asks for the next in line a little too readily. I scoot out with Aunt Sue, who has an odd expression.

“Are we done here?” She asks. She means the mall.

“It’s not fair, you know.” I mumble.

“I know.”

“I mean, you know that—you’re charged more than I am, probably.”

“Lots more.”

“All because God looked at us and smiled.”

“Yes.”

“It’s not right.”

“Well, they surely know that now.”

If they don’t, I can be assured it wasn’t from lack of trying.
But damn, that saleslady was funny. She’s a rock, I tell ya.

2 comments:

Jessica said...

At one point in my life I was a 42DD, and I'm pretty sure I had to pay close to $50 per bra and they did not have my size in VS. Now I'm about a 36D, and although I still begrudge Vikki, I do own a Body bra. It's good, but I sometimes fall out of the top of it if I bend over.

You know, it's really the A-cups who should be pissed, as they are spending the same amount as those Cs who are using up "more fabric."

Beedoo said...

I can't see a reason an A-cup would ever need the Body bra; they can "make do" with the crap bras at Penney's, or simply go without, which those above a B-cup cannot do. I don't feel bad that they pay extra money in this case, as I think of it as a Freedom From Lower-Back Pain Fee (or Ability to Wear Spaghetti Straps Tax).