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Last week was the week of bra shopping in my world. I haven’t bought any bras in 2 years (because that’s what happens when you’re a 34I and can’t find things in your size near you and so you have to drive 90 minutes to the closest store that actually carries them because you refuse to do online shopping for almost all clothing because none of it ever fits right when you do that and because you have such a disproportionate size your bras are the equivalent of a car payment), and it was just time.

I walked into the store I have gone to for the past decade or so and asked for bras in my size. The woman looked at me like I was a special case (as they always do) and asked if I needed to be measured. I responded with, “No, I’ve shopped here before, and I haven’t really changed sizes.”

Ok, then. She went and brought out 6 different bras, a couple of which were not even close to my size. I think she thought I was joking when I said I hadn’t changed size and that there was no way my band size wasn’t larger than previously.

Joke’s on her; I’ve sold bras before for a few years, and I’m aware of how my body changes through weight gain/loss.

I have to gain a lot of weight before my band size changes. I have not gained weight (have actually lost a little), so that wasn’t an issue.

So I try on bras and find three that fit. One is a lovely red floral print; one is a dark gray/purple in a style I usually get. The third is a shiny nude print and is the exact replica of the one I walked in there wearing. Or so I thought. Apparently the joke is on me, because my cup size has increased even though I have lost weight (band size has not changed).

Cue pissed off face. I have had a hysterectomy. I am not pregnant. My hormones are not going haywire. My cup size has not changed in almost 12 years. What the actual fuck.

Anyway. I take advantage of the tax-free weekend by buying 3 bras for $319 in under 30 minutes and am on my merry way.

The next day I took over watching my kids since their dad had a business trip, and my daughter was so miserable in her bras. Turns out that the last time she went bra shopping was last December with her grandmother, and she’s grown quite a bit in the intervening 9 months.

I have never had the privilege of taking her bra shopping, a fact which grates harshly. One of many small heart-pricks that I have no choice but to let go of. But we rectified that oversight that day.

We wandered into a local department store and were waiting to be measured, but one of the women qualified to measure her was on break, and the other was actively helping someone, so that was out. I turned to my daughter and said, “Fuck it, we’re doing this on our own,” and we went and found what she needed. She didn’t want underwire (who can blame her?), and she wanted something with more support than a standard bra (as she’s still young and runs around at playgrounds when we randomly stop at them). She touched some of the prettier bras, but we agreed that her father probably wasn’t quite ready for her to step into those yet, so we left them behind, something for another day.

We managed to find her 3 bras as well, for under $100 (thank the gods). They’re more flexible sizes, so she’ll be able to grow with them for a bit. I taught her how to wash them and told her to talk to her father or to start washing her own clothes separately if she didn’t think he’d pay attention.

As we walked out, she reached out and held my hand, and it struck me that something that is no big deal to me now is still very much a big deal to her. It’s a rite of passage, one that should be shared between mothers and daughters, and this was the first time we had actually made that journey. It was more interesting with her, as she figured out what she wanted and we hunted for items that fit those specifications. It was the first time she was able to say what she wanted, and it was good. I can’t wait for future shopping trips with her, as I don’t think she’ll be taking them with anyone else but me for a while.

Though I wish her father all the luck the first time she comes home with a black lace bra.

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