I therefore recently made a pilgrimage to the "mecca for mammaries," otherwise known as Victoria's Secret (I hadn't dared go there while I had been nursing, as it just seemed shameful to defile such high-priced undergarments with bodily fluids... even if those fluids were technically edible).
I walked into the store, tingling with excitement and anticipation -- I was finally going to have some sexy bras again! Three cheerful employees immediately descended upon me, eager to please, with tape measures ready.
I was a tad nervous about what was about to happen. After all, my breasts had gone through quite an ordeal; during the past year and a half I had helplessly watched them undergo a complete transformation. Much like cooked marshmallows, they had first puffed up and leaked sticky white stuff everywhere, and then, spent, they had drifted downward into limp, lifeless blobs. Given the right angle, they now bore a disturbing resemblance to what one might see on a woman grinding flour against rocks in Zimbabwe.
I held my breath and waited to hear my measurements.
"You're between a 34 and a 36C," the employee chirped cheerfully, and I breathed a sigh of relief. At least they hadn't gotten significantly smaller; they had just changed shape and location. There was hope!
The employee advised me to go with the 36, because it would be better to err on the side of having too much room than not enough. I was promptly installed in a cute little room and given a box of bras to try on. Anything that "worked for me" was to be hung on the post on the wall. All other bras were to go back in the "reject box."
I tried on the first bra, and the transformation was both instantaneous and miraculous! I had gone from saggy pancake breasts to something that resembled perkiness, and the whole operation had moved my boobs up about 4 inches. I was amazed, and my boobs were VERY happy.
I did a little jig for joy, and that's when I noticed an unfortunate problem -- boing, boing, boing... the bra wasn't keeping "the girls" in place; there were several inches of floppage happening in all directions when I bounced. It was an obscene, fleshy boob-show, and I was horrified. I looked around for a call button -- I needed a boob doctor, STAT!
I couldn't find a button, and after offering a few weak cries of "Heellllooooooo" and getting no response, I was debating which would be the better idea: peeking out of the fitting room with just the bra on, or changing back into my clothes again and walking out to find someone. I decided on neither. I put the bra in the "reject" box and put on another. Same problem -- boing, boing, boing.
This just couldn't be right. I continued making my way through the box and had tried on all but one bra when one of the smiling attendants appeared again. Her smile faded when she saw not a single bra hanging on the "this works for me" rack. Apparently, nothing was working for my rack. I hadn't been to Victoria's Secret in a looooong time, but I was pretty sure the Hop-and-Flop I was experiencing wasn't par for the course.
I did a little bounce to demonstrate the problem, and the girl frowned and admitted that something wasn't right. She went off in search of a bra with "heftier straps." Of course, the whole point of going to Victoria's Secret was to not buy a bra that could double as construction equipment, so at the mention of "heftier straps," I visibly paled. As it turned out, it didn't really matter -- she returned empty handed anyway.
Determined to get something, I tried on the one item left: a rather intimidating multi-way, multi-function, strapless/halter/criss-cross push-up mega-bra. It didn't look particularly comfortable, but I was desperate.
Lo and behold -- it worked! My boobs were in the right place, and when I hopped, nothing flopped!! I was overjoyed, and my boobs were happy too! (See visual aid below).
The next night, my hubby and I were scheduled to go out on a date (a rare occurrence these days)! I pulled out a slinky black dress, wrestled myself into the "suck it in" elastic contraption I had purchased to hide the flabby rolls that had appeared since the bearing of my second child, and put on the new bra. I donned my little black dress and assessed myself in the mirror. I looked good -- almost like my old self.
However, as I was getting ready, I noticed something weird. My boobs were slowly going from perky to pooped. The bra was simply not staying up as time went by, and as it slowly wiggled south, it took my breasts with it, resulting in the following unfortunate look:
The following week I marched myself back into Victoria's Secret, found the first smiling employee I saw, and frantically relayed the entire story, all the while waving the offending bra around in the air as if I was at some type of sports rally for underwear.
She thought the problem was probably that the band was too large and suggested I try a 34....but not a C. Apparently when you go down a band size, you go up a cup size (who knew?), so I was magically now a 34D.
I tried on the 34D, which kept everything in place nicely but felt rather like a boa constrictor wrapped around my ribcage. Well, comfort is just one of those sacrifices we make in the pursuit of beauty, I thought. I purchased the new bra and headed home.
I arrived home and explained the whole scenario to my husband, who was a tad annoyed at the situation. "Why the heck didn't you just return it?" he asked, staring at the new bra with incomprehension. I tried to explain how important it was to have a nice bra. He countered with, "So you paid fifty dollars for something that's extremely uncomfortable? That's ridiculous!"
It was at this point that I realized I would have a really hard time justifying future bra purchases at Victoria's Secret. I sheepishly offered, "Well, at least now I know my correct size."
"Great!" he said. "Go back to Target and get some cheap bras in your correct size."
So I did. I bought several functional, sensible, full-coverage bras at a reasonable price. And when I caught him staring at me while I undressed the following evening, I asked him what he thought of the new bra style.
He grimaced and said, "Well, it kind of leaves... everything... to the imagination, doesn't it?"
I gave him a patronizing smile. "Well, what the heck were you expecting? VICTORIA'S SECRET!??"