It is widely accepted in the world of lingerie that you can't hold up D's in a strapless bra. But for those of us who hadn't figured that out yet, we head for the store that houses the largest selection of lacy little pretty "nothings", the Bra Mecca of the Free World, Macy's. As we glide up the escalator to the third floor, we are confident that somewhere in the maze of wall displays and spinning racks of Wacaols, Maidenforms, and Lilyettes, we will find some kind of structural underpinnings to enhance our menopausal figure. And because taking off your clothes in a 2 X 3 foot mirrored closet is abhorrent to most women, we have put off this fun shopping experience to the very last minute. We need that bra NOW, TODAY.
Remember when department stores actually had people to help you find what you came looking for? Macy's used to be known for their customer service years ago, but somewhere in the shrinking economy, point-of-sale computers, and people who won't work for minimum wage any more, finding help is like looking for water in the Sahara. Yea, I know..."go to Nordstrom - they will even fit you!" Nordstrom, however, is 8 miles away and we don't have time...and surely in the middle no less than 3,598 bras, we can find one over the shoulder boulder holder that will work.
After about 20 minutes of wandering aimlessly and combing through the AA's and B's, pads and foams, wires and straps, a sweet little sales lady bearing at least 50 bras dangling from her arms and around her neck asks in broken English if we need help. Upon explaining our frustration with finding sizes, we are dismayed to learn that she will have to go to her computer to see if we have one "that big"...which of course is 100 yards across the department. She totters off and we dive back in. By the time she comes back we have already located the one and only D in that model, which she sweetly verifies. Thanks.
So into the Hall of Mirrors we go, armed with our selections. And because strapless bras must fall down all the time (we don't know this, because we've never owned one), they are made with all kinds of weird feeling rubber and heavy duty elastic bands that look like they would hold up the spans on the Bay Bridge. Getting into one, much less than getting it hooked is a feat that would make even Houdini cringe. While wrestling the thing off the hanger, amid groans and deep breaths, elbows banging on the closet, another little sales lady knocks on the door..."are we okay??" We ask for a bigger size, but to our dismay, she is only the hanger-upper of all castoffs left in the dressing rooms. We put on our clothes again and forge out onto the floor again. This process goes on and on and on...four, maybe five trips back and forth to the closet.
It's a miracle! We find one that will hold up our voluptuous figure. Frazzled and tired we head for the "Customer Service" counter for our purchase. "Oh, you found one", she exclaims giddily. Yes, and thanks again for your help. "Can I put that on your card?" Just coming off the heels of a bad card experience in Sears at the other end of the Mall, we are not inclined to drag out our plastic again. "No, a check". Who said that? A check?
Not having written a check in 10 years, we assume that it just as easy as it used to be and she should be able to handle it quickly. Write the amount, sign, show ID, and you're out of there, strapless D's in hand. Not so, little grasshopper. Even though the sales associate ( that's what they call them now) can see me - I'm right in front of her - and the picture on the ID even looks like me, and the signature matches my driver's license, and I have 50 other forms of identification and a Macy's account, the computer needs an authorization code to complete the sale, and my sweet little sales lady with less than perfect communication skills must call the giant Macy's Customer Service in the sky.
We are not normally a belligerent person, but we have just spent an hour wrestling bras in a closet, gotten dressed and undressed one too many times, and we are sweaty and already late for an afternoon party (where we plan to wear our new strapless D's). And like Sears down the Mall, the person on the other end of the Customer Service line must have a communication problem, cause neither of these two know what the other was talking about or what to do next. When she finally gets the magic authorization code, she hands us our receipt and proclaims blessings on us for a wonderful "rest of the day" and to "stay cool". But we are still reeling from the entire experience and using our inside voice, we want to know (right NOW!) why the need for the authorization of our personal check. It's only $35 for crying out loud - It's not like we are purchasing the Hope Diamond. "It's for your protection - you know...to make sure you are who you say you are.." Are you kidding? Like she can see us through the phone, honey?
Maybe and 8 mile drive to Nordstrom would have been just as quick. In a bit of irony, we proudly modeled our new purchase under our cute little cami-top, the hubby looks and says..."I don't see a real difference, honey - I thought you looked just fine without it." That is all we need - off with the rubber contraption and let the D's be free!