To the few male readers I have, a warning: You probably don't want to keep reading this one. The ladies, most likely, already know what I'm going to be talking about, and they likely agree with me.
Right, ladies? Right.
About a year and a half ago, I went on a shopping mission. It wasn't a fun shopping trip (you know, that kind that's full of, "Oh, look. Cute shoes!"). It was the absolute worst kind of shopping. And no, I don't mean for swimsuits, because as miserable as that is, one suit will generally do the trick for years, so it's not something that bears repeating very often, and frankly, during the process, your middle section (the area with stretch marks and bread dough) is covered.
Bra shopping, however, must be done a bit more frequently. And it's a hideous, hideous experience. You'd think that all the sizes would actually mean something, that the shape and style wouldn't matter all that much.
You'd be wrong.
This time, I had put off the dreaded trip too many times, to the point that my current supports were flimsy and really . . . . well, not doing the job, shall we say. I finally gave in and dragged my toddler—and a feeling of impending doom—to the store.
I wandered the aisles, looking for sizes and shapes that I thought would work best. With about ten different bras in hand, I went to the dressing room, jaw clenched, eyes narrowed, much like facing a lion in its den.
The first bra one was a definite no-go. I tried the second. Same thing. Frustrated (but not surprised), I went for the third. Meanwhile my little girl was getting bored. She began belting the alphabet at the top of her lungs.
After getting her to shush (and nearly swearing because bra #4 didn't work either), I tried on yet another and another, and another. Each one had its problems, which I'll leave up to your imagination, because you women know what I'm talking about, don't you?
None of the ones in the stack came even close to doing the job. I got dressed, and we trucked back out to look for more.
I spent time investigating the displays, managed to gather another armload of potentials, and dove back into the dressing room. This time my daughter noticed feet on the other side of the divider and decided it would be neat to crawl underneath and say hello to the other women on either side of us.
With one arm in a strap and one out, I quickly grabbed her and pulled her back into the booth, trying to explain why there are times we aren't friendly and go out of our way to say hello to people.
In the end (after some two or three hours), I managed to find a bra that worked. I wanted to sing! In such cases, you buy multiples, because you never know when you'll find another one just like it. But there wasn't another of that style in my size. But since I also know that you can tweak sizes just a bit (increase the band size and the cup is a bit smaller, or vice versa), I got another one in the same style and a slightly different size. It would have to do.
Turns out that after wearing either of those bras for about an hour, the result is the "quad effect." I won't describe it further, but again, I'm sure the ladies know what I mean. It's been a frustrating experience. I don't know what I could have done to know this beforehand except for wearing them and staring at the mirror in the dressing room for an hour.
A couple of months after this bra-shopping expedition, I began taking a particularly nasty medication that didn't address the reason I was taking it and instead caused my brain to fall out of my head. Another side effect was making me nauseated all the time. As a result, I lost a bunch of weight. Remember this post?
At the time, I had lots of people wishing they could take the same pills and lose some weight. Yeah, right. And feel as if you're in your first trimester but you're not making a baby? And not even chocolate sounds good? And you're moody and can't think or focus, to the point that not only can you not write, but you're unable to add 6 + 4 without the aid of your fingers? (You think I'm kidding.) It was a miserable period.
So after about three months, my doctor and I decided it would be best to go off the medication. (Very good decision, by the way. Yes, the weight came back when I actually ate food again, but I'm a much happier person.)
But I had lost weight everywhere. So I bemoaned in the doctor's office, "I just bought new bras. I'm going to have to go buy some new ones."
Assuming he knew my concern, he said, "Oh, don't worry. When you go off the medication, you'll get your full size back."
Who cared if I lost a cup size or so? I just couldn't face racks and racks of brassieres and the accompanying trauma that comes with bringing them to the dressing room.
Save me now!
In the end, I just waited for the weight to come back so I wouldn't have to go on another 3-hour torture quest.
But the time has come again. I really need to face the dragon, as the "quad effect" is becoming a real problem.
This time, I'm leaving everyone home and facing the misery alone. To calm the trauma afterward, I'll be treating myself to some chocolate. It's the least I can do for myself.
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