I'm in Nordstrom, in the bra section, having an existential crisis. I
think I am here to buy larger, perkier breasts. Or maybe I am here because
there's not enough time to do anything between work and therapy except more work
or Nordstrom. |
I am efficient at Nordstrom. I know the sections I like, and I never get caught on the wrong side of the escalators. The first time I shopped in Nordstrom, I took Tano's credit card and spent two hours looking for one shirt for my first day of work. Now I know I like silk button-downs and knit v-necks for work and I can buy one in ten minutes.
The bra-fitting expert walks through the department with a tape measure around her neck and maybe a board up her back because her posture is very straight. She asks me if I would like help and I remember reading in the Harvard Business Review that Nordstrom has great customer service because the employee manual has only one rule: Use your best judgment. I wonder if this means that my breasts are so incorrectly fitted that I look like I need help. I have her measure me for my bra size because I know that Cindy Crawford would not buy a bra without being measured, and I'm trying to stop buying clothes like I'm unemployed/struggling/trying to finish graduate school. I want to be something else.
But if I had one hour to live, I wouldn't choose to spend it having the bra expert measure my breasts. I might choose to spend it with Daniel, but it would be such a sad hour that maybe I wouldn't even tell them I was going to die. Maybe I'd spend the last hour writing something because how else can you cope? I think that's why suicide notes are so popular.
I am estimating that I have forty more years at least. So I can afford a few hours in the bra section. I leisurely look for breasts I admire. I read in Cosmo that breasts are one of the things that you could improve with surgery but also with shopping. Where are those bras and what else could I improve with shopping? I need to know now before I have kids that take up all my money.
The dressing room has mirrors at angles that let you look at yourself from many views. I look at my professional wool pants and button-down silk shirt, and it's hard to believe it's me. I think about the volleyball player in shorts and a T-shirt. In my bra and underwear I look at the fat rolls that are beginning to form on my back, and it's hard to believe it's me.
I try on four bras that make my breasts look huge, and I buy the one that is the least bulky under a sweater. I try on two bras that aren't really bras but tight tank tops for wearing under sweaters so you don't show bra lines. I need this tank-top thing because bra lines look bad under tight shirts, especially with the developing fat rolls on my back. All the bras squash my breasts in order to hold them down seamlessly. I choose the one that doesn't itch.
I sit on the plush, pink velvet dressing-room stool in my itchless, lineless tank-top bra. I rest my elbows on my knees and I don't look in the mirror because even women who aren't models know the positions that make them look worst. I wonder if it is appropriate to buy an assortment of bras that will create an assortment of breast sizes at work. I am trying to be consistent because good management is about building trust, and how can people trust me when my breasts change size from day to day? But I don't want people to see my lines, and I don't want to seem like I am so flat-chested that I have no life outside of work, even though I know that a good manager knows that no one wants to know about your life outside of work even though they say they do. This is why I think a good manager goes to therapy, even though I haven't read it anywhere.
I decide to buy both kinds of bras. I buy the big-breast bra in black and brown. I am excited. I like buying clothes for work and I like getting up in the morning and putting on my work clothes.
I go to Borders and buy Mary Gaitskill's new book because I need to feel like I still have an edge.
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