Sunday, May 31, 2009
I didn’t mean to lose 18 pounds. I meant to lose five. All I wanted was to get out of the large Kelly green tie-dyed cotton shift that I’d bought to wear over bathing suits because it was big, stretchy, shapeless (and the only thing that fit me), and back into my own clothes.
But I joined Weight Watchers with two friends who started losing pounds hand over fist, and, as usual, I didn’t want to feel left out.
It only took a few weeks before I could fit into all my old clothes, and then in a few more weeks those clothes became too big so I had to dig out older clothes that, yes, fit, but were so old they were shamefully outdated. One of my Weight Watcher friends gave me some now-too-big-for-her clothes (which was irksome but I took them anyway) and between those and dropping a bit of coin at The Gap, I got through the winter on my tight budget.
When spring arrived and sweaters were shed I had to face the honest truth. My bras had to go.
There’s a lingerie shop in town that’s not cheap, but it’s the only place I’ll go for bras. The women who work there are breast wizards and one of them has spent so much time assessing and adjusting me over the years that I feel like we should be dating. I walked in last week and (borrowing a phrase from a friend) said, “I lost 18 pounds and my breasts really took a hit.”
“Off with your shirt,” she commanded, and sent me back to the fitting room. She looked me hither and yon. Then, “Let’s start with a 34C.”
She was already out on in the racks when I called after her. “Don’t bother,” I said. “I’m not a 34 and I’m not a C.” My old bras were 36Bs. They were just a touch roomy.
She brought back four bras, all 34Cs and each one fit as if it were custom made. This made no sense to me. My breasts had gotten smaller, not bigger. How could I have gone from a B-cup to a C?
My tennis mates explained it all the next day during our Talk About Our Undergarments Break (usually taking place between Warm Up and our first Fun Tennis Game With A Stupid Name). “When you go down a number-size, you increase a cup-size.”
They all knew this. Does everybody? I’ve been wearing bras for almost 37 years and this information is brand new to me.
I’m out of work right now and I know that spending $80 on two bras is probably not the most prudent decision to make. But I swear to God, what I really feel like is that I'm the $80 beneficiary of an $8000 boob job.