A Nice Pair: Two Stories from the World of Lingerie

Written by Melissa DeWilde

1. Mel Gets Hit On.

Random ICQ Guy (Teas) - Can I ask you some personal questions?

Me - You can ask all you want, but I?m not guaranteeing they'll be answered.

RIG - What size bra do you wear?

Me to Rev.m on IRC - This guy on ICQ wants to know my bra size. What should I tell him?

Rev.m - Tell him it's irrelevant since the car wreck.

Me to RIG - Well, it's really irrelevant since the car accident.

RIG - Wow! Really?

Me - Yeah, me and a friend were driving around town in her convertible and I was flashing people and I guess I distracted a semi-driver, and he side-swiped us. And, well...

RIG - Whoa.

Me - Yeah. And it's really not that hard to type with one hand.

RIG - Dude, you're just fucking with me.

Me - Yes, yes I am. Did you figure that out all by yourself?

RIG - Uh, Yeah. Well... What's your bra size?

2. Mel Goes Bra Shopping

There comes a time in every young girl's life to go and buy a bra. Or two or three. The first of these trips is almost always taken with the girl's mother. The developing woman is a bit shy, a bit aprehensive, a bit excited. This is her first time in the lingerie or intimates section of Wally World. It's a step into a new world. She doesn't know what to think of it and feels a bit out of place.

Most women grow out of the first fear of bra shopping. I didn't. So, when after two years of dormancy, they started growing again, I set my jaw, rolled up my sleeves and decided to go bra shopping. Sometime.

For a while I considered becoming a true hippy woman and saying to the garbage with underwear altogether. But after discovering that going braless hurts after a while, and to prevent the development of what my boyfriend called gopher boobs, I told myself to make a trip to the mall the next chance I got.

That first trip was good. I got lucky at the first store I went to. They were having a sale. So, after fighting off the clerk, I got some cheap bras! They were 10 bucks each, which I think is way too much for something no one sees (well, in my case), but cheap for a bra nonetheless. But they were both sports bras, sort of, and as much as I hate to admit to an audience of 600 or so that have a preference, I like the regular kind better. But I couldn't find any more. So this trip ended. I was satisfied, but not done.

Spring break comes and I go home. I was kept pretty busy for most of the week, but towards the end I grew bored and restless. So I left a note for my mom who was at work, hopped in the car, and headed off to Bloomington, the closest big city near Lincoln, the toilet I'm from.

At the mall, in Kohl's, I resumed the quest for the bra. I putzed around the lingerie section for a while, found a suitable bra, and then discovered the clearance rack! I like cheap.

As soon as I'm elbow deep in ladies undergarments, I hear a friendly male voice behind me.

"Hey, MEL!"

I turn around, a bit startled. It's an old friend from camp. and I'm bra shopping. I turn a fair shade of red.

"Hey, Flop!" (His brother was Philip, shortened to Flip, so it was natural that we called him Flop. The youngest brother is Flooie)

"You know," I said, "It's great to see you, but I really hate bra shopping, and you're not helping one bit. But how the heck are you??"

It turns out that Flop works in Kohl's. Well, he doesn't really work, he just stands around looking important, I guess, but you get the idea. We spent almost 2 hours talking about this and that. School, camp, family, regular BS.

By the time we finally departed (he had to get off work in fifteen minutes) I needed to get back home before the mum started to worry. (It was rather nasty outside and I had never driven out of town by myself before)

So journey number two yields one bra, one trip down memory lane, and a couple of 14 guage earrings, cause I've been wanting to stretch out my earring holes a bit. (It hurts) But I'm off the subject.

Expedition number three comes on the way back to school after spring break. My mom, a quilter, brought two friends along to go to Paducah, KY, the quilting capitol of the universe, or something like that, which happens to be about an hour away from Carbondale where I'm going to school. My Grandmother lives in Metropolis, IL (alleged home of Superman) which is very near Paducah. So we stayed the night at her house before dropping me off at school the next day.

When the ladies went off to go fabric shopping in Paducah I had them drop me off at the mall to waste some time. Before getting out of my grandma's car I noticed a lack of padding on my right butt-cheek. I had left my wallet in the car in Metropolis. Crap. I mention this to my mom and she performs and amazing feat of faith and trust. She gives me her credit card. And ten dollars. She warns me not to go crazy with it. I give her an evil laugh and run off.

My first thoughts upon entering the mall of how to freak out my mom when she comes back to pick me up. I considered going into various stores and asking for empty bags and paper to stuff them with. I'm sure my mom is glad I didn't do this. Too much trouble for a small prank.

So anywho, as I'm sure you've figured out, I once again set upon my quest of finding a suitable bra. I go to Sears. I go to JCPenney's. I go to a ton of other stores. I even went to Dillard's and found that they have separate men's and women's stores. There weren't any bras in the men's store that I first went into.

During my final mall adventure I passed a booth of Girl Scouts dressed up as various cookies chanting, "Gi-irl Scout coo-ookies. Threeee dollars a bo-ox," over and over. And over. There was also a booth selling little wedding dresses for three year olds. At least, that's what they looked like to me. I guess they were for little girl pagents. I hope someone shoots me if I ever have children and dress them like that. (I know this has nothing to do with bra shopping, but it gives you the whole mall feeling a lot better)

The mall is a great place to find all kinds of people. Among these denizens of the mall is the enevitable group of 12-15 year old girls carrying Victoria's Secret bags. Most of them don't look like they even need training bras, much less a 28 dollar piece of lace and see-through satin that they'll probably out-grow in a few months.

But, I think to myself, now that I know there's one in the mall that's probably where I'll end up.

I was right. I stood outside the entrance for a while talking to myself. "Everyone else in there is doing the same thing," I say to me, "It's just a bra. No one will give you strange looks. It's just another store. "

Yes, but this store is covered in irridescent pink wallpaper, plush carpet, high class porn music (not that I would know what that is, but that's what it sounded like to me), busty manequins wearing thongs and clerks who walk about in black Dana Scully business suits carrying measuring tapes around their necks. They probably call themselves something like "Personal Intimate Apparel Consultants".

I think that's what scares me most about that place. They're so danged eager to talk underwear with anyone. I'll always remember the time my friend Tess dragged me in there when she needed to buy something. She got a pair of underwear that were supposed to make you look thinner or something.

"Oh my gosh!" squealed a PIAC when she saw Tess's selection, "Have you ever tried our (such and such) panty hose? If you wear those with that underwear it'll make you look ten pounds lighter, I swear!"

All of this was gasped out in about two seconds flat. Tess gave a polite answer and quickly walked away. I was trying not to laugh.

And now here I am, about to embark on a Vic's Secret journey of my own.

I take a deep breath and walk towards the door, avoiding the rush of departing prepubescent girls. They all seem to be trying to look like Britney Spears. I shudder and continue inside.

Almost at once i'm assaulted by a PIAC.

"Hi there! Can I help you find anything?"

"Um, no thanks," I reply, "I'm just looking."

I mentally kick myself in the head. I hate saying that. Makes me sound like an old man letcher. "Nope, I'm just looking at all the pretty underwear... and the manequins... May I be left alone now?" Drool, drool.

Oh well. She informs me of their sales and tells me to ask if i need anything then heads off to arrange various scraps of fabric on their padded and scented satin hangers. That wasn't so bad. I'm probably just overblowing the situation. (Gee, that's never happened before. But "Today I went to Victoria's Secret and tried on a bra," wouldn't make a very good story, now would it? )

Anywho, I find a couple of bras and go try to find someone to open up a dressing room for me. Why do they keep them locked up anyway? As I was waiting I was amused by a grandmother and her two 5-7 year old grandkids gawking at a stringed thong bodysuit thing. It was extremly funny. They kept walking around the manequin it was on, tugging at various bits of cloth and string making comments and wondering how and why anyone would want to wear something like that.

I chuckled to myself and they soon left with the mother of the children. Only then was I noticed by the cashier who let me into my own personal changing cage, complete with ornate golden wall lamp, comfy padded chair and pink and white striped wall paper with gold hearts all over it. And if that wasn't scary enough, I had to take off my shirt! Haha, just kidding. I couldn't help it.

But we were talking about my reluctant quest for a bra. Well, I found one I liked. But I didn't buy it. It was 28 frickin dollars! And, if you remember, I had my mom's credit card. And no identification either. That was left with my wallet as well. So even if did want to buy it, I probably wouldn't have been able to. No, I decided to go online and buy it with my own card.

And so I hung the bras back up and left. On the way out I was almost knocked down by a giant trucker-type fellow on his way out as well. It takes all kinds I guess. I think the reason I don't like to go in that place is because of the way I always dress. Baggy jeans, Star Wars, Phish or Pink Floyd tee shirts, a couple of little braids and a German Army jacket. And some blue hair this time. But I'll probably always feel out of place in there.

The next place I go is the Shop-Ko to buy a notebook so I could write down all the great stuff I was thinking up while inside Vic's. Mom found me outside the mall scribbling like mad, and tried to steal my notebook to see what I was writing about. I promised her a look when I was done.

And so the next day comes and I get online and order my bras. And aren't I glad I did? It was on sale online, for 15 bucks! I got two!

And so my bra shopping ends... For now.

I wonder what Victoria's secret IS anyway. I'll bet she's a man.