Just in Time for Valentine's Day or, A Difference Between Women and Men

There are certain things that (certainly some, if not all) men take for granted.  Periods, breastfeeding and childbirth rank pretty high on the list, although most husbands and fathers will be appreciative of the trials and tribulations which go along with those activities.

However, one thing that they will probably never get is this:  shopping for lingerie/bras.  The evidence for this is that men's underwear COMES IN BOXES.  They literally look for a size letter or waist measurement and buy them.  I think that around Valentine's Day, shops try to cater to this need for simplicity, so it supposedly easier.

Bra shopping is the absolute WORST.  Unless, of course, you are that miraculous breast unicorn - the 34B.  No matter which shop you unicorns walk in, I'm sure that you walk out with a bra that is functional, sexy, sweet or fitted properly depending on what you are looking for, probably without actually doing any thinking.

You would think that after shopping for bras for two DECADES, I would be over the embarrassment of that experience, but I'm just not.  I got over shopping for feminine products sometime in my late teens, so I should really be over this.

I remember the feeling of buying training bras with my mother and grandmother.  It was SO embarrassing to be in a store with an old lady trying to figure out what size I needed, while I stood there freezing and topless in a fitting room.  The result was nice I thought, and they made me feel sort of good and safe and protected.  Until I needed a new one sixth months or so later...  The mostly similar process was repeated a couple dozen more times until probably my second year of high school at which point I just sort of hit some kind of boob-growth plateau.  I was pretty much the same size into my 20's. Then, the beauty of having a child occurred, and they have been all over the place, size-wise.

Today, because I would rather shop for bras than sit down and write properly, I decided to hit the last of the sales.  I saw three people that I knew in the lingerie section, all elderly, 2/3 with their husbands.  It was mortifying.  Why would you put the cafe of a store directly next to the underwear?

To add insult to injury, when I left the lingerie department of said store, I kept getting really strange looks.  Turns out, a very large pair of lacy underwear had somehow attached themselves to the velcro on my jacket like a barnacle to an old ship.  See above picture for my response.

Now, I don't think every single woman or man fits these criteria, but I thought it would be fun to see how many people do identify with them.

Without further ado:

How Women Shop For Lingerie

1.  Hope to the little baby Jesus no one you know is in the department.  Someone most likely will be, and you may have to pretend you are looking at giant lacy nightgowns for your bed-bound granny.

2.  Grab some bras you think might be your size and discreetly hold them as close to you as possible while crossing the lingerie department.  Someone will ask if you need help.  No, this is your size and the brand you usually get and the shape and style.  You don't need help, you need speed.  They will be comically wrong.

Note:  This illustration is from a website in Hungarian, so I'm slightly comforted that all women have the same problems worldwide.

3.  Timidly ask the older lady to measure you or get a different size while freezing and topless in your dressing room.  Note:  After she measures you, she will probably tell you to try on a load of sizes and styles anyway because EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. IS. TOTALLY. DIFFERENT.  Standard sizing on bras?

4.  Marvel at how different you are compared to the smiling, free model on the tag or hanger picture.

5.  While trying to hide behind the curtain, you need to give the saleslady the bras that don't fit and take the new ones.  She will probably utter the phrase "I've seen them all."  You will still wrap the fitting room curtain/door around you like Ariel in the Little Mermaid.

See, look how excited she is to try on bras!

6.  It takes ages to put on bras,  and you will probably be wearing jeans or bottoms that make you look slightly fat, so the trying-on process will be weird.  Note:  If you are pregnant, nursing or in that weird postnatal period, this is a dangerous step, and you will probably cry.

7.  You find a bra, then have the bright idea that "HEY! They sell matching underwear."  Maybe this time I'll get the matching underwear.  Except they will only have the matching pants in a frightening-looking XXX dwarf thong or XXXL Granny.  There have got to be women out there that buy one bra and ALL the matching knickers in their size.  I have one message for you:

8.  This number is optional.  If you have all the money in the world, like JK Rowling or Melinda Gates, you might not look at the price tag on the one bra in the department that looks and feels good to you.  If you are not one of those ladies, you will look at the price tag and do this:

Yep.  That tiny piece of lace and wire and elastic COSTS HOW MUCH?!  This is where I think women with giant knockers get the added benefits.  At least you are paying for quantity.  Think how angry the 32AA's must feel.  Those women that are brave enough to go without?  Fist bump to you, ladies.  Your 401(K) must be MAXED OUT from the savings.

How Men Shop for Lingerie



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