It was a bra but not as you’d know it. It had layers, in every animal print you could imagine, and a zip.
“It’s a sports bra,” said the salesgirl “designed to make running sexy.”
I looked at it….it had as much support as a banana skin…
My pal and I had met for the first time since lockdown with plans for a few drinks, food, and a catch-up laugh.
I was feeling frisky.
It had been so long since I’d been in Glasgow that just the sound of buskers had me kicking up my heels, in fact, I was so high I was even handing out the odd coin….
Arm in arm we giggled down the street, jigging to a street guitarist.
“She hasn’t been out since lockdown,” laughed my pal.
He nodded, his face lighting up as I slid a pound his way with a shimmy.
Then it caught my eye, the shop window behind him….pink, black and full of underwear.
A lingerie shop with the promise of something more… Victoria’s Secrets.
“I’ve never been in there,” I said adjusting my Asda knickers.
“Well, let's go.” Said my pal with a tug at my arm.
My pal is a glamorous woman of seventy-something. She is a delicious size ten who can still pull off leather, lacy bras, and zip-up jeans.
I can’t remember the last time I ‘zipped up’. I pulled on my first ‘Adsa’ stretch jeans years ago and have never looked back. I live in elasticated waistbands and low heels, sciatica can have that effect on a girl.
Not that I am ancient, 61 is not old, but mature enough to know when you're flogging a dead horse.
Perhaps Victoria Secret’s would offer something different… something for a round woman who was feeling a little frisky?
Masked, we headed into the dimly lit, larger-than-life department store filled with underwear fit for a porn star, and as uncomfortable-looking as porn sex.
It was a strange mixture of decadent Victorian burlesque and modern erotica.
The shop was full of determined young women bargain hunting; the odd young man with a "shit is there not something better I can buy my woman" gaze; couples——one on a mission and the other trailing behind with an I’d rather be at the pub slump; and one homeless-looking man who had decided that eating a bag of chips at the “£ 2.99 and under” bench was way better than outside.
My pal was immediately at home, zig-zagging through the stands. She lifted what looked like a collection of ribbons stuck together and held it against her tiny pelvis.
“I had one of these once” she laughed explaining where the legs go.
“Me too,” said a sales girl with the silhouette of an ironing board.
She took us to the discount bar, sprinting across the floor like a gazelle.
The sale’s area was a sea of bras the size of egg cups, knickers with holes in all sorts of places, and G’strings that seemed more fitting as a headband than covering genitals. Finding something that would fit me in that lot was as probable as me growing a penis.
I watched my pal with armfuls of matching underwear head to the changing room, pondering a glass of wine.
“Can I help you?” Said an apparition of smooth skin and fitness.
“I was looking for a sports bra,” I said.
She eyed my breasts, which like the rest of me has expanded over the years, pulled open the large size drawer, fingered the D &DD sections then pulled out her phone.
“You got any of those zip-up sports things?” She said.
“No, out-sized.” She said.
She nodded, then looked at me.
“F? No I was thinking more of a double?”
She listened… laughed, then hung up and told me “to wait.”
Minutes later, puffed from what appeared serious stair running she appeared, stuck several bras under my nose, and with a motherly smile told me “to take my time.”
I stared at the animal print underwear.
“There is plenty more,” she said, “don’t worry we can find you something that fits.”
I headed into the changing room next to my pal with a ‘perhaps I’m wrong” hope, and my Asda undies riding up my jacksy determined to fill every orifice.
Back in the seventies, my mum brought my first bra in Myer’s bra department; the only place to shop in Melbourne as far as my mum was concerned. We were served by a no-nonsense maternal woman with a tape measure strung around her neck like the key to a secret door.
The two women stared at my breast detached like they were observing a painting.
“Is the left bigger?” Said, my mum.
“Perhaps, but hardly a cup size; perfectly normal,” said the sales assistant.
“Normal?” Glared my mum.
“Well yes…Most women are a bit…lopsided.”
“Well, I’m not,” Snapped my mother.
“I’ve seen a few in my time and believe me your daughter is very normal.”
The sales assistant threw me a smile. “Well yes, I’ve seen women with not only different sizes but different shapes. Why the other day a woman came in with one like a pear and the other more an apple….And people think sales is easy.”
“Mine are perfectly balanced” muttered my mother.
I locked the door behind me and stared at my reflection in the soft light. It was probably one of the plushes changing rooms I had been in and the bra was probably one of the stupidest I had tried on.
Doing up a bra at the front when your breasts are the size of melons is as easy as clipping on a led when your dog is chasing its’ tail.
My breasts flopped in the way and I couldn’t see a thing.
“You alright?” shouted my pal.
“Not really” I shouted back “some friggin idiot has designed a bra that takes as long to get into as a corset”
“You need some help,” said the sales assistant.
“No” I grunted. wrestling with flesh that seemed to have a life of its own.
The last thing I needed was her catching me wrestling with my “life of their own” breasts; shouting down her phone “we need something larger, we’ve a melon and an aubergine here.”
I was just about to give up, “who wants to friggin jog anyway,” I shouted when my pal burst in with an arm full of underpants, all half price, extra-large, and sexy.
“Something for the weekend?” She said thrusting a few glamours pieces my way.
Standing at the checkout, card in one hand and a set of underpants that had the promise of never “riding up” I stared up at the poster behind the cashier…
An extra-large, beautiful model glowing under the sun in a bikini.
I looked hard at the large triangle-shaped material barely covering her breast and nudged my pal.
“Does one look bigger than the other?”
“Perfectly normal,” said my pal, “one of mine’s like an egg and the other way more like an orange.”
“Me too,” muttered a voice from behind.
The cashier looked up, catching my smile “that’s why they chose her honey.”