Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When is the last time you stood in front of a three-way mirror under florescent lights to try on  bathing suits or a new bra?  How long did it take before you wanted to heave?  All those imperfections --- the sagging skin, the blue veins up and down your legs, the lines and wrinkles that you thought you'd covered with Estee Lauder's or some other beauty brand's cover up. 

Last Saturday I naively walked into a changing room certain that I'd be in and out of the torturous changing room chamber quickly because all I needed was to replace my old bras.  But the new ones almost strangled me.  It felt like a shortened corset.  So the salesperson brought me a ton of other designs in my size, but either they didn't feel any looser or my breasts spilled out the sides like Niagra Falls.  With all the pulling and shoving and poking, portions of my breasts turned beet red.  Just one more insult.

But I persevered, hopeful that I'd find something quickly and escape. 
"I think you've almost made it," the salesperson said.
I knew what she meant before I asked.  "Are you telling me I need a larger size?
"Yes, I think so."
Jesus, the number of letters after the "D" could choke a horse.
(Yeah, some of you would die for larger breasts.  But take it from me: They ain't so great.  Try doing a seated twist in yoga class when your arm reaches across those big "girls" and can't possibly wrap around your bent knee.  Or consider trying to hold up those knockers in a strapless bra.  And when age creeps in and causes those babies to hang low like the old camp song croons, you look like a bag lady who either can't afford a bra or has given up the ghost like my mother did a few months before she died at age 92.)

Begrudgingly, I tried on the size up and, lo and behold, it fit.  I was devastated.  And looking at myself under those glaring lights with that damn three-way mirror, I wished I was twenty years younger or at least still had my perky breasts, flawless skin, and slim waistline.  Forget about all this crone stuff.

Someone told me that one of her relatives is a big shot at some fancy smancy department store and wanted to dump the lights in exchange for the ones that mimic daylight.  She also suggested repainting, using neutral tones instead of bright pink and red.  Clearly, her suggestions went nowhere.

So, I'm suggesting that we women ban together and launch a campaign to change the dressing rooms in stores all over the country.  We can use social media to our advantage and maybe even boycott large department stores.  Why should we suffer when women in other countries don't have to humiliate themselves every time they try on clothes.  In Mexico, for example, you stand in a little room with a drawn curtain.  Maybe there's one light bulb hanging from the ceiling.  Often, there is a small mirror or none at all. 

Now, that's more like it.