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I’m such a ho-bag.

I weaseled out of my bra during lunch break today, because it was pissing me off. It kept showing through the armholes of my shirt (the straps were migrating) and it was one of these horrible, stiff, overly padded Poly-Fibrefill Boobulator Monstertitty brassieres that I got stuck with the last time I was bra shopping because apparently size 34B is really fucking exotic, and anyone with such miniscule accoutrements obviously wants to increase her apparent girth by daring feats of microfibre moulding and underwire boosting. In my case, I feel like Hooters MacBoobs-a-lot and find that my shirts don’t hang right and that I feel like everyone is staring at my chest, since I am used to and comfortable with, not having a whole lot sticking out in front. I hate bras anyway…hate buying them, hate wearing them, hate, hate, hate, hate.

The first time I ever was in a Victoria’s Secret, I was still too young and flat chested to wear a bra. Even those pre-teen abbreviated tank-top jobbies with the little elastic-gathered central-chest-area mocked my boney little pigeon chest. I was 12, almost 13, and my sister and I were staying in California for a month or so, with my grandma and getting in her way as she and my aunt Debbie tried to prepare for my aunt and uncle’s upcoming wedding. We ended up in Vicky’s possibly to get my aunt a strapless bra for her wedding dress, but possibly also for the purchase of embarrassing lingere for the honeymoon. I don’t know, I was bored out of my mad little mind and considering dyeing of shame and toppling into one of those large bins full of underpants.

Nothing, and I mean nothing is more embarrassing that a whole store full of underpants and bras when you are a slow-blooming preadolescent, except being surrounded by suggestive undies and accompanied by your grandma and beautiful, soon-to-be-married aunt.

I managed to evade the secretive Victorian for another six years or so after my initial mortification within its pink, striped walls, but when I was in college, one of my girlfriends was convinced that their body lotion was the best thing on the planet and that I should get some for my mom as a mother’s day present. I went in to peruse and sniff at the lotions and determined that my mom probably wouldn’t want to smell like a French hooker and feel all greasy, so I forewent the lotion.

While I was there, I figured I would find out what was the big old hairy deal about Victoria’s Secret, since I now had a certifiable pair of boobies which I sometimes deign to contain within the auspices of a brassiere. Unfortunately, their styles for my type of size (not terribly large) were all padded so stiffly as to be a bosom-buttress and that I would be forced to use my chest as a battering ram, as it would precede me by such a great distance. Moreover, these hearty and buxom polyethylene over-the-shoulder-boulders were in the most garish of colors and prints with lashings of lumpy scratchy lace and protruding trimmings.

The enormous bins of assorted underpants remained, as I remembered. By their especial ingenuity, the bins were basically sorted by style, but as far as size and consistency were concerned, it could be anyone’s best guess. There were some very pretty colors and prints in there, but at $5 a pair, it didn’t seem worth the bother of pawing through the pile of panties for my size. For $5, I could buy a multi-pack of Hanes Her Way bikinis or a tube of equally colorful Jockeys and have done with it. Since nobody is seeing my underpants if I can help it, cheaper is better in the underpants department.

My girlfriend who had suggested the hooker lotion for my mom also was a large devotee of VS lacey/slippery polyester lingerie and had an intriguing, soft-porn-worthy collection of lacy “nothings” with garter straps and peekaboo areas. For a hoot, I tried on a few “nothings” as well, but I look better in real nothing rather than coy, femmy “nothings.” With my muscular jock-girl legs, my hairy armpits (why yes, I don’t shave…another day another rant, eh?) my then-horribly-dorky-glasses, and my then-ass-length hippie hair, I looked like some hind of schizophrenic sex dork. None of it really worked together. The legs were straight out of an R. Crumb drawing, the glasses would have been at home on one of those sad, painted-sweatshirt-wearing, chocolate-swilling women who think “Cathy” cartoons are funny, and the hair, which was probably my best feature, would have served far better on a role-playing session detailing the Godiva story. I walked out of Victoria’s Shameful Secret empty handed, though reeking of some faux-peach barf-inducing spray the salesgirl insisted on sharing with me.

That was my first and last unassisted trip to Victoria’s Secret. Occasionally I will pass a VS shop, and look in the window at the anorexic, impossibly sculpted plastic, headless dummies, posed in compromising positions, and festooned with mildly suggestive underthings, and shake my head in equally mild pain, and mosey on my way. My most recent booby-hatches came from the lingerie department of Dillards, but since I hate them so much, I will probably revert to my previously favored style of Hanes Her Way lightly-lined underwires, even if I have to order them from online because I can’t ever seem to find my decidedly exotic 34B anywhere. Maybe 34B is so common they are already bought up by the time I steel myself for bra shopping. Whatever.

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