The push up bras with the padding ready for a Sunday afternoon football game made like the designers stuffed overnight maxi pads into each cup stared or rather glared at me, almost daring me to reach for one. I wouldn’t have been able to reach for one even if I had wanted to, you know that range of motion thing I keep speaking about.

As I made my way over to the cotton bikini underwear I have been buying for well over twenty years from Victoria Secret, I asked a non descript salesperson for help. From women who have some booty and some hips out there, like a brand of jeans, once we find the perfect style of underwear, they become a permanent friend in our drawers (seriously, no pun intended). The sales girl asked me what style I wore. There used to be three choices, high leg brief, bikini and hip hugger bikini I think. Now there are about a dozen styles and for a moment I forgot what I wore. I reached down into my lulu lemons thinking I would ask the sales woman to check the style I had on and thought twice. One reason for my hesitation was it is just plain weird to ask a total stranger to put her hands down the back of your pants to find a tag. The second reason were those pesky drains I was about to have removed. Even though I am an open book about all of this madness, I forget that the average Jane is likely not familiar nor chooses to become familiar with the image of liquid filled grenades attached to my body that she would have to navigate around. Mmm. Who knew about all of these choices clearly made for asses my lower body has never seen even in my earliest of years. One pair was called “cheeky” something or other, no thank you, I don’t need underwear to ride up my ass on purpose, it does that anyway.

For kicks here is the link, please don’t buy anything as I don’t want it to seem that I am promoting this silliness we are surrounded with to make us think that our beautiful booties are supposed to even try to fit into these. Warning: Only go to the link if you are feeling loving and secure about your body when you look in the mirror. If you are PMS, perimenopausal, menopausal, pregnant, if it is a full moon, high tide, mercury in retrograde, just got into a fight with your mate because he or she told you the truth when you asked that loaded question, ”Do these make me look fat?” (Do women still do this? Please say no.) or if you are two weeks out from a double mastectomy and reconstruction, oh wait a minute that’s me, what the fuck am I doing buying underwear at Victoria Secret, shouldn’t I be home high on oxy feeling sorry for myself? If any of these descriptors apply, step away from the link, If you still want to torture yourself, click away.

My friend and I decided to do a little shopping before we headed over to the plastic surgeon’s office to, at last, get the final set of drains taken out of my body. Amidst the sexual encounter promoting items I found myself surrounded with, I found a sales person that I had to ask to help me find the cotton underwear I love. Saleswoman. That is a vintage title these days. A dying breed that went out when the last Cherry and Webb and Filenes store closed. They should be called ordertakers because they are all just professional standers waiting for their day to come to an end. I miss good old fashioned saleswomen who understood how to engage and start conversations so that I would end up buying way more than I intended to.

The “sales” girl showed me where my size was (medium these days, thank you Kathy Martin) which were in a low drawer I couldn’t really bend down to. I asked her if she could pull them out for me as she let me know “five for twenty eight dollars.” I guess this is what is considered sales help these days because as she handed me my new bikinis, she told me to tell the cashier to mention “Jackie helped you.” Really? Is this help? Ok, I’ll bite. As I made my way past the plethora of underwear that I will never wear again, (because I don’t fucking want to) no matter how many burpees and squats I continue to do, past the bras that will never grace or rather suffocate my upper body because the second act of my upper body involves a firm lift that will require none of those silly contraptions, (thank you Dr. Michaud and oh yeah, cancer), I was faced with pictures of eighteen year old come hither models at every turn. Once again realizing that I was in yet another store that I have not only outgrown because of my age, but also because they fail to take notice of the statistics that over three hundred thousand women will be diagnosed with the disease this year and forty thousand women will still die from it. Yes there are still women dying from breast cancer, apparently second to lung cancer. Let’s see, it’s an underwear store selling underwear as catalysts for sexual escapades, though they don’t say this aloud, they don’t have to. Cleavage, glossy lips, heavy eye liner, eight foot legs on six foot models scream “Wear this and yes, you will have the sex you dream about.” I would not be tempted by the absurdity of the images because you and I know damn well know by now that besides the obvious of not even knowing what size I would be even if I wanted to wear one, I wouldn’t even be able to hook the fucking bra. I can barely get a t shirt over my head without a struggle.

I must admit I was tempted to ask for a bra fitting just for kicks to see what kind of reaction the last day of my drains might invoke from an unsuspecting Victoria Secret sales person. I decided that this would not be very kind not to mention that it may create a barfing situation which would be very bad. The funny thing about sexual desire after a seven hour upper body surgery is that now my body is split into two parts. The untouchable (aka top half) and the bottom half that doesn’t seem to know that the top half had a major operation. What I am saying is that the two don’t seem to be talking to each other anymore and the bottom half is very much alive and alert, (there must be a God afterall for all of you non believers.) This just proves that all of this underwear has nothing to do with my very happy and awake endorphins, this feeling of desire on my bottom half anyway is all my doing. At least something is positive from all this cancer, haven’t lost my juju. Of course sex with just the lower half of a woman’s body does not lead to a very spontaneous roll in the sack. Similar to the idea of anyone besides your child coming anywhere near your breasts when you are nursing makes most women’s blood curdle, just the thought of an accidental push on my upper body let alone any sexual touching creates a fear that halts any potential of an afternoon romp.

As I made my way over to the salesperson, handing her my underwear, waiting for her to ask me who if anyone helped me, I answered the desired response thinking that real help would have at least been to walk the purchase over to the counter for me, but who cares. Victoria Secret is not marketing to me and whether I shop their brick and mortar stores or online, I am still only going to buy the bikini underwear I have loved since I was thirty.

My friend on the other hand, who needs bras that Victoria Secret doesn’t make, was shopping across the way at SOMA. I have never been into a SOMA, but it seemed to be their answer to the disappointed fifty somethings who went to VS and realized that their low lying breasts didn’t stand a chance. They are trying to get us grown up super chicks to “look beyond sexy, because we are smarter than that. We are about self love.” ( mmmm all I see is underwear, maybe the self loving sex toys are in the back room? Because seriously who will be having the rocking VS sex with this underwear? Oh I thought that is what they meant by self love) Their quality seemed much better, but as I looked around, most of their choices seemed frumpy. I tried to find something to spark me, but they just tried to hard too convince me that I could feel as VS as VS. Of course we fifty somethings know by now that tight asses, flat bellies and firm breasts come with workouts and removing carbs, wine and sugar from our menus. Sure we can buy the bras that wrap our bodies like a Scarlet Ohara corset from Gone With the Wind, but when we take them off (and actually are able to breathe again,) what stares back at us is the truth. For me though at least what stares back at me these days is saluting and standing to attention new breasts that don’t need their flipping bras anyway.

Thanks SOMA for the old college try anyway of letting me know how sexy my self respect is. I agree, but with a double mastectomy and new reconstruction the wild romp can at least be a goal, can’t it? Too early too young to give up the ship yet. Not this super chick with at least half of a awake body.

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self proclaimed lover of all things beauty, business + lifestyle, I write because it feels good.