A few years ago I had a life lesson which reminded me that sometimes, life hurts. While at the mall, a friend and I ended up in the “intimates” department of a store and somehow the subject of a “professional bra fittings” came up. Evidently, Oprah once recommended that all women have a professional fitting done because a large majority of us are wearing the wrong sized bra. Based on Oprah’s recommendation, my friend and I decided to go for it and find out our actual bra size.
As we perused the vast plethora of bras a woman named Florence approached and asked if she could assist us. We said “yes”.
Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into.
My friend, being the brave one, went first and when I didn’t hear any screams or crying I figured the experience couldn’t be too bad and made my way into my fitting room.
Before long Florence joined me and took my measurements. “What size are you wearing?” she asked in a mild African accent.
“A 36 C.” I whispered. “Why? What size should I be wearing?”
“A 32 DD,” she responded. “You were a little off.”
“My boobs are a double D?” I squealed. I mean, really. What woman wouldn’t want DD’s?? I was actually quite proud of myself.
“It’s not that kind of “DD,” she snapped.
“What do you mean “that kind of DD?”
“You don’t have a large chest.”
No duh. Evidently, the smaller number (32) also means that the cup size is smaller.
All DD’s are not created equal. Bummer.
Back to the story. Within a matter of minutes Florence had left and returned with a handful of bras. “This one first,” she informed as she handed me one.
I stood for several moments as I waited for her to leave me to undress in peace, but she never left and I had that uncomfortable realization that she expected me to strip down right there in front of her.
Have you ever tried to get dressed or undressed quickly? Did it ever actually work? No.
The sheer panic of having someone standing there watching me caused me to fumble around like a woman with all thumbs and I’m pretty sure it was the longest amount of time it has ever – in my lifetime – taken me to put on a bra.
But by the grace of God the thing finally got on. I turned for her inspection, and stood shocked and completely mortified as she shoved her hands into each cup and rearranged until everything was to her liking.
Ever been in a dressing room and wondered if someone was spying or videotaping from a small hole in the wall? That’s what I was thinking about as Florence stood there with her hand jammed in my bra.
Maybe we should have formally introduced ourselves.
Just moments after getting over the horror of a complete stranger “attending to” my chest region and getting slapped in the face with the knowledge that my chest isn’t quite as big as I’d momentarily imagined, the next thing I knew Florence was hoisting those bra straps up so tight that I thought my shoulder blades were going to touch my butt.
I got a sudden glimpse of that scene in “Gone With the Wind” when Scarlett is getting cinched into her corset. I could hardly catch my breath because the thing was so tight, and I tried to complain but Florence informed me that bras were supposed to fit snugly.
After all, “what is the point of wearing a bra if your boobs flop out?” she asked.
I honestly hadn’t quite thought about it like that. I do suppose that the whole point is to keep them under wraps and in control.
Ten minutes later and $120 poorer I walked out with two tight fitting bras and the odd need to take a shower.
For the first few days of wearing our new bras, my friend and I were in misery. Talk about uncomfortable – these things were horrible. By about four o’clock in the afternoon I wanted to take the dang thing off and burn it. And I would have if I hadn’t looked so much better in my clothes.
Is there any way that I can turn this into a life lesson?
Come on, now. Of course I can. It’s simple: Sometimes what’s best for us is painful. Life hurts and that will never change.
In the beginning of a difficult situation we want out of it as quickly as humanly possible. We want the pain to end and we want it to end now.
Even if our life wasn’t perfect before, and things maybe weren’t under control as they should have been, we’d rather go back to that than experience pain and discomfort.
But, if we’ll look for the good and find a way to persevere, we can get used to the new and eventually even realize that this new thing is much better for us than the old.
God, much like Florence, can make us feel odd, exposed and out there for all the world to see, but in doing that He is able to move us to the place we need to be.
He knows what’s best for us and what’s best for us isn’t always comfortable. Life hurts – just like a great bra. 🙂