The Personal Touch

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Before my divorce, I hadn’t thought much about underwear, other than the need to replace it if the elastic no longer held up or if the underwire in my bra decided to turn homicidal. I did stumble into buying something from one of those specialty stores, and to my surprise I discovered that you cannot actually die from embarrassment.

I can barely work up the nerve to purchase a single zucchini or cucumber at the grocery store. I always feel like I should carry around a recipe card to show to the cashier.

“See, there’s just me, and I do intend to EAT this produce.” I’ll never understand, with all the hoopla about genetically modified plants, why we can’t have squash that’s not phallic shaped.

I went into the shop with a friend, lured in by the slightly adventurous and trashy look of the mannequins in the window. Once inside I made the mistake of calling some of the merchandise by the wrong name, and the sales girl informed me that what I was looking at was a “personal massager”. There was one, artfully arranged and spotlighted on a glass shelf; that seemed even more personal than all the others. I felt like I should go up and introduce myself.

Others in this line more closely resembled power tools than something you would want to have a romantic interlude with, but to each his or her own I suppose. I finally had to look away, and my glance found the display of clothing items.

One piece in particular caught my eye, a royal purple bustier with lace at the bottom and a leopard print ribbon running up both sides. The savvy sales woman, who undoubtedly worked on commission, came up beside me as I was looking at it.

“This would look lovely on you, why don’t you try it on. Are you a small?”

After I stopped laughing I agreed to a size medium, and the clerk was shepherding me toward the dressing room.

“Your friend will have to wait out here,” she said as she opened the door to the small cubicle in the back of the sales floor. “We don’t allow two people in the dressing rooms.”

This made me wonder for a moment if three people would be okay. Then I wondered what two people would be doing in the dressing room and from there I decided I would keep my shoes on.

Putting on the bustier was an interesting exercise requiring both strength and flexibility. There were no buttons, zippers, or other fasteners. It was designed to just slip over your head, or up over your hips if you were stout of heart and slim of butt. I took the over your head route, not wanting to take any chances on getting caught halfway and having to ask for help. Once I had it on, I realized that I would have to purchase the thing, not because it was so wonderful, but because I didn’t have a clue how to take it off without removing a layer of skin.

As I stood there in the dressing room contemplating my reflection I decided that the bustier was something that I should add to my wardrobe. At the very least I could get a good workout once or twice a week just putting it on and taking it off.


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