Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Bra Fitting

4516824_origThere are certain moments in every person’s life when they feel as if they have slipped into The Twilight Zone–when reality tilts on its axis just a tad.

For me, one such moment happened when I was lured inside The Jockey Store by a SALE sign. We all know how expensive the small scraps of fabric are that we wear underneath it all, so anytime I can get “foundational garments” cheap, I’m there.

As it so happens, I was shopping with my mother, and she struck up a conversation with the rather loud lady running the store while I perused the bras. I’m pretty darn picky about these things and evidently the opposite of most other females–I’m not into excessive padding, lace, or underwires, so I was surprised to find something that fit the bill AND was in my size. I picked up one in white and one in black and headed to the check-out counter.

I never made it there, however, as I was intercepted by the employee, who checked the size on my near purchases, and declared rather loudly that I should probably try one on, because she didn’t think I looked like I could fill it out. Embarrassed, I looked to my mother, who seemed to be wearing an expression of agreement. Okay, I thought, I’ll go try it on.

And here is where my world shifted.

The discretion challenged sales clerk said, “Be sure to ring the bell when you’ve got it on, and I’ll come in and make sure it fits.”

What? I had been wearing a bra for, I don’t know, thirty plus years at this point. Is it possible I’ve never known if they fit or not? Does this woman have some degree in bra fitting I’ve never heard of? Can one be an expert in the proper fit of bras?

So I tried it on, and I thought it fit pretty darn good, and I was somewhat reluctant to ring the bell and have this stranger flounce into my dressing room to inspect my cup size. But then again, who was I to make that decision? I mean, my degree was in theatre so maybe I had just been acting like my bras fit all these years.

I hesitantly pushed the button and waited. She appeared, declared it a good fit and left. And that’s when I knew that if all else failed, I might have another calling.

Bra fitter.

Sometimes it takes a stroll through The Twilight Zone to illuminate these things.

Summer in Nebraska

6813951_origThe cold water beaded up and rolled down the sides of the shiny irrigation pipe making it difficult, but fun, for my brother and I to walk on. On one side, the dirt had been heated by the summer sun until it was an unbearable temperature–even for feet toughened by weeks of running on gravel roads–and all kinds of stickers grew where the dripping water refreshed them–where no herbicides reached them.

Some were vines that grew in snake-like fashion along the ground with thick barbs. Some grew hidden in a clump of green with thin, tiny needles. Then there were the cockle burrs that had no intention of hiding. They boldly grew on bushy plants with large, prickly balls that grabbed pants and shoestrings.

The water that gushed out of the pipe on the cornfield side quickly created gloppy mud–mud to wiggle our toes in, mud to sink into up to our ankles–but mud that was being chilled by water pumped from deep within the earth. It sent shivers up our legs and sent us scrambling over the pipe to brave the stickers for a bit of warmth before climbing back on, our muddy prints telling the tale of our adventures.

The corn leaves swayed, giving its wave offering to the clouds, wafting its green aroma on the wind. Wild flowers, too, released their sweet scent to the breeze, and nearby, the earthy smell of cattle.

On some days, the nearby grove of trees would be black with birds that all took off at once with a flutter of wings, or a cow could be heard bellowing for her calf as we made our way along the cold, slippery pipe.

We picked the pinkish purple flowers that shared the moist soil with the stickers. The bouquet wilted in our sweaty hands as we neared the well, the noise of which was deafening. I could feel the low pump, pump, pump sound in my chest until I felt like it was my heart beating. At the same time, my ribs felt as if they were closing in–collapsing.

I always felt like running to escape this assault on my chest, but the cool, sparkling water called to my dry throat. To get a drink I had to get right next to the well. I took the metal tumbler from off the faucet where it rested upside down, and with a twist of the handle, released the water with a rush that sent the icy spray splashing up my sun-warmed arms. Ignoring the heat of the engine and the beating in my chest, I poured the frigid water down my throat. My insides felt instantly frosted from my lips to my stomach.

The dust on my feet didn’t feel quite so hot.