But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.
1 Corinthians 10:24-ish
Gentlemen: Although you’re welcome to read it, beneath the fold is probably TMI for you. For you, a discussion of smartphones.
I’m moving into the smartphone market. I don’t really care that much about the cool specs or whatever, but I do want a good phone that’ll last the 2-year contract and where the hardware and software won’t get in the way of usability. Also, I think I want something slender and relatively small, since I have to carry this on my bike. Right now, I’m looking most seriously at the HTC One S (recommended by Gary, my father-in-law, who cares about having good tech), with the HTC Amaze 4G (recommended by Ben, our a friend in IT who also cares about these things) and Samsung Galaxy S-of-some-stripe also in the running. I am interested in any thoughts or experiences you’ve had.
That’s really all I’ve got on smartphones at the moment. It’s telling that I could write an entire blog post about bike tires, but have only one paragraph’s-worth of thoughts on smartphones.
For those of you who want to venture beneath the fold, you’ve been warned. Go ahead, it’s not private, just less-frequently discussed.
Yesterday I turned 28 years old, which is odd, because I feel older than that. But nope, still in my 20s, albeit indubitably out of my mid-20s. To celebrate, Mom and I went on a bicycling errands trip for bras. As you can imagine, to somebody who generally dislikes and avoids regular shopping, bra shopping represents a special brand of misery I eschew at all costs. Unfortunately, due to the exigencies of pregnancy — what I think of as the “manifest destiny of boobs” — my regular bras just aren’t holding up (so to speak).
First we went to REI, which serves as a less-painful introduction to shopping. I don’t feel completely bizarre walking around in bike clothes at REI, and nobody double-takes as I walk by. There we found that size medium sports bras seemed to do the job better than what Mom described as “this old rag,” referring to my (admittedly ratty) old sports bra. Yes, I know, six years is too long to own any undergarment.
We bought a couple sports bras there, one with a feature I cannot imagine using: A storage pocket in the front. You know how strippers slip money down their cleavage? Well, apparently that inspired North Face, because they sell a sports bra with built-in front storage. Here’s what they say about it:
Since the beginning of time, women have stashed goods in their bras. Money, grocery lists, phone numbers – you name it, it’s been stashed. Now you can do it legitimately on long runs with this new sports bra thanks to a double-layer chest pocket at interior center-front panel. Ideal for fuel/storage needs on long runs…
Whew, good thing I can now legitimately store important little things in my sports bra (besides my boobs, which don’t quality as “little” so much these days). I’ve been wishing I could just slip, um, stuff in there. I’ll let you know if I do ever use this, and if I do, I’m sure I’ll love that it’s there. But when we bought it we just snickered because my first comment was, “Oh, good, I could hide notes from my secret lover in there.” Sure, yes, that’d always be an option, if I had a secret lover and wanted to carry his notes in my bra instead of doing something sensible like burning them and then mashing the ashes into dust.
So that was one thing. I left wearing a better-fitting, more supportive sports bra and it did feel better. Then we went to Macy’s for real bras, and that’s when my discomfort level went far beyond Amber Alert into Ultraviolet. Wearing bike kit in Macy’s most definitely does draw looks, surreptitious from the staff and a little more pronounced from customers.
Then, of course, there’s the fact that you walk in through the makeover section, which contains products so alien to me they might as well exist in another universe.
Then, most of all, you get to the lingerie section and spend some time waiting for the saleswoman to get through with her customer, and while you wait, you stand near the sale bin of extra-large panties. It’s hard to rein in the ol’ imagination when looking at some of those lacy bits — not small bits, no, it’s a fair bit of lace because we’re talking about covering a fair surface area, even if only covering it scantily.
When the saleswoman finishes, you wrench your horrified gaze away from the neon lace long enough to explain that you’d like a bra fitting. This involves her whipping out a tape measure and whisking you back into the changing room, where you remove your shirt and she measures above and below your boobs. Then she pronounces, “I think we’ll start with a 32DD.” At which point you blink rapidly, assimilating the fact that nary six months ago you comfortably inhabited A/B territory and never wanted to go beyond there. You think, “My husband is going to love this.” Unfortunately, you don’t love it, because it’s just downright intrusive.
Back out among the bras, she asks what you like in a bra, a question to which you have no answer because you haven’t bought a bra since your boobs settled on their size back at the end of puberty. “A functional one” would probably come closest to satisfying her. She decides you know nothing — absolutely true — and begins selecting bras for you. After picking a few, she sends you back into the changing room and then just periodically sends back her choices for you to try. You spend a fair bit of time giggling because this is absurd, but have to acknowledge that D and DD do seem to fit. When she sees the fit of the DD cups, she says, “That’s a little big, but I’m sure you’ll grow into it,” sadly also all too true.
Eventually, after trying on so many bras that you start wondering if your baby will be born in that changing room, you settle on two bras. Actually, you pick two of the same, but one is a 32D and the other a 32DD (“growing room” is not a phrase I ever, ever wanted for my underwear, but it is part of the reality of pregnancy).
A long, long wait ensues as a stooped old woman ahead of you struggles to return an absurdly huge pile of lingerie (her own??) and use a coupon to purchase other lingerie. Finally, with a feeling experienced only by prisoners paroled last-minute from death row, you escape back to your bicycle and are astonished to realize that we’re still in the same world as when you went into the store. That means the saleswoman really does spend all day looking at and thinking about other women’s boobs.
You ride away, grateful to have right-fitting bras, and desperate to avoid that experience for as long as humanly possible in the future. Sadly, you realize that these may just be stopgap measures, stepping stones into the world of even larger bras as your boobs expand into unfamiliarly-bulky territory.
And that was my birthday present from Mom. Necessary and much-appreciated, but not the way I’d choose to spend an afternoon if I hadn’t been pushing far beyond the intended limits of my old bras. Thank you, Mom, for the support, both moral and otherwise.