From what I have gleaned, apparently there comes a point in time at which all female journalists of a particular mien must write about visiting the Town Shop on the Upper West Side. Although I am no journo, I am no longer content to let Alex Kuczynzki have all that fun writing about shaking her cans. And also I’m short on material, so here goes.

So Tizzie came to town this weekend, to the profound delight of us all. Before she arrived, she’d told me that the only place she had to visit while she was here was one-uh them brassiere shops where they manhandle you, tell you that you’ve been wearing the wrong size bra all this time, and then bring you a bra that makes you look all pneumatic and busty. (In Kentucky, where Tizzie lives, they make bras out of burlap only, and you can merely dream of underwire.) The Town Shop’s website demands:

Did you know that 80% of women wear the wrong size bra? At the Town Shop, we strive to give all of our customers a perfect fit. Every customer enjoys individual attention, from experienced fitters who are trained to determine your personal needs. This unique level of customer service is key to our success.

And by “individual attention,” they mean Champagne Room-levels of intimacy. Naturally, this seemed like the place to go.

I was a bit apprehensive about the visit. As someone on the smaller end of the spectrum (which is fine by me, because, as my grandma pointed out, you’ll never hear any of the women in my family complain of a backache), I maintain a tenuous and perhaps slightly fallacious grasp on 36 B. I refuse to cede any amount of bosom. However, I had visions of an old lady opening my arms wide and saying matter-of-factly, “Nope, you’re a 38 A,” or some other pitiful and hard-to-find size.

It turns out that there are no more old ladies working at the Town Shop. My attendant was younger than I was, actually. We went into the dressing room and I took off my shirt.

“What size do you usually buy?” she asked.

I hesitated. “36…B?”

“Yeah, that looks about right,” she replied, and left to get some bras for me to try on.

I felt a twinge of disappointment, because something deep in my soul longed to be told that–I dunno–I was actually a 34 C. (Pie in the sky, I know.)

She brought me two, both of which looked exactly like everything I already own. I picked the first one.

“That looks nice,” she remarked, and adjusted the straps. It was a Natori, made for low-cut shirts, with modular straps and whatnot.

“Yeah, it does.” I sighed. “This was easier than I thought.”

She smiled and nodded. I got dressed and went to Tizzie’s dressing room, where her attendant–a lady with a most impressive set of mams–stood with 17 or 18 bras in her hands.

“You’ve been wearing the wrong bras,” she chastised. The three of us scrutinized Tizzie’s breasts. And then, in a move that looked like she was about to perform a half-Nelson, she reached over Tizzie’s shoulder and grabbed ahold of her lefty, and then her righty, lifting and jiggling them.

“You gotta let your girls out to breathe,” she explained. For some reason I felt jealous that some stranger wasn’t grabbing my boobs and shaking them. Mine, it seems, were anaerobic.

Tizzie ended up with four lovely bras. I bought the Natori and wondered if it was really necessary for me to own a bra made to accomodate plunging necklines. Needless to say, Tizzie’s elation at finding four perfect-fitting bras made the entire outing worth it for us both, even if I was denied the spectacle of molestation.

Postscript: When I got home that night, I made N pretend to be a buxom black woman and jiggle my boobs in the mirror. It wasn’t the same.

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