the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Wherein I was fondled by strangers

Over the weekend I had to fix an ongoing problem in my more personal life. So I headed to the mall, hit the lingerie section of a big box store and asked two girls who are young enough to be my children to tell me how big my boobs are.

After having given birth in front of an audience twice, the only modesty I have about my private parts is the fact that I will obey the law and not shop without any pants on. Or is that even against the law? Because I saw a girl yesterday wearing a bikini, and she was in the mall WALKING AROUND with a see-through shirt on top. Nothing else. I couldn’t decide whether I should walk over and give her a high-five or remind her that, honey, this isn’t Florida.

So, yeah. These two girls were innocently folding panties when a muscular Peter Pan walked up and started barking orders. I just felt like I shouldn’t delay the inevitable and side-step the whole thing, so I said, listen. None of my bras fit. In fact, they are so ill-fitting that right now I am wearing a tattered sports bra. Here, let me lift up my shirt and show you. You didn’t know that Peter Pan has breasts, did you?!

I was really impressed with the level of their decorum, which I guess if you’re going to be working with other people’s boobs all day, you’ve got to get to a point where you accept that really weird things can happen. Like, you can’t flinch when you hand someone a bra, and when they drop the one they were wearing on the floor you notice that there are tire marks across the cups.

One of the girls approached me with a measuring tape and began sizing up the whole situation. She bit her lower lip, did another measurement, and then tilted her head to the side. “Bring me a size _ _- _, ” she said to the other girl. What? You think I am about to tell you my bra size? Are you out of your damn mind? A girl must have her secrets. Plus, I’ll be out in public one day and someone will recognize my boobs because I wrote about them on the Internet, and then all sorts of accusations will start flying about how I put my boobs in danger.

Don’t you know how the Internet works?

The girl who measured me knows her business, because she got it right the first time. I thought I was going to spend several awful hours contorting my body into various bras, because I have been through that in the past. And any woman will tell you that some of the most horrifying moments of her life are standing underneath that awful dressing room light and seeing giant pockets of flesh jutting up underneath her armpits like she’s trying to smuggle bulging bags of ground beef through security.

Ground beef side boobs = wrong bra.

But this time I had a perfect fitting bra in less than fifteen minutes, so I bought one in black and one in a more nude color to wear with white t-shirts (the staple of my diet). You know you’re not supposed to wear white bras under white t-shirts, right? Open any women’s magazine right now and you will find that tip somewhere inside its pages, along with 101 ways to pleasure your man that are totally different from last month’s 101 ways to pleasure your man.


This post was sponsored by the Skinny Cow Perfect Cup campaign. Be sure to check out their website to find out more about the next event in your area! An event is being held on 8/27 in LA. Register today!

  • annalitchka

    2011/08/15 at 11:34 am

    Zero comments? How can that be?

    This summer, I have discovered ABSORBENT COTTON KNIT bras. And for the first time in years, I’m going through the day-after-day of 100+ degrees without getting a heat rash. Hurray for (cheap) absorbent cotton knit bras, especially for the bigger boob!

  • HowToBeADad

    2011/08/15 at 11:36 am

    I feel like a perv commenting on this, but……

    This reminds me of the time I had to go to a sports store for the first time and get a “cup” for martial arts/soccer, what have you.

    The guy brought over several testicle shields and asked me what size I wanted.

    Hurt and confused, I said “large”. Bad idea.

    Suffice to say, a 13 year old isn’t going to use a cavernous cup size.

    Moral of the story: I don’t like talking about my junk to actual people, just online readers apparently.


  • slappyintheface

    2011/08/15 at 11:47 am

    I bought new ones recently too … but I am having trouble letting go of the old ratty ones, don’t really need them, but they hold memories …. oh if those bras could talk.

  • jessjgh1

    2011/08/15 at 11:52 am

    You should be compensated by Victoria’s Secret for this post. I’ve been contemplating putting myself thru the same act of humiliation and you make it sound tolerable… except- I’m really hoping for a cotton bra… maybe even wireless…
    Still I think I’m going to take the plunge and go for it.

    Thanks for a variety of posts the good, bad and ugly, practical, funny, thoughtful, honest and curious. Sometimes I really want to know what has been embellished. In this post, not so much, but in others(-;


  • Archives of Our Lives

    2011/08/15 at 11:56 am

    Don’t know if there’ll ever be a time in my life when I can honestly describe myself as a “muscular Peter Pan,” but I sure hope there is.

    Holler for perky boobs.

  • Dawn56

    2011/08/15 at 11:59 am

    I recently went for a fitting, too. No one makes a bra that fits me. NO ONE. Surely there must be other short, stocky, narrow-ribcaged, giganto boobed women out there? Even with a brand-new supposedly properly fitting bra I spend my days battling the quadra-boobs. (That’s ground beef in-between boobs). Grrrrr…

  • ChickWhitt

    2011/08/15 at 12:17 pm

    I am 17 weeks pregnant and still have not outgrown my bras. From the time I was 17 and realized my boobs simply were not going to grow, I have been waiting for pregnancy to be the great equalizer. But NOOOOOOO, not even preggo hormones will make mine grow. They’ve just been taken over by areolas on miracle-gro.

  • waitimaprincess

    2011/08/15 at 12:18 pm

    Because my boobs are size -30AAAAAAAA, I shall commence to glowering at you all. You boob havers. DO YOU KNOW WHAT I’D GIVE TO HAVE GROUND BEEF SQUEEZED UP FROM UNDERWIRE UNDER MAH PITS?

  • waitimaprincess

    2011/08/15 at 12:21 pm

    ChickWhitt — be my friend. Please? (Although I will admit to getting rather booblicious during breastfeeding (but not during the pregnancies w/the girls. Only the boy, who gave me ass too. I loves him the most)).

  • Erin Human

    2011/08/15 at 12:30 pm

    I have tried to get a bra fitting at VS and was presented with the most ill fitting bras I have ever strapped to my torso, which is saying something considering I am 33 and have NEVER had a properly sized bra.

    I have also done bra fittings for strangers, as a retail worker at a maternity store years ago. It was surprisingly un-awkward as long as the customer wasn’t all embarrassed and shy – that is actually what makes for a cringe-filled fitting.

  • Enatural7

    2011/08/15 at 1:36 pm

    I go to The Fitting Place. All of the women that work there are old enough to be my Mom or Grandma. They also work with a lot of breast cancer patients so they are very good at what they do. I thought it would be weird but it wasn’t. She wasn’t grabby like I was afraid she would be. She could probably tell that I didn’t want her to be grabby.

  • Anxious Annie

    2011/08/15 at 2:20 pm

    My local Macy’s had a bra fitting event this weekend and I so needed to go, but my car decided to scare me with some mysterious dashboard indicator light instead. So I sat for a bit at Lexus while they aired up my tires and I missed the event. Do stores do these whenever you want?

  • all my user names are taken

    2011/08/15 at 3:12 pm

    “This post is sponsored by the Skinny Cow Perfect Cup Campaign.”

    Bwaahhh hah hah! perfect cup! Get it?

    (42 yo boobs, 12 yo sense of humor)

  • apostate

    2011/08/15 at 3:22 pm

    You must tell me where one can get measured for a good bra around these parts. Also, don’t think about wearing those hankering shorts at Mainstreet Plaza. 😉

  • DC Dana

    2011/08/15 at 3:30 pm

    Ha! “Ground beef side boobs = wrong bra” thank you for validating that for me. I hate shopping in general, let alone for bras, but I’m pretty sure that describes me in some of my bras right now. Hence I’ll reconsider shopping…sigh.

  • Ajmac

    2011/08/15 at 5:11 pm

    You do know that VS stands for vanity sizing, right? At a fitting there I suddenly went from a C to a DD… um? I bought the bras because they fit but I’m in for a whole ‘nother round of sizing if I ever stray from this brand.

  • lueread

    2011/08/15 at 5:30 pm

    The women where I buy my bras are awesome at fittings. The last time I was fitted, one woman simply looked at me, told me what size I needed, and got it right. She also brought me a bra price over $100 to try on. It fit my breasts but not my budget.

  • bluecat

    2011/08/15 at 6:29 pm

    The only thing I have to say is Nordstrom. All women should go to Nordstrom.

  • bluecat

    2011/08/15 at 6:29 pm

    The only thing I have to say is Nordstrom. All women should go to Nordstrom.

  • bluecat

    2011/08/15 at 6:31 pm

    Sorry for the fab.

  • MisterPrecedent

    2011/08/15 at 11:33 pm

    For the record, here is how to easily calculate your American bra size (European sizing is different):

    Using a flexible tape measure, measure around your rib cage just under your breasts. Add either 4″ or 5″ to that, to make it an even number. The resulting figure is your BAND SIZE.

    Next, measure around your breasts, without squeezing too tightly. Subtract this number from your band size. The difference tells you what size cup you need:
    <1" = AA
    1" = A
    2" = B
    3" = C
    4" = D
    5" = DD/E
    6" = DDD/F
    7" = DDD/G
    8" = OMG!

    For example, if your rib cage measures 33" and your breasts measure 36":
    33" + 5" = 38 BAND SIZE
    38(band size) - 36"(breasts) = 2" = 38B bra size

  • Badger

    2011/08/16 at 2:27 am

    I am well endowed which while some consider blessed, I consider the bane of my life. I have to shop at the UK big boob shop Bravissimo for all bras and bikinis.
    The first time I got measured there, I got measured by a lovely, yet flat chested lady. The store starts sizing at D cup so I did wonder how she was qualified to ask me to bend down and ‘shimmy’ whilst wearing one of their bras to see if it fits. The idea is that if anything pops out the side or the top, then it doesn’t fit properly. Oh the embarrassment….. x

  • susanjones963

    2011/08/16 at 6:25 am

    I cannot believe that you will go into GREAT detail about your poop but balk at revealing your bra size!

  • Amberly

    2011/08/16 at 10:14 am

    … It’s pretty odd to be sponsored by a product that you don’t consume.

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    2011/08/16 at 10:59 am

    about your photo of the flank steak meal ….
    just want to say that your “who am i anymore?” line wins the funny of the summer. 🙂

  • skradei

    2011/08/16 at 11:59 am

    I can’t believe I’m going to comment on this. Using that “add X inches” sizing technique gave me the worst, most ill-fitting bras for years and years. The band ends up being HUGE. Seriously. If my rib cage is 27″, on what planet will a bra with a 34″ band fit well?

    Check out, and if you shop there, make sure you read the owner’s comments about each bra you are considering. You’ll think they’re insane when you figure out your size (28F!), but the fit is dreamy.

  • suebob

    2011/08/16 at 2:56 pm

    Amberly said “… It’s pretty odd to be sponsored by a product that you don’t consume.”

    No, it isn’t. I’ll show you how it works in 5 easy steps:
    1. Sponsor proposes a post
    2. Blogger says yes or no
    3. Blogger writes post
    4. Sponsor (or their rep) sends a check
    5. Blogger cashes check

    This is different from an endorsement, for which the blogger should get a much bigger pile of money, because the sponsor is not only paying for the writing and ad space, but for the assertion that the blogger uses and likes the product – the goodwill built up by the blogger’s excellent work in the past is supposed to cast a nice glow around the product.

    This ends our lesson in sponsored posts and endorsements for the day. You are dismissed.

  • tdotjen

    2011/08/16 at 7:17 pm

    I stopped wearing a bra except for formal wear and job interviews some time in my early 20s because I didn’t fill an A cup. Cue my wedding in my mid 20s, buying one bra in that same size A cup and thinking, oh, it fits now and not realizing that I would be spending the most photographed day of my life wearing a bra that was in fact too small.

    I didn’t realize it was the too small until I tried buying a second a month later in another colour and it wasn’t in stock in what I thought was my size… so I tried a cup size up. Huh. I’m a B cup. Who knew boobs could keep growing without childbirth or major body weight changes beyond your early 20s?

  • JetLime

    2011/08/17 at 6:00 am

    I get my bras at Bravissimo, the shop in the UK Badger mentioned. I have never seen a flat chested shop assistant there, if there is one they hide her 🙂 I always thought I was wearing the right bra (34D) but I watched a video on their website and realised I was wrong. The front of the bra under my breasts always used to stick out. Apparently it isn’t supposed to do that. So I booked a fitting and it was amazing. The lady fitting me was about my size (UK 10, US 8) but far from flat. She didn’t measure anything, just looked at me and came back with the right bra. It turns out I’m 28G, a size normal shops don’t even sell. Now I can’t wear any of my old bras anymore because I realised how uncomfortable they all were. Ignorance is bliss because this otherwise fantastic revelation is costing me a lot of money! But well worth it, I’ve never been more comfortable!

  • lisdom

    2011/08/17 at 11:17 am

    Nordstom is pretty sweet. Also, believe it or not, but Gap Body has some pretty great bras at a very reasonable price. Also, I’m not sure if they still do it, but they have a frequent buyer card, where after you buy 5 bras, you get one free. They even have my size, which is saying something.

  • MisterPrecedent

    2011/08/18 at 4:33 am

    skradei, a size 34 bra band does NOT measure 34″, just as a size 6 dress does not measure 6″. Note the lack of quotation marks indicating inches in regards to band size in my post. Women’s clothing sizes don’t equate to body measurements. Men’s do.

    Incidentally, if your rib cage is 32″ or under, you add 3″ or 4″ to get an even number for your band size (for the majority of American bra designers), as opposed to the 4″ or 5″ most women would add.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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