I’ve written really small so you’ll have to come closer …“
I am a firm believer that books find the reader; it’s rarely the other way around.
I would never, ever, in a million years, or 40 years, have purchased any kind of book on how not to look old. My vanity precludes me. I’ve figured I’ve got it all sorted out.
HOWEVER, this evening, shopping for a friend’s birthday in a bookstore, I found myself in front of a tome called “How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better,” by a smiling blonde named Charla Krupp. “I’ll just flip through and see if I can pick up a tip. Probably not, but I’ll see,” I thought to myself.
As the pages rippled under my fingers, I stopped quite randomly toward the back of the book, in the “Learn to Love Shapewear” section. My eyes locked on a paragraph that read: “Don’t feel bad if you need to up the cup. Once we hit forty, many of us need a bigger cup size.”
Now I’ve been the same bra size since college, when I was hauling my 36C’s around to cocktail waitressing and bartending gigs and banking on a little decolletage to go a long way. I’ve since moved to a career where I no longer dress like somone whose forgotten her pants but remembered to wear a big belt. And by this time I’ve gotten so good at eyeballing bras that I don’t even need to try them on; I can tell at a glance if they will be lovlingly supportive or ghastly humiliating.
BUT. After a recent purchase, as I was modeling a new bra for my boyfriend, who is also lovingly supportive, he said something to the effect of “they look like they’re trying to escape.”
I laughed it off as male ignorance to the subtle physics of the push-up cup. But tonight, as I read the Gospel According to Charla, it all clicked. My unloading of all my front-button shirts. The great relief as I unhook myself out of bondage each afternoon when I get home from work. The way I always reach for the older, stretched out bras.
Fighting initial embarrassment and sliding the book between the items I’d chosen for my friend, I went to the counter with the same mortification a teen-aged boy might feel if he were buying Tampax for his mother.
Tonight I will read about lip-plumping gloss, tossing my black eyeliner, and trading in my old-man aviator shades for ones that are more chic and sexy.
And I will consider the D. I will not commit, but I will consider.