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Sunday, March 20, 2011

It has been raining since I woke up this afternoon, and yes, I say afternoon in the most literal of ways as I made a concerted effort to sleep in. Let’s just say my effort did not fail. The rain moved in and made just enough noise to be a perfect rhythmic accompaniment for sleeping. A little bit of cold in the air made blankets all the more comfortable and warm. Raindrops plunked against the giant leaf of the plant that grows outside my window like some prehistoric super brontosaurus snack. The light was fuzzy. My hibernation impulse took over, as strong as if I were half-bear.

I might be, actually. I’ll eat almost anything, can be quite grouchy, and enjoy naps. It’s possible.

I felt very bad for those who ran the L.A. marathon today, as at no time has the rain dwindled to qualify as “sprinkling.” These are showers for sure and have been all day. And running 26.2 miles in them does not sound like the best plan to me. But then again, neither does running 26.2 miles. (Bears don’t do that, do they?)

I did venture out into the rain a bit – not for any activities involving endurance, mind you – to indulge in the warmth of a latte and, of all things, to buy a bra using a discount coupon for Victoria’s Secret that was sent to me by my mom with a note explaining the lack of likelihood that she would use it. Not just before it expired, ever. Sure, she will collect the free panties when they send a coupon by mail (though she will never use the word “panties” to refer to them, bless her, as we have never used that word to describe underpants ever in life. The word grosses me out. That’s definitely another essay for another time). But she’s not ponying up that much cash for a bra anytime soon (she would use the words “in this lifetime” to describe the time period involved).

Hilariously empty due to the rain (I guess you don’t think to acquire sexy, frilly, lingerie when it’s solid sweatpants weather), it was like being in Victoria’s Secret if the store were actually a secret. Typically, Victoria’s Secret is a store that makes me nervous to be inside it. Not just because I’m usually wearing a t-shirt that is not a t-shirt requiring a special t-shirt bra they sell, but more likely one that is a men’s large and was acquired in 1999, but because part of the sales approach of the Vicky’s team is STRONG AND CONTINUOUS APPROACH. You might just want to discreetly zig-zag past what’s hot and sexy now (that you have no use for and certainly not the discretionary funds for and you wouldn’t spend it on that if you did) and scurry to a bra drawer and pick out a plain bra in your size and complete your transaction with the cashier as fast as possible, without opening a Victoria Secret credit card account, thanks anyway, but chances are you’ll be dive-bombed by sales associates as you bob and weave your way through circular table displays that have underwear fanned in the most aesthetically pleasant way possible, like paint chips on a designer’s color wheel.

“Can I help you with anything?”

“Need help finding anything?”

“Finding everything ok?”

No. No. Yes, thanks.

“Well, let me know if you need anything.”

Thanks. Yes. I get it. You’re here to help.

“Did you know are lotions are buy one get one half off?”


“Did you want to look at those?”


Today, while I was shown directly to the drawer I was already zig-zagging toward when asked if I was looking for anything, the “I’ll be back to check on you in a minute” promise made to me by the woman in black was definitely broken.

Bra in hand, ready to check out, it was like I was behind the scenes and wearing a cloak of invisibility. I could see arms hanging and folding things, hear conversations shouted from one side of the store to the next. This was definitely a backstage pass. I was seeing Victoria’s Secret in her underwear. After a few moments of milling about the register area, I actually had to roam the store to get someone’s attention.

“Did you need help?”


“Yes, I wanted to buy this.”

You know, like folks do in retail stores selling products.

“Ok, let me get someone to help you. Rita, can you ring her up?”

Hilariously I was passed along to another customer service associate. She was kind enough to let me know I’d been given a free secret discount card that I could use in April for anywhere from $10 to $500 of value.

I took a moment to imagine myself with $500 of Victoria’s Secret store credit. Mentally, the neon green underwear was in my hand, yes.

“Great. April.”


Leaving the store, I noticed a possible cause of the Vicky’s ladies’ absentmindedness in the face of customer presence: a leak. Two workers were positioning a garbage can under a hole in the roof right near the front window of the store. As I left, a piece of plastic from the exit sign hit me in the head. Both an employee and I looked up at the sky, puzzled. It was funny. The weather was on the attack now.

I recommended they hold things up with bras.

Then I really enjoyed the elaborate image my imagination created of bras strung together and tied to the ceiling, bra cups overflowing with water like some modern sculpture with a message about support. It cracked me up to imagine the Vicky’s team going Macgyver with their own bras, forsaking the entire image they’d probably spent countless hours being trained to uphold. The glamour the fabulousness the hint of allure – gone! It was raining. D cups runnething over.

Oh well. It’s almost time to get back in bed and listen to the rain!

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