Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In The Name of Mall of America. Amen.

On our last day in Minnesota we acquiesced to the pleas of our preteen offspring and took them to The Holy Land.

Armed with their copy of Guinness's World's Records, they spouted off trivia to me in their efforts to seal the deal. Mall of America is the world's eighth largest mall. At any given time there are more people inside that mall than live in our town. How, how does a young shopper absorb all that without passing out, gift card squeezed in a sweaty, lifeless hand? They wanted to see the theme park inside a mall and test its existence, the thought of ferris wheels and roller coasters in the very place that houses Claire's almost too much to bear. The closest our small town mall will ever come to an amusement park is the after-Christmas sale at Penney's. There was also an aquarium with sharks, and all the shopping a young girl could stand.

We spent our last day there, and I was really amazed at how much fun we had. First, I was expecting something like the big fancy malls two hours south of us. These places are filled with perfect women with their Chanel eye wear perched atop ironed hair, tiny little Prada tees and painted on Seven jeans. They teeter about shops like Versace and St. Johns in their Jimmy Choos. And these are the mommys. You can spot them, because underneath their Marc Jacobs bags they're clutching a Juicy diaper bag and if you wait a moment, you might even spot actual progeny. I don't like the way those kinds of places make me feel. I might leave my home feeling cute as a button in an Eddie Bauer skirt and t-shirt, but come back feeling rumpled and sort of like I'm a little blurry around the edges.

But Mall of America? In America's Heartland? The great Midwest where good women have bobbed hair, capris pants and maybe a cute camp shirt? Where the glamorous moms have added hoop earrings and a camisole underneath said campshirt? Where there is no litter to be found, clean children, and evidence of Boy Scouts everywhere? We had a ball.

The kids did the rides for a few hours, pet the sharks, and ate lunch. My girls went into stores that featured lots of prettily displayed cheap plastic costume jewelry and nearly went into apoplectic fits when they discovered that they could buy many trinkets for mere dollars. They spent gift cards they've been hoarding for the past year, they met wild-eyed at the Abercrombie teen store and emerged with the coveted hoodie sweatshirt bearing the store's logo.

We took Jack into Nordstrom to buy a pair of sturdy baby shoes, the kind that look semi-orthopedic. Because he's still not walking, but he's making progress, and according to his doctor he needs something to help stabilize his feet. We entered the Nordstrom children's shoes department and it was a zoo. Literally. There was an enormous floor to ceiling aquarium and mothers and children everywhere. We had to take a number, it was so busy. Bob wins the Good Husband of the Year Award, because when I discovered we'd be waiting for the better part of an hour, he didn't even bat an eyelash when I said I should probably just scoot on over to lingerie while he waited, fitted Jack for shoes, and paid for them. It would be like feeding two birds with one seed, you know?

*cue sexy music*

And that's when I had my date at Nordstrom.

I entered the lingerie section, knowing I needed to get a new bra. I'm not nursing anymore, and every bra I own is a different size, none of them fitting right. I needed to get fitted and get something well-made. I was approached by a tiny woman with really high cheekbones. She looked Japanese-American, but when she opened her mouth, she sounded vaguely European. Before I could finish telling her that I needed a really good bra and that I had never really been measured for size, she had whisked me into a fitting room.

With a snap of her measuring tape, she stared at me. Oh. I took off my shirt. She didn't move, and I reluctantly unhooked my bra, something I am loathe to do unless in the inky black of night. She was all efficient moves, her tape around my ribs, her quick gesture to my old bra on the floor.

"What size were you wearing?"

"Uh, this one is a 36 B. But it's one of mine that really doesn't fit well."

With a tsking sound of disdain she turned and left the dressing room. Over her shoulder she called, "You are a 32 C, maybe D in some of our lines, I will get some bras for you now."

She quickly returned, lacy goods in hand, and instructed me to place my arms out in front of me. She placed the bra on me, snapped the hook closures, and reached a tiny hand around and grabbed my boob. She lifted the remnants of my mammaries and adjusted them into the cup. I couldn't move. I stood there as she squeezed, adjusted and maneuvered my breasts into very expensive bras by La Perla and Chantelle. When she had finished, she patted the outsides of my breasts and took a step back. "There. Much better, you think?"

I felt like I should say something to acknowledge the action my boobs had just received. Maybe, What are you doing later tonight? But instead, I looked in the mirror and gasped. It was like a lift without scarring. Really. If you have nursed more than one child and you are reading this? Go. Run. Get thee to a fitter and put your girls in $200 lace cups. Because you will feel like a girl again, I promise.

We all had a marvelous time at the Midwest's largest tribute to retail. I'm still glowing from my bras, with an urge to make a hot dish, and the girls have pointed their beds toward Mecca Minneapolis and await next summer's pilgrimage with great happiness.


BOSSY said...

Just wondering: Did the Mall of America make you paint something in exchange for staying the night?

Nancy said...

Sounds like you had a great time.
$200 bra? I haven't yet.

Her Grace said...

Being from the midwest (having a bob, capris, and plenty of campshirts), I can honestly say that the thought of the Mall of American scares me to pieces. But I'm glad you had a good time.

Brat said...

I once almost had to stop at Mall of America with my 16 year old, but I was able to distract her from EVERY billboard advertising it from Montana to Minnesota, and on we went to Chicago.

It was the hardest thing I've ever done, and when she found out, she let my best towels mildew in a far corner of her bedroom.

Mary Alice said...

I think I would rather stab my own eyeballs out with a red hot poker than ever set a foot in the Mall of America.....however getting my titties massaged into a better fitting bra kind of peeks my interest. Did you invite Bob in to watch....or did you just leave the poor man out there waiting and missing all the fun?

BetteJo said...

Stacy and Clinton would be so proud!

theghelertertwins.blogspot.com said...

If I'm understanding this the "boob" job was enjoyable and to thank her you bought a bra. Sounds like heaven!

slouching mom said...


I loved the story of your bra fitting.


Joanie said...

INKY BLACK OF NIGHT! Oh my goodness, yes. Quite the opposite of garish light of day in dressing room.
I smell what you're cooking, but I think I'll put my expensive bra money into the future lift fund. ;)

Lorelai said...

Okay you sold me....where must I go...no RUN to this lady! At 35 and nursed 3 kids. I have a size 4 or 6 body with the unfortunate breasts of a 70 year old.

KC said...

Nordstrom's customer service--you gotta love it. but, wow $200 bra. I didn't even know they made such things. Score.

Kim said...

I just had a boob incident the other day. Not the same as yours but an incident, nonetheless. I'm in dyer need of a new bra - thanks for the advice. Nursing baby # two btw.

crazylady said...

I didn't know I could push up my double A's. If she can fondle me up to a C, I fork out the 200. And double it for a tip.

Jennifer said...

I have done the post-nursing-three-children-need-new-bras fitting thing. And...wow! After they were finished, I shelled out the big bucks for those new bras and felt lucky to do so. Who knew?! (Well, I guess a lot of people knew. But I never did. LOL.)

(I just found you through your post on my blog (Faking It) -- I'm glad I did!)

secret agent said...

first .... thanks for the visit

all my friends keep raving/bragging about their bra size.
I don't know what's up with Nordstroms but they are also providing a huge ego /along with boob/ boost.
My BF keeps bragging about her D cup.

Catherine said...

First, good for you that you were fitted. It's totally worth it and too few women do it. A Nordstrom's fitting is one of the best freebies EVER.

Secondly, I bought bras today! The other night, I was complaining about my bra. And when I took it off, the underwire was broken. HOW does that happen? I tossed it in the trash. And then realized the next day that I had no light color bras. In fact, I only had 1 bra to my name. HOW does that happen? Oh yeah, two kids, changing sizes...

I've heard from others that Victoria Secret also does a fitting, but their bras are "vanity" sized. Cause I want to be a DD?

Anna said...

OMG---so you brought it home? And the girls are now nestled in said lace cups? I'm so jealous.

I'm in target nursing bra right now, even though H hardly ever nurses during the day any more. But I have no idea what size I would be after nursing or being preggo since 2003. I need to find my own magic fitter. I hear there is a woman named barBRA at our local lingerie shop, go figure.

GL'sD said...

We live near to the Mall of America but go there infrequently. I nursed five babies but eventually had breast reduction surgery...wonderful!!!!I have had good luck with bra fittings at Macy's. Then I heard that Victoria's Secret has people for this purpose, who do an excellent job,so off I went to try them. The woman who helped me was a mature lady (Not as old as me, however). She seemed rather disinterested in fitting me and ended up fitting me into a bra...never mind that it caused bulges although I am not over weight and was not experiencing said bulges prior to this bra, which she convinced me was perfect for me because "it looked great from the front". Being a timid soul, I actually went home with the darn thing and tried it on - much to the amusement of my husband regarding the poor fit. When I returned it, to a different store, of course, I was assisted by a much more personable young woman and realized it was my misfortune to meet the first, older and supposedly quite knowledgable sales person first.

jakelliesmom said...

I've done the Nordstrom fitting, too. While the guidance was well worth it, I couldn't imagine shelling out my life's savings for the Chantelle that made me feel whole again.

That said, where we live, we have Nordstrom Rack, and I often find some great lingerie deals in the nicer brands. Plus, it makes me giggle when I'm buying a bra at a place that has "Rack" in its name.