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    Dec 15, 2006

    Catch 22

    My wife had been planning to attend a surprise party for a family member. Recently my wife acquired 2 formal style gowns from her aunt, and since this gala was to be a quasi-formal affair, my wife decided on one those as her attire. This created a problem. No bra in her possession would remain concealed if this gown was worn. Having flipped thru a catalog or two, I am aware of adhesive alternatives for such an occasion and suggested such to my wife. I'd suggested in the past for other similar situations, but this time my idea was a good one. Guess who gets to shop for this item? Of course I'm the logical choice, knowing all the required numbers and shapes (is this what geometry was for?) ... right.

    My parents did their best to raise a gentleman - how to act in public, treat other people, using manners in word and deed, etc. At some point in my life, several actually, the difference in looking and staring came up. I say several since the action itself happened, and therein took on new meaning, with varied situations. That multi-chaptered lesson, naturally, built off of other foundational parts of my rearing. I'm sure it must have started with staring at anyone I'd perceived (at the time) to be different, be it race or size or disability, lesson being to see whoever it may have been as a person, not an anomaly or oddity. With time it may have evolved to include creed, religion, behaviors, or attitudes. Of course one of the biggies would come with hormones - women. Even before the discussion of birds and bees (neither of which ever came up during said discussion ... do they ever?), there was conversation concerning proper treatment of a lady - respect, action, reaction, making good impressions, and all the rest.

    So I sucked it up and walked into Vicky's, immediately looking for someone to point me in the right direction. I make my way for the register, only to find one girl behind the counter. No dice. Having worked retail, I know it's a bad idea to pull the only clerk from behind the register during holiday shopping season. Now I have to be discreet in finding an employee. I don't want to come off as a pervert approaching any woman dressed in casual business attire and start asking for advice in cup size. I use my deductive reasoning, and male knee jerk reflex, to start eyeing waistlines for battery packs connected to intercom headsets. I make my approach and begin my request. At first, I was smooth and very pleased with myself, though quickly I felt my throat constrict as I tried to tactfully describe what I was there for.

    (Sidebar: for the record, though I can be outspoken and very outgoing on command, I can also be very bashful, given the right circumstances)

    Once I'd stuttered out the goal of my quest, I was led to the appropriate section of the store. I let the young woman know, through some short give and take, that I believed I had enough info to convey in hopes she would place something in my hands for me to take to the counter. Never has proving me wrong gone so quickly, or humbly. As I asked questions to narrow down my choices, she started to supplement answers with visual aid. It didn't help that she was pleasant to speak with and easy on the eyes. Explaining the sizing dilemma, being that I was there stag, she offered me her own appropriate measurements, times she'd worn such product herself, and then held said product against her for me to see and hopefully compare to the one that should have been there in my stead. Here I am, product of my raising (and at the same time not entirely), invited with altruistic and noble gesture to stare - not ogle - at this attractive young woman's chest in hopes of reaching a shopping decision. What a train wreck. I can only imagine how many shades of red must have kaleidoscoped across my face. I did arrive at a decision, though I've yet to hear verdict on my purchase. I hope to never have to be that candid with another stranger, save for some form of physician.


    preemptive warrior said...

    Oran, your experience was probably the topic of the night amongst the employees after the doors were closed. Excellent.

    JonAndOn said...

    God bless this woman, whoever she is... Next time you go to Vickys I'm coming with you.