So the other night I went shopping for a new swimsuit because I couldn’t find any of mine, not even the maternity ones (which hopefully don’t fit anymore). They are probably all buried deep within the bowels of my closet. No matter. I knew I could find a swimsuit for cheap in July. Whether I could find one that wasn’t ugly was another question. So I went to ye neighborhood department store and looked in their swimwear section, which as you might imagine–this being July and all–was very teeny-tiny indeed. They had a reasonably good selection of bikinis. Unfortunately, “bikini” is not in my fashion vocabulary, which meant that I was stuck with whatever leftovers they had for women with poor body images. Them were slim pickins indeed. Actually, there was nothing “slim,” exactly, in the selection. Not that I’m some Nicole Richie or Whatever-Olsen-Twin-Has-The-Eating-Disorder, but I am not quite large enough to fit into most of the sizes that were still available. I suppose the vast majority of women in my size do their swimsuit shopping in February, when the retail industry tells them to. I think they only make these ugly swimsuits so that there will be something still in the stores when the weather is such that people actually go swimming. But that’s just a theory.

Let me tell you what kind of bathing suits you can find in July: black suits with giant floral prints and–yeah, that about covers it. Black suits with giant floral prints. And if your suit happens to be black with a giant floral print, please don’t be offended. I’m sure yours is lovely and flatters your figure perfectly. But what if you don’t want a black suit with a giant floral print? Well, you can just go to hell, that’s what you can do. Unless this one suit that isn’t black with a giant floral print just happens to be in your size or the next size up, but oh, no, sorry, it’s four sizes too large. Next summer eat more doughnuts, dearie.

Actually, I was fortunate enough to find four suits in my size (or thereabouts), three of which were blue and one of which was not floral. I tried on one of those tankinis, which look so attractive on other people, but I’ve noticed in the dressing room that they tend to draw attention to a part of my body I’d rather people didn’t focus on. You know, when I see other people wearing those tankinis, I’m sure I don’t find my eyes irresistably drawn to their midriffs, and yet when I try on a tankini, all I can see is my midriff. So in theory I could wear a tankini and not make everyone around me grimace, but realitically speaking, I obviously lack the confidence to carry off such an outfit. So no tankini for moi. As for the other three suits, one was navy blue and rather plain–or rather, it was plain. It was a navy blue suit. Astonishingly minimalist for July swimwear, but then again, there was only one of them. The other two suits were various shades of blue, (mostly) inoffensive floral designs. Not my dream suit, but wouldn’t kill me to wear. While the colors were more flattering to my skin tone, I noticed that the cut was entirely wrong for my body type. To wit, it accentuated–if such a thing is possible in this context–the fact that I am mere centimeters away from having no breasts. So the navy blue suit it was.

But that episode reminded me that I really need to buy a new nursing bra, if only so I can finally wean the baby. It usually takes a significant outlay of money for me to make the leap from one phase of life to another. But that’s a side issue. As of right now, the baby is not weaning, and I only have one nursing bra that fits.

//ATTENTION: THIS IS THE PORTION OF THE BLOG THAT YOU DON’T READ, IF YOU DON’T ENJOY READING ABOUT WOMEN’S BRA-SHOPPING EXPERIENCES. ACTUALLY, IF YOU DO USUALLY ENJOY SUCH THINGS, I’M REASONABLY CERTAIN THAT THIS WILL DISAPPOINT YOU. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.//

Most nursing mothers have large breasts. I am one of about three women in the world, near as I can figure, who wears a B cup while nursing, and I only fill it out the first six months. Once the baby starts eating solid food and nursing a little less, the nursing bra gets significantly roomier. If they made nursing bras in A cups, that’s what I’d wear right now. Only they don’t, so instead I wear bras that are too big for me, which can result in unsightly bunches of excess material under my outerwear. I don’t know if you followed that. Maybe you’d rather not.

A few months ago I found a nursing bra by Liz Lange at Target that was perfect for me. It’s made out of stretchy (I think that’s the technical term) fabric, so women who are on the buxomer side of B will fill it out better, but women such as myself, who are on the “lighter” side of B, do not have this voluminous cup for their diminutive breast to swim in. And the nursing flaps open to the side, rather than top-down. I hate the top-down flaps. They make for even more of the unsightly bunchy extra stuff that I don’t need. Unfortunately, they only had one of these Liz Lange bras in stock when I was there, so that is the one I have. Target has since stopped carrying Liz Lange maternity and nursing bras, I think. They certainly haven’t gotten any more of that particular style, and certainly not in a B cup. I’ve looked online for similar nursing bras, but I haven’t found anything I like. I certainly haven’t found it for $12, which is about what I feel like investing in a nursing bra right now.

But one bra that fits is really not enough. I mean, it would be nice to wear one bra that fits while I’m washing the other one. I know, I’m such a fat, spoiled American. Anyway, so after the swimsuit selection, I went to the lingerie section to look for nursing bras, or alternatively, some bra that might be compatible with nursing. I was not successful in that pursuit. It reminded me, though, that I have even less to look forward to once I wean the baby and my anemic B-cup chest dwindles to a double-A again. You might be wondering why a woman of my particular endowments needs to bother with a bra at all. Well, let’s just say I’m old-fashioned. It’s a psychological thing. If I never wore a bra, how would I know when I wasn’t fit to be seen in public? Not that I’m fit now, but as long as I’m wearing a bra, I can pretend.

Mister Bubby has just informed me that Elvis is eating ice cream out of the carton. With his hands. So I must adieu. ‘Til next time, my friends.

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