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As If Her Burden Wasn’t Heavy Enough

, , , , | Working | December 27, 2020

I have an incredibly hard to find bra size — 34JJ — and grew up in a city that, for many years, had no options available for larger cup sizes.

When I have just finished university, I desperately need some new togs — swimwear — and I need them to be supportive. I go into a local combination bra and swimwear shop and start browsing. An enthusiastic saleswoman approaches.

Saleswoman: “Hi! Can I help at all?”

Me: “I think I’m okay. You don’t appear to have my cup size so I’m just looking for a swim shirt.”

Saleswoman: “Oh, but we go up to a G cup in a few styles!”

Me: “I’m a 34JJ cup, but I promise I’m happy browsing.”

Saleswoman: “Oh, no, I’m sure we have something that will fit you. Here—”

The saleswoman shuffles me off to the dressing room. At the time I was less confident than now and was very shy about clothes shopping, so I didn’t manage to say no before she’d pulled the curtain behind me.

Saleswoman: “Now, I’ll be back in one moment for some things for you to try!”

Within twenty seconds she is back.

Saleswoman: “I just went up a few sizes at the back; I’m sure it will fit!”

She thrusts a size 42F bikini top into my hands and pulls the curtains shut.

Saleswoman: “Just try it on!”

Me: “But I know this won’t fit.”

Saleswoman: “Of course, it will! Try it on and let me see.”

I pull aside the curtain and attempt to leave only to find that she is actually blocking my exit from the changing area.

Me: “I really want to go now.”

Saleswoman: “Just humour me; I think you’ll be surprised!”

I try it on. The fit is horrific.

Me: “It doesn’t fit.”

Without warning, the saleswoman pulls open the curtain and steps in to start pulling at it.

Saleswoman: “It’s not too bad, if you just tighten this here and here.”

Me: “It doesn’t fit. The cups are way too small and there’s no support at the back.”

Saleswoman: “Just let me grab some other options.”

She then leaves, and before I can finish getting changed, she has come back, another three or four sets of bikini tops in hand.

Saleswoman: “Don’t worry! We’ll find something, I promise!”

Me: “No, it’s fine; nothing here is going to fit.”

Saleswoman: “Now, now, I know what I’m talking about.”

And she refuses. To let. Me leave. She keeps blocking the doorway and touching me without asking, and she makes me try on several more swimwear sets until finally I snap and start to cry.

Me: *Crying* “Please, enough. Nothing fits and I just want to go.”

Saleswoman: *Suddenly cold* “Well, you’re never going to find something that fits with that attitude. I just have a few more here; they’re a slightly different style that I think will work—”

Me: “No! I just want to go!”

Saleswoman: “There’s no need to be so rude about it. I’m just trying to help.”

Seriously, lady. I don’t know if she got paid commission, but it took me more than a year to finally work up the courage to shop for swimwear again, and I never went back to that store.