Today I went swimsuit shopping. Now this has always been a DREADED chore each year as A. I'm never as thin as I want to be, and since having 3 kids, the incredibly adorable bikinis are out of the question, B. Because I have been so flat chested, finding one that has the illusion that I'm filling it out has always been an extreme challenge, and C. Cellulite on the butt and thighs is hard to cover up without some granny suit...and I am no granny! Now of course I have this mastectomy to deal with.
I've TRIED to find a suit that doesn't look like it should be on some 60 year old woman. But they just don't make cute ones for mastectomy patients. Lands End appears to have some decent ones specially made for mastectomy issues, but those looked better in the catalog than on me.
So today I just packed up my "swim forms" (otherwise known as fake boobs for swimming) in my backpack and headed to the local department store. I thought that just maybe I could find something that at least appeared decent on me and that had enough material on top to allow my swim forms to be covered up and look somewhat natural. After an hour and a half of wandering the swimwear area and entering the dreaded dressing room, I was able to make a few purchases that just may work out for the summer.
Unfortunately, only one of the three suits had a lining in the breast area that actually had a little slit in it, allowing me to awkwardly (but successfully), create boobs into the swimsuit. The other two did not, but I knew that Bloomingdales would create "pockets" for swimforms, for free, if you purchase the swimsuit (or other lingerie) at their store. But because of some time constraints that I was under, I couldn't make it to the only mall in the area that has a Bloomingdales, and had to settle for Macy's instead. I was right next to the lingerie department, so I figured that I'd ask if they offered the same service.
I should preface this by saying that I was already embarrassed to even ask about this. But I decided to just go for it, because if the answer was "yes," I'd have less awkward "beach issue" to deal with when going on vacation to the Jersey Shore this year. I simply told the lady in the lingerie department about the service the Bloomingdales offered, and did they happen to offer the same? Actually, my exact question was, "Do you offer the service of creating pockets in lingerie or swimwear for people who have had mastectomies?"
Well, first of all, the lady was not a native of this country, so her English was a little off, and she just didn't understand what I was talking. At first she told me that Yes, they offered a package if I wanted it. I realized that she had no idea what I was saying, so I asked again, and she assured me, that yes, I can have a package...I can get gift wrapping.
At this point, I knew my attempts at communicating what I needed were going to be futile, unless I pulled up my shirt to physically demonstrate what my issue was! By now another saleslady had joined in on the conversation. She was a native speaker, but very young, and didn't seem to realize what we were talking about either. She said that they did to alterations in the store, and that she thought the lady who did them had just picked up some items last week. But she didn't really understand what I needed. I repeated myself again, but I could feel myself turning red, as I was incredibly embarrassed, and just didn't feel like dealing with it anymore.
I think the 2nd very young saleslady finally knew what I might be talking about, as she asked if I meant the shapeware to slip into the swimsuit. Yes! I told her, that was exactly what I was referring to.
Her response....I'd have to go to the alterations area in the MEN'S Department...to find out if they even offered such a service. Now can you imagine, if 2 ladies in the LINGERIE department have no clue as to what I'm talking about, how would anyone in the Men's department be able to help me? As if I'd even ask a man!!!!! How insensitive of them!
I should have just dumped the suits and left, but because I have this trip coming up, and I didn't know if there'd be any good ones left after this weekend, I went ahead and purchased the suits. I REALLY didn't want to give Macy's my business. But I do know where I will NOT be shopping in the future.
Here's one of the suits I ended up buying. I'm not sure what I'm jealous of more, this model's body....or her hair!
Labels: boobs, cancer, shopping, swimsuits