Monday, August 10, 2009

Getting Old?

I dunno. I think I'm getting old.

I buy my bras at Lane Bryant. Have done so for a number of years now. They usually have good sales, products that last a long time, and are comfortable. There are a couple of basic styles I stick to and can usually get in and out of the store pretty quickly.

This spring I bought a dress that I liked a lot. (Mine is the taupe color, not the cerise, and I regret to say I paid full price for it. That should show you how much I liked the dress.) I like the feel of the dress, the color, the ease of caring for it, the whole nine yards. But the neckline is a bit lower than my other dresses and tops, and when I wore it, the edge of my bra would show. At least I could see it, looking down, and I presumed others could see it. I didn't want this to be the case.

So off I went to audition bras that might be concealed by the dress. When I got to the store, there were no other customers, and only one sales person. A guy. About twenty-two. I went over to the lingerie department and began a lengthy and systematic study of the bras, trying to imagine if one or another would do what I needed (I'd come to the mall on impulse and had not brought the dress along to try on with the possibles). And the guy came over and offered to help me. I declined. He followed me around, suggesting that if I didn't see my size in a particular style, he could look in the back. I was uncomfortable. I didn't like it. I said as little as possible, but he persisted in offering me help after help after help. Just before he reached the point of suggesting a matching panty, I said to him, "I wish you would leave me alone. I am uncomfortable discussing lingerie with a man."

He left me alone. But he was miffed. I hadn't wanted to say that. I would have thought that he would have picked up on my discomfort based on my lack of conversation. It was a bad experience. By the time I'd finally reached the conclusion that I'd found a bra that would stay hidden, a female employee had come in, and I felt a little better. But when I got to the register, Mr. Helpful was there, smirking.

Am I getting old? Am I stuffy? Who, me, stuffy? Prudish? My friends would laugh out loud at that thought. But tell me, female readers, would you be okay buying a bra from a guy?




PS: It did work, so I was spared the unpleasantness of having to return it and provide him with a reason!

22 comments:

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

No, I would not. And yet, even as I confess my discomfort I wonder why I feel that way. I'm not a prude and I didn't think that I discriminated. Hmmm...

Mimi said...

I wouldn't like to have him helping me, either. If that's getting old, I'm getting old too. (Regardless, I AM getting old!)

Here's a little story...

I was due for my annual mammogram and went to my usual place to have it done. There was a man working in the area and I got a terrible feeling, wondering if HE was doing the mammogram that particular day.

I fretted a bit and then decided if he called me back I would go and politely tell him that I would be rescheduling when the woman who works there would be in.

It all worked out, he was in the lab and not in the mammography unit.

I go to a male doctor, but a female gynocologist. I don't think there is anything wrong with our choices, we like what we like and don't want to feel uncomfortable.

I give you a lot of credit to tell him you were uncomfortable with his offer of help. If he was smirking, let him smirk. (This might be a good time to talk to the management of the store.)

Hugs

kimquiltz said...

Has nothing to do with getting old! But it DOES have a lot to do with modesty -- something today's kids aren't too familiar.

Oh dear. Never mind. Didn't _I_ just sound like a little ol' lady! LOL

summersadie said...

I'm young, and I wouldn't like to buy lingerie from a guy. Although I hate buying lingerie period. I hate everything about it, and I can't remember the last time I did. I wear them till they fall apart. I don't think I've ever had a male salesperson though. But that's up there with co-gender dressing rooms now. You could be in a stall next to a guy in some of the stores. Times they are a'changin.

Swedish said...

Definitely not ok having a guy help me picking out a bra. Ever! I'm very modest that way though.

I worked at Gap with an attached Gap Body (bras & panties) for a few years in college. The male employees were not allowed in Gap Body except to cover the register if no one else was available. They weren't allowed to approach customers. I'm suprised more places aren't like that.

Swedish said...

well except my husband, of course :) lol

creativedawn said...

NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! I shop in LB in Oxford Valley and if I went in there to purchase lingerie and man was there, I would inquire as to when a female employee would be available.... I just asked my husband if he would be comfortable with me having a man whip out his tape measure and size me for my bra....NO! My girls would not be comfortable at all with a male....they don't want to go without me...don't want the women there measuring them or talking to them about their purchase.....phewwww, a rooster tending the hen house....my, my, my...sigh
hugz
Pam

Karen said...

Absolutely I would not have a male helping me select a bra.

My suggestion--Victoria Secret!

Nancy said...

It was insensitive of him to persist after your first refusal for assistance.

I would have been uncomfortable having him hover, and unfortunately, I would have left the store rather than be honest with him. Maybe that is why I purchase my bras from a catalog.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I don't care for overly solicitous clerks in any case, but they should just be able to take a hint. It isn't as though you look like a bra snatcher. Still it was a funny story to read about. I am really surprised that they would put a guy in the bra department.

My guy friend, about age 60, works in the baby department at Walmart. I didn't know that people worked in departments in that store, but he does. He says that the mothers to be are always more than a bit surprised that he is the employee there, but he has learned about the products and can be very helpful, which surprises them even more. But I think he is there because the large packages need to be lifted and carried.

Not like a guy was needed to lift a package of bras, and I doubt that he knows how they feel when they fit right.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that Lane Bryant would employ a man; I resent it when they hire slender women, much less a man.

Patty said...

Without having worn nursing bras 24/7 for months on end or a Playtex 14 hour bra for 20 hours straight (size 38DD) he simply wouldn't understand.

Lori said...

LOLROF!!!! I don't like shopping for bras at all, much less from a man!

*karendianne. said...

"Holy smokes!" as my grandfather used to say. A ...lady in public... would never do this. What happened to chivalry?

Susan said...

Of course you're not "getting old!" I'm with kimquiltz on this one. It all has to do with modesty and I agree that younger people don't seem to have a sense of this. How can they when dresses are cut so low and very little is left to the imagination? And so many of the younger women don't feel any embarassment at having bra straps show when they are wearing a tank top style dress. As for myself, I like to cover up. And I definitely wouldn't want a male clerk in the lingerie department!

Lisa D. said...

Um - NO! Why would they even hire a man to work in a woman's clothing store? Let alone in the lingerie section? It would make me very uncomfortable too.

crazypatch dreamer said...

Nancy: You're not stuffy. I would've felt uncomfortable too. I think you just have to trust your own instincts on this one and not second guess yourself. Somehow the 22 year old's smirk confirms your feelings.
As I age (and I'm not all that old) I find that I resent and resist expectations that I behave and think in a certain way. I truly believe that with age comes wisdom, if we allow that wisdom to be heard. Louise

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Bye the way, getting old is when you can't hook your bra like the gal in the picture is doing.

Stephanie said...

Goodness, I wouldn't want to fall into the the category of the "indecent" or the "immodest" "younger generation." I am 30 years old, and a woman and, to be quite honest, am a little offended at the comments made about the "younger generation" and our assumed imprudence.

While I think it was not appropriate for the clerk - male or female - to follow you around the store pestering you, perhaps it was a little hasty of you to disregard him in that way. I work as an architect. We (architects) work very closely with builders (who are very often men) and therefore are on construction sites quite frequently. I am good at my job, very good. But I am also, short, blonde, and have a cherub-like face. At the start of every project, I am usually confronted with an uneasy attitude on the job site - that is until I open my mouth. I know what I'm talking about.

Perhaps this young gentleman knows lingerie. Perhaps he could have helped you find exactly what you were looking for had you accepted his help straight away. Perhaps I AM too young and naive, but I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I would have a man help me buy underwear if I thought he could help me and I was looking for something really specific. That being said, I would not have him help me try it on.

Sorry for the rant. And I really do love your blog. I don't quilt, but your blog gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Keep up the good posts!

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I do think that Stephanie has a good point. While, emotionally, I am in line with the other commentors, I was also telling myself, how are we being any different from people who discriminated against women or any other group in employment situations in the past. But still, I move FAR AWAY from clerks who are too persistent.

Bye the way, in some stores, clerks still get some pay via commission, which might account for the persistence. I encountered that in a Sears vacuum cleaner department. After two visits, I could see that the clerks were actually competing with each other. I didn't buy anything there.

Presley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tanya said...

Sorry, not I. But I guess you could label me as a prude... I don't like male hairdressers. I'm not too thrilled about going to a male dentist even!