The saleswoman is the first to notice when you step out of the dressing room. Her eyes fly open in shock. The tape measurer falls from her nerveless fingers.
“That’s impossible,” she breathes. “Eighty percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra. An ill-fitting bra can cause back, neck and shoulder pain.”
“At least seventy-four percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra,” the customer standing next to her intones, before ripping her shoes off and hurling them into the wall. “And twenty-nine percent of them know it.”
“You haven’t been properly fitted,” the manager adds, before falling to the floor in a dead faint.
“Women are making bra mistakes every day,” the saleswoman says, carefully pouring a bucket of gasoline over herself and striking a match against her watch. “Back and shoulder pain…back and shoulder pain. Proper fittings. Hand wash only. Cup bulge. Band size. You’re actually a DD. Weight fluctuations. This isn’t happening. This isn’t real.”
But it is real. You’re finally wearing the right bra size, and everything is different.
Your boss knocks hesitantly on your office door before walking in. You meet her eyes, and you say nothing. There is no need to.
“I’ve noticed,” she begins, and then falters. You place a hand under her chin.
“Go on,” you tell her. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“I’ve noticed all the work that you’ve put in over the years,” she says. “The thankless work you’ve done for numerous planning committees that we suggested would lead to more interesting work but never did. The time you spent training others who were eventually promoted over you. All that’s over now. I want you to have my job.”
A silent crowd of your coworkers appears behind her. She holds out her hands in mute appeal. “We — we all want you to have our jobs.”
You don’t have to ask about the details. You know that when you go home that night you’ll find six hundred 401(k)s made out to your name, six hundred paychecks deposited into your account, six hundred Blue Cross insurance cards in your wallet, six hundred times thirteen non-consecutive vacation days accrued. And your underwire won’t pinch at all.
One by one, your colleagues file out of the building, and drive away. You never see them again.
All of your exes are already lined up and doing the dishes when you get home. They came over as soon as they heard.
Women find you on the street, their eyes bright and frightened. You sense them before you see them. You feel their tentative hands hovering just behind you before they reach out to touch you. You experience, rather than observe, the fear warring with desire within them. “Please,” they say. “Please, what are you d–”
You place a finger to their lips and watch as a look of perfect joy and perfect peace washes over their faces.
“I’m wearing the right bra size,” you tell them, and nothing else needs to be said. They sink gratefully to the ground, eyes downcast, and fling themselves at your feet. Your straps neither dig into nor slip down your shoulders as you pass.
You look down at your phone. Your voicemail, your inbox, even your Direct Messages on Twitter are all brimming with remorseful messages from everyone who has ever wronged you. They were all wrong, and now they’re so, so sorry. There are no lumps, seams, or bulges under the lines of your shirt, and your father has come back from the dead to tell you how proud he is of you.
Your band is fitting like a goddamn dream, neither sagging nor riding up along your shoulder blades. You’re wearing the right bra size, damnit, and nothing is ever going to be the same.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.