A week or so ago, I went to Lady Grace to buy some new bras. I have always had good luck there and I needed some new underwire bras as the old ones have been losing the war with the wire and have been stabbing me in awkward locations. I took my friend Seth with me because he loves fabric, fashion, and sewing, and didn’t mind going with me for something that odd. He is also the boyfriend of my friend Russell and a previous student of mine, so he tends to get dragged off to odd places all the time.

At the store, he drew a number of odd looks and when the manager finally got around to helping me (the computers were down, so not her fault), we had no luck finding anything in my size. I am, admittedly, overweight, but this had never been a problem before. I did try on a few things, however, and while I was in the dressing room, the manager, at some point, walked by Seth as he was looking around and stated, “These are not for you.”

I ended up ordering a style from the catalog in two colors, and we left which was when he told me about his experience. I expressed my annoyance about it but we laughed it off. Seth is not the type to really worry about other people’s biases, and I was just annoyed at my lack of success.

A couple of days ago, I got the call that the bra was in. This time, the woman who has been staying with us, Jada, went with me. When I got there, the manager showed me what had come in. Only one bra had been ordered as apparently the other color was unavailable, and when I tried it on, I was disappointed by the sheer fabric and the lack of a liner. (I prefer to avoid the ‘headlight’ phenomenon and like bras with a light liner to avoid embarrassment.) I told the manager that this was the first time I had not been able to find something in their store, and her “Sorry” was anything but sincere.

However, when she was telling me that the new line was in the middle of being photographed, she also took a moment to compliment me on my peacock pin. At this point, I was feeling a little exasperated. I had not been told that there was one less bra than I had planned on when they had called, I did not like the bra, and here was the woman suggesting that I order from the catalog, the source of the flimsy selection that had been ordered in the first place.

When she complimented me on the pin, I seized the opportunity to get a little back for Seth and myself. I told her point blank that it was from D.A.R. She looked at me blankly, and so I told her it was the Daughters of the American Revolution. She looked a little stunned then, and I further went on and mentioned that I had gotten it from Congress the previous year, not elaborating. She complimented it again, still looking a little bit taken aback, and then recovered herself and reminded me that I could get the catalog sent to me and could order them through the store at my convenience.

I will not be going back to that store. I plan on going to the Woburn store, where they have always been nice to me, this weekend and see if there really is nothing that I can buy. I have a hard time believing that in a store of that many bras that there is nothing I can purchase there. If I am right, then I will send a complaint to the headquarters and let them know about the manager’s treatment of both Seth and myself. After all, I should not have to be treated in such a way because of the company I keep, Seth should not have been spoken to in such a manner, and I should not have to resort to playing the WASP card just to get good service.

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