79: Serious Business

79: Serious Business

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: For Mom, with Love

Serious Business

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.

~Jean Houston

“That’s right, now shimmy a little. Bend forward and just kind of drop into it.” My grandmother moved as she spoke, twitching her shoulders from side to side and leaning forward, pantomiming how to delicately plop one’s chest into the cups of a waiting bra. Around us the pink dressing room glowed cheerfully. Standing there half-dressed, looking at Nan sitting like royalty on the tiny stool with a mountain of candy-colored bras draped across her, I caught the giggles.

“What’s so funny?” she demanded, her wrinkled hands sorting deftly through the scraps of fabric on her lap. “And what is this?”

Nan held up a leopard print bra with black lace on the edges. At twenty-one I was still embarrassed for her to see my more risqué selections.

“I’m just trying that on for size,” I muttered, grabbing it from her hand and throwing it over one of the hooks on the opposite wall. Turning my back, I pulled on another option, a turquoise bra with tiny white polka dots that reminded me of a bikini from the 1960s.

“Looks like a swimsuit,” Nan decreed. “Next.”

I slipped out of the offending underwear and put on a blue bra with tiny pink flowers embroidered across the bands.

“Bland,” Nan opined, waving at me to take it off as soon as possible. “Besides, those flowers will make your shirt look lumpy.”

I tried on a bright white bra (“boring”), a lilac bra printed with bumblebees (“childish”) and a mustard-colored bra (“downright ugly”) before Nan stopped passing me any more options.

“It’s time for the leopard print,” she announced, still tucking the rejected garments back onto their hangers.

I looked up in surprise. Normally Nan was against anything even remotely tacky and, in her book, leopard print and lace were probably in that category.

“Every girl needs a racy little something,” she winked. “Though heaven help you if you think leopard print and lace is the way to go. If you want my advice, I’d say pick up a little something in black silk and call it a day.”

Then Nan snapped her gum decisively and made me laugh all over again. In the dressing room next to us a woman chuckled and from across the small hallway I heard a delicate snort. An unsuspecting saleswoman wandered into the fray and asked if anyone needed help.

“Do you have anything in black silk?” my grandmother called, setting us all off again.

“I don’t know what you’re laughing about,” Nan stage-whispered. “Bras are serious business.”

I nodded, trying so hard not to laugh hysterically that I didn’t trust myself to speak. I reached out and hugged her, holding tight while tiny lingerie hangers stabbed my ribs. She was right, bras were serious business. But just like everything else they were certainly more fun when she was around.

~Beth Morrissey

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners