Less than six percent of the truck driving workforce is female. That's not a huge number, but I'm willing to bet a large number of those females have had to deal with a bra-fitting at least once in their lives. That's right fellas. This one's for the ladies, unless, of course, you're a fella who wears a bra, and if that's the case, we don't judge here. The angst of wrestling back-fat into scratchy, unfamiliar bras is certainly not gender-specific.
We developed a yearly tradition of buying new shoes and underwear in the late winter months a long time ago. I guess it started during the brief moment in time when we were sane, and didn't own our own business. Back when we had little kids and got income tax returns, and ran down to the K-Mart with everyone else in Fairborn to buy new underwear, bikes for the kids, and new barbecue grills. Tax time was like Christmas, part two.
The Fairborn K-Mart is long gone, we haven't had kids with bicycles in our home in years, and tax time with a small business is every single day, but for some reason, we adhere to the tradition of dragging our winter-fattened bodies out into the light of early Spring to buy new underwear and shoes.
George learned a long time ago that bra shopping with me is not a pleasant experience, and that's putting it mildly. He also doesn't want to be the weirdo guy hanging around the ladies underwear dressing room at Elder-Beerman, which happens to be one of the only places in town you can buy a regular bra made from cotton in sizes larger than “what are boobs?” (I'm just going to come right out and say it, it's the old lady bra place. There. Live with it, because it's the truth.)
So George dumps me at the door of Elder Beerman and speeds off like a getaway driver in a bank heist, and I stroll in, on a Monday morning, ready to find an old-lady bra made of cotton, in my size, which may or may not be, “boobs for days, and not in a good way.”
Department stores as a whole aren't especially overrun with customers these days, so magnify that by a million and you get the desolation and alone-ness of the Fairborn, Ohio, Elder Beerman on a Monday morning. I wandered around for a few minutes, getting used to the idea of being a solitary customer. Just as I found myself loosening up, sorting through the bra rack and grooving to a muzak version of “Beast of Burden,” the bra lady materialized out of thin air behind me and screamed,“May I help you?”
“Holy shit, lady, where did you come from? Who trains you people, the Viet Cong? You can help me clean the pee off myself, you scary little bra-crypt keeper, don't sneak up on me again, and stop yelling.” (Okay, she didn't really scream, and I didn't really say that, but she scared the beejeebies out of me, and I thought it.)
What I did tell her is that I was looking for a cotton bra in my size, which may or may not be, “inner-tube of a tractor tire.” She took one look at me and basically told me I was a filthy liar and wearing the wrong size bra, and had probably committed gravely horrific transgressions against my breasts for my entire life by not having a professional bra fitting.
Within minutes, I was in a dressing room, stripped to the waist, being measured in ways I thought were reserved only for diamond cutters and atomic physicists. I waited, while the maven of bras zipped out with schematics of my upper half I never knew existed, and once again, silently materialized, holding a bra that looked like it belonged on the front of a Volkswagen Beetle.
I considered protesting, but realized it was futile. I slipped the giant apparatus on, hoping to make a point and prove that I knew what size bra I wore. Bra Maven seized the straps like a rodeo rider, jerked and jiggled my personage around a little, and as magically as she appeared on the sales floor to frighten customers, back fat and front boobage fell into place and the Volkswagen bra fit perfectly.
“I'll take three.”
Sometimes, it's all about the fit, whether we're talking bras or trucking. One of the reasons trucking companies don't recruit and retain an abundance of female drivers is because they have yet to find a good, comfortable fit.
Find your fit. It's worth it.