What’s she trying to tell me?


I bought new pyjamas yesterday – boxer shorts with roses and frills and a matching red singlet. At the register, the shop assistant said: “Make sure you keep the receipt in case they’re not the right size for her.”

I smiled politely and said thank you, but inside I was thinking: “What does she mean by her? Is it completely implausible that 47-year-old me would be buying frilly bed shorts?”

I felt a bit miffed as I walked away. And old.

Fortunately, the shop assistant at my next stop – a lingerie store with an enticing “sale” sign in the window – was much more positive about my vintage. She pounced as I flicked through the racks and started offering suggestions on things that might suit me.

None of them were matronly. She waved skimpy G-strings – I’m not into bum floss, thank you very much – and corsets covered in pink bows (blergh).

Then she announced: “Of course, if you’d like something that extra bit special, you could always try THIS!” … and flourished a tiny red and black lacy bra at me … so small it wouldn’t cover the most miniscule of boobs …


My eyes went wide as she announced it was a quarter-cup bra. It looked a bit like this, except with less fabric …


I’ve lead a very sheltered life …

I couldn’t help asking if women actually wear those sort of things in everyday life and she concurred that some do, but they are mainly bought for “play” at home.


Then I saw the price tag: $89.


So much for so little!

She was very keen for me to try it on and insisted I had just the right boobs for it. Apparently quarter cups don’t suit large boobs or soft breasts because everything waterfalls over the top …


I couldn’t quite believe I was having the conversation, but figured in for a penny … and asked if I wouldn’t look faintly ridiculous wearing it.

She assured me I’d look fah-bulous, which was a definite improvement on being considered too old for frilly bed shorts, but perhaps a bit too far in the opposite direction.

She suggested I pop into the change room so she could give me a proper fitting and verdict on my quarter-cup boobs.

I made garbled excuses about needing to pick the kids up from school … and – because I’m not very good at saying no, even to shop assistants – assured her I’d come back later when I had more time.

“We’re open until 6!” she trilled as I did the bolt.

Has a shop assistant ever implied you’re too old to wear something?

Song of the day: Visage “Fade to grey”


8 thoughts on “What’s she trying to tell me?

Add yours

  1. “Oh!” indeed! Lucky you and your quarter-cup ready boobs! I would by extremely miffed by the suggestion the frilly bed shorts couldn’t possibly be for me. They sound like great shorts and I hope you wear them with pride and joy. Middle-age isn’t only about leopard-print you know. I’m miffed every time I’m addressed as “Madam”, which now happens all the time, and has been happening since I was 29!

      1. Don’t worry, Leopard print is not necessarily a sign of “maturity”, it’s just the stereotype, you know? I’ve always loved animal print myself. When I was in my 20s, one of my favourite wardrobe items was a velvet leopard print jacket. I would love it now too if it still fit me.

  2. Ha ha ha. I was in that exact situation a week ago. I’d asked the assistant if they had any running tights with a pocket I could put my car key in and when I reached to look at a pair he’d said had pockets he proclaimed ‘Not those. They’re for younger girls.’ And then he looked horrified at his gaffe and tried to back -pedal frantically saying that he didn’t mean I was old. It was hysterical!

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