Thanks, Bra(h)

So the bra saga continues.

A couple months ago, after thinking I’d found great-fitting, no-slip strap undergarments for the girls, I realized I’d ordered what amounted to the turtleneck of bras.

While the “no-slip strap” claim was true, it also was a bra that you couldn’t wear with anything other than a high-necked t-shirt, sweater or turtleneck. If one were to wear a v-neck tee or anything that skewed even remotely towards sexy, said bra would be front and center, visible to all.

I’ve never seen cups that come up so high. I mean, really — is it so hard to find a bra with straps that stay put, but with cups that actually know their place? (To be clear, their “place” is under my apparel. Not peeking out from underneath it all eager-like.)

Unfortunately, I purchased five of these turtlenecks in various colors online when I thought I’d found “the one.” After wearing one, I realized I needed to return the other four, which I attempted to do today.

JCPenney’s claim of “Happy returns: any item, anytime, anywhere” seemed to be completely untrue. I went to JCPenney at the mall in Santa Ana and was told that while, yes, I normally could return items purchased online at their customer service counter, I wasn’t allowed today because they were doing inventory — but that I could come back tomorrow.

I gave the girl a confused look, as if to say, “So doing inventory renders you incapable of processing a return?” and she replied with, “See? Look, there’s the sign that says you can’t return things today,” as she pointed to a crudely typed and printed out sign (complete with typos, might I add).

I replied with, “Oh, sorry — the sign wasn’t visible from my house when I decided to drive down here.” I was trying to be funny, but her open-mouthed stare at me inspired my quick departure and I refrained from trying to explain any further.

I had to go to the Brea Mall anyhow, so I thought I’d try their JCPenney location and see if they’d accept returns.

I walked up to the empty customer service area, save for an employee named Kyle who was rummaging through odds and ends of merchandise. He greeted me.

“How’s it going?” I asked. “Are you able to accept returns today?”

He looked confused. “Um, yeah. Why?”

I explained what had just happened in Santa Ana, and pointed out that their customer service staff pretty much rendered the claim of “happy returns/any item/anytime/anywhere” false. He was surprised and said that no store should ever decline a return for any reason.

“Great,” I said. “Then you’ve just won yourself four bras. From me.”

“Lucky me!” he said. At least this guy had a sense of humor.

I explained that I’d dubbed them “the turtleneck of bras,” and that they were fit for a grandmother. “And since I have nary a grandchild — let alone any children of my own — this is how I know we’re not a fit,” I said.

“No problem, I’m happy to take them off your hands,” he said.

“Great! Do I need to, you know, ‘bust out’ the card I charged them to? Pun intended,” I replied.

He laughed and said no, then offered up this statement after inspecting them with a quizzical expression: “They’re probably meant for women who have, you know, really, really saggy ones. So be glad they don’t fit you,” he joked.

Glad indeed.

I left the store with a cheery, “Thanks, brah!”

He laughed, I laughed, and all was well with the world.

Today I am thankful for Kyle, for the fact that I don’t have to make another trip to Santa Ana tomorrow after work, and that the ill-fitting brassieres are off my hands. And off of the girls. They weren’t happy, I wasn’t happy, and when the three of us aren’t in agreement, it’s not a pretty picture.

Here’s to finding “the real one,” even though I fully expect it to take another couple of decades.

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