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I see London, I see France…

September 9, 2009

This story is a cautionary tale. It is 100% true. Let this stand as a warning to you: be very careful where you buy your underwear. Or where you let other people buy your underwear.

This morning, my first water aerobics free Wednesday in several months, I hopped in my car to drive to the next town over to meet my water aerobics class for our annual end-of-season breakfast. After a lot of coffee and food and chat, a few of us decided to visit a few of the shops on the same street as the restaurant, a somewhat quaint small town business district. We stopped first at the florist who had many beautiful and tempting things. Afterwards, we headed to the lingerie shop up the road. I love this shop. It has many beautiful things and a very personable owner. As I walked in the door, something caught my eye. A pair of bloomers. These bloomers, in fact. And I had to tell my one friend who had come with me the story of my imaginary friend fairlywell and how she’s getting married in a couple of weeks and how her mother gave her bloomers at her wedding shower on behalf of her deceased grandmother.

Here is fairlywell after receiving this gift:


The proprietress of the shop didn’t hear me telling the story, but saw us looking at the bloomers and came over to tell us a story of how a woman walked into the shop and saw the bloomers and knew they were the perfect present from her mother for her vintage-loving daughter. Hmm. That story sounded awfully familiar.

“I think that’s the person I’m shopping for.”

“Her name is fairlywell?”

I was impressed with her memory, until it occurred to me that the number of customers purchasing bloomers was probably pretty small. But still, although fairlywell’s mother once lived in this area, she now lives in downtown Chicago, some 40-50 miles away. It took some effort to get to this little shop. Even fairlywell lives at least 30 minutes away. Strange coincidence.

“That’s her.”

“She actually ended up exchanging the bloomers. They didn’t fit right and also, although she liked them and thought she would wear them, she said her future husband could not stop laughing at them, which was hardly the intended effect.”

“No, probably not.”

“She exchanged it for these things instead.”

And she walked around the shop showing me all the items in fairlywell’s trousseau, complete with size information. Fairlywell has excellent taste, by the way. But there was never really any doubt about that. And while it was helpful to me, as I had actually walked into the shop wondering about whether I should get something for fairlywell’s bachelorette party, which is coming up soon, I was also vaguely alarmed that someone who dealt in unmentionables had such a fine memory.

And that is why I now know almost as much about fairlywell’s underwear drawer as fairlywell herself.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    September 9, 2009 1:00 pm

    Oh dear.

  2. The Lass permalink
    September 9, 2009 1:03 pm

    Awaiting Julia’s mortified response in 10…9…8…

  3. readersguide permalink
    September 9, 2009 2:15 pm

    . . . I was going to say “oh, dear.” But Claudia beat me to it!

  4. crankygirl permalink
    September 9, 2009 2:52 pm

    Another from the “oh dear” brigade.

  5. September 9, 2009 3:42 pm

    How do you type “giggle” (hee hee hee seems possible but maybe it was more of a snigger). I’d never buy anything from an underwear salesperson who told everyone what you wear and what size you wear. Seems like a job for a more discrete person!

  6. September 9, 2009 5:29 pm

    I add my “oh dear” to the rest.

  7. September 9, 2009 6:31 pm

    I agree. Oh, dear. I should, perhaps, mention that I walked out without buying anything. I just didn’t feel right about it. And if I ever go back, I will need to wear a disguise and pay in cash, I think.

  8. September 9, 2009 9:13 pm

    Oh my. Small towns, I guess? For the record, I was being polite about the bloomers. I really can’t see an occasion where they’d be, you know, THE THING.

    Harriet, I have bought several very nice bras there. Although you probably know that already…

  9. September 9, 2009 9:16 pm

    They do have very nice things. But yes, I do actually know exactly which ones. And for the record, I did not let her convince me that I should buy you the “something blue” thong bedazzled with the word “Bride” in rhinestones. You can thank me later.

  10. September 9, 2009 9:52 pm

    Too funny – she tried to have me buy those, too! (I didn’t.)

  11. September 9, 2009 10:13 pm

    Harriet, after an awfully long day of business travel and random frustrations, Julia read this story to me and totally made my night. That’s completely hysterical. Thanks for the laugh!

  12. September 9, 2009 10:24 pm

    DJ, you are very welcome. I enjoyed it too. Because frankly, I didn’t think it was possible for those bloomers to get any funnier. I’m glad to know that I was wrong.

  13. September 10, 2009 7:55 am

    Now I have a song from a ride at Disneyland going through my head. You know the one.

  14. September 12, 2009 1:36 pm

    enjoyed reading it 🙂


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