I have a couple of friends that I can say anything to and get an honest response -- brutally honest.
“I’m so mad/annoyed/frustrated by insert person/thing/event/child/husband here.” And they’ll tell me my feelings are well placed or that I need to simmer down because I’m off the mark.
Ditto for the outfit I’m not sure of or the shoes I’m thinking about buying.
That’s the kind of friend I want outside the dressing room when I’m picking out something like, say, a bathing suit.
For many of us, myself included, not the most fun of experiences. But I’ve found a place that takes the pain out of the process and I’ve been trying to drag along one of my brutally honest friends for years. This week, she had reason for being in my neck of the woods and said she’d meet me at Tina’s Closet in Lisle.
Let’s just say we both struggle to find department store bathing suits and that Tina’s Closet has offerings by cup size. (My friend is now mortified that I’m mentioning, unmentionables and for that reason, I told her I wouldn’t use her name in my column.)
For the last several years, the staff at Tina’s Closet has looked me up and down with a non-judgmental but critical eye. Then, I’m handed a suit with an “I think this will be the one,” along with a handful of other suits. And although I always ask to try on a few more, miraculously, I’ve always gone back to the first suit.
Cackling at my it-only-took-30-minutes-to-buy-a-bathing-suit good fortune, I’d call my friend and badger her about coming with me. I was thrilled to finally get her into the store.
After a once over, the clerk tugged at my friend’s bra straps and explained that a woman’s unmentionables are supposed to rest half-way between the shoulder and the elbow. A little lift shows off our slimmest parts and makes a waist look smaller, thus making a woman look thinner.
Then, the clerk picked out some suits. The first and second were OK, but the third was awesome -- a beautiful blue number that nipped and tucked and curved in all the right places. Perfect.
Once that was settled, the clerk pulled out some new bras for my friend to model. Also not the most fun of shopping experiences for most women, myself included. But, it helps to have a friendly, non-judgmental eye to tell you what works and what doesn’t. When it comes to unmentionables, Tina’s Closet is like my friend – brutally honest. But also like a good friend, the honesty comes from a place of wanting the best for the other person, in this case, for a woman to look her best.
My friend pulled aside the curtain so the clerk could see the fit.
“Oooooo, look,” the clerk said. “Now, you have cheerleader boobs!”
Spoken like a true friend.
Then, a voice came from the dressing room next door.
"I want some of those too!"