Mom brain. It is the reason I keep deodorant and a tooth brush in my desk at work. It is the reason I keep a bag of diapers and wipes in the car at all times. It is the reason I’ve learned to embrace the calendar app on my iPhone. Because, despite all of my best intentions, I sometimes forget.
This past long, holiday weekend, I forgot something very important.
The plan was to leave our house the Thursday night before Memorial Day. We were so excited for an extra day off after a long month at work! I’d made a last minute Target run on Tuesday to get diapers, wipes, swim diapers, sunscreen. I’d done laundry and packed our bags on Wednesday. Seven outfits for my messy toddler. His new favorite stuffed dinosaur. One of each kind of sippy cup and freeze dried vegetable that he might want while we are away. I even managed to throw in two swimsuits for myself and a pair of gym socks for each day. Not trying to toot my own horn, but I had rocked this whole planning-and-packing thing! We were ready to go.
Then, the storms rolled in. And in our nervous, new-parentness, we decided that we did not want to endure three hours in a car with a screaming toddler AND the threat of tornadoes. So, we camped out at home for an extra night, set our alarms for 5 a.m., and planned to roll out of bed and straight to the lake.
It was a killer plan. Pack the car the night before. Carry the sleeping baby to his seat. Enjoy a little drive-thru Starbucks on the way out of town. Get to the lake with enough time to get out and enjoy a little hiking and fun. And that’s exactly what we did.
Which is why it wasn’t until 6:30 that night, when I went to change out of my stinky gym clothes and get dressed in real clothes, that I realized my mistake. The one, important item that I’d forgot to pack for myself. My bra.
I’m sure you can understand the sinking feeling that accompanies the realization that I had nothing to holster the ladies for the evening. Let’s just say that these poor gals have been through a lot in the past two years. They just aren’t quite what they used to be. And there wasn’t a single cell in my body that had the desire to go out in public with that situation.
I frantically brainstormed. A workout top? Well, that wouldn’t fit properly under my dress. A swimsuit? With a tummy that still looks a bit like a deflated balloon, I only have one-pieces. Borrow a bikini top? Now we might be on to something.
Except that the only available top for borrowing belonged to someone who isn’t, shall we say, as well endowed as I am. A teeny, tiny string bikini designed for someone with newer, fresher girls than mine.
My husband (who only packed himself for the trip, mind you) could not believe my mistake. He was all “how do you forget your underwear? Aren’t you always wearing it? Where did it go?” And I was all “these things happen! At least I remembered my pants!” To which he responded, “this time!” We stopped bantering long enough to giggle about the time we drove two hours from home to have family photos taken and I’d left my brand new jeans sitting on my bed. Our photographer said she’s never received a “we might need to reschedule because I don’t have any pants” text before.
The bikini was getting me nowhere. I had to find another option!
The only stores in town are a liquor and bait store (I bought my wedding center pieces there, but that is a story for another time), a grocery store, a couple thrift stores and a Dollar General. The nearest Walmart was at least a 60-minute round trip and not worth the trouble. My only hope was at the Dollar General.
The next morning, I hopped in the car and drove into town. Praying for a miracle. The last time I’d been to the store, I’d found an abundance of generic pork rinds and bubbles that are supposed to smell like farts. Expectations were low. Real low.
The D.G. was packed. Carts full of beach towels and sunscreen. Anxious shoppers ready to get out of the store and back to the water. At the back of the store, in a three foot by five foot display: bras. Fancy bras with lace and underwire. Simple bras, with elastic. White. Black. Tan. Gray. Hallelujah!
I started digging through the selection, trying to find my size. When it dawned on me: I don’t know what my size is. I confess that I have not bought a new bra since my son was born. The fact is, my old bra is comfortable. And I’m too lazy to go shopping for myself. And I’m hanging on to the teensiest bit of hope that some day, when I’m finally sleeping through the night again, I might have the energy to hit the gym and lose a few pounds. So, stop judging me and my old undies. Thanks.
I found a size that I thought might be close to where I should be. I looked to my left. I looked to my right. No other shoppers were in sight. So, I set my purse down on the floor. I took the bra off of the hanger. I unsnapped it. I wrapped it around my body. I resnapped it. I pulled the cups up over my shirt. I evaluated the fit. It worked. Then, I looked up just in time to see a woman and her teenage daughter staring at me as though I’d just grown a second head. Eyes wide. Mouths slightly agape.
What I wanted to say was, “this cannot be the weirdest thing you’ve seen all day!” What I did was quickly remove the bra from the outside of my clothes, grab my purse, and hurry to the check out. $5 plus tax, and I was heading home with a brand new bra! And two poor, traumatized shoppers have a great story to tell about the insane woman who tries her underwear on in the middle of the aisle. You are welcome, ladies.
I think that it is safe to say that, wherever my memory went, my dignity is with it. I hope I find both soon.