I was nineteen years old and newly married. That’s another story, but it was the seventies, big hair, and being poor college newlyweds was considered cool. My groom had jumped on the bodybuilding product band wagon. One morning he asked me to pick up an athletic support. “You do know what that is, right?” he said.
I rolled my eyes back to yesterday. “Of course.”
I had seen those muscled gumbas in his weight lifting magazines (really, I did pick them up to read the articles) wearing different Mr. Olympia Wannabe gear. This was my opportunity to be inducted into the Above-and-Beyond-the-Call-of-Dutiful Wife Hall of Fame, so I ventured off to the sports store to purchase one athletic support.
I walked in the store and a hunky clerk came to my aid. “Can I help you?”
“Yes, I need an Athletic Support for my husband, please.”
"Okay, what size?” he asked.
“Size? Hmmmm, let's see, he's really big.”
At that remark, two customers, male of course (because I wasn’t born under any lucky star) ambled over and stood around the counter.
“Really, big, huh?” the clerk responded.
I spread my arms out wide to demonstrate his size. “He's this big.”
Two more men gathered around, they snickered. That annoyed me. “What’s so funny?” I asked. “My husband is into body building and he's really big and hard.”
The snickers transformed into in-your-face gafaws. Cripes, what the hell was so funny?
Hunky Clerk was in danger of having the Heimlich maneuver performed on him, as he coughed on the peanuts he’d been munching. “Ma'am, I don't think you're accurate in the size.”
Ma’am? I was nineteen, okay, almost twenty, and this guy called me ma’am? “Look, sir,” I said, spreading my arms even wider. “He's about 46 inches.” More than once, hubby asked me to measure his biceps, and more than once it didn’t measure up to 46 inches, but, I was in the initial stages of supportive wifehood. “Okay, maybe more like forty-two.”
One customer, whose hair cut looked like a hen’s patooty in a windstorm, laughed. "What planet does your husband come from?”
I was getting more than ticked now. I wanted out of this store badly and I wasn’t in the mood to be the local jock’s entertainment of the day. I gave Mr. Hen Hair my best PMS glare. “I thought women were jealous of each other's bodies. With you guys every size on your body matters doesn't it?”
They laughed even louder. Little boys in long pants, that’s what these men were. With the patience of a Saint, I asked, "do you guys get your ya ya's standing around a sport store, making fun of women shoppers?”
Hunky Clerk coughed again. I would have offered him a cough drop had he maintained better crowd control. “Ma'am,” the clerk said. “I don't think you know what you want. . .”
That did it. “Oh please, don't try to impress me with your sports mumbo jumbo. I don't care about brand names. Get me the largest one you have, I’ll know if it will fit.”
More laughter. Hunky Clerk left the peanut gallery and returned with three packages. “Small, medium, and large,” he announced, slapping the packages on the counter. He stood back, and folded his arms over his chest.
The atmosphere turned as quiet as an ant piddling on a cotton ball. I picked up the Large one. “Oh, my.” The night before, my soon-to-be-pulverized husband had talked about buying a leather belt that strapped around his chest and waist. Wasn’t that an athletic support? Okay, I may not have been paying a lot of attention, because if I had to listen to one more protein powder, wheat germ and the definition lecture, I was going to scream. I worked hard to earn my own heavy weight title: Choco-Cocoa-Queen.
Mr. Clerk (at closer inspection, he really wasn’t that hunky) lifted a brow. “Now do you see why we didn't believe the size you ordered.”
I inspected the three packages. “Guess that cuppy part is not to cover one's nose?”
Again with the ma’am! I held my head up high. “I don't like any of these colors.” I put my hands on my hips and addressed the group, who were now probably giving each other mental high-fives. “I’ll have the last laugh. I'm Italian, I know people.”
I realized I had just stereotyped my whole culture, but at that point a gal had to pull out some kind of ammunition. “We don’t get mad, we get even,” I continued. “I know how to put a curse on all of you, that will last longer than your hairlines.” I waved my hand. “May you endure a lifetime of running to the drug store in the middle of the night, trying to figure out if you need maxi's, scented, unscented, or light days.” With that, I turned on my heels, and left, I may have even added an extra roll to my hip action. When I was sure I was out of their site range, I ran to my car with the intent of rendering my husband’s forty-two inch chest up and gazing at the moon.
About Selena Robins:
Witty, humorous, suspenseful, sexy--words used to describe Selena’s writing style. A chocolate guru, in love with her husband, family, friends, books & red wine, she dances with her dog, sings into her hairbrush & writes in her PJ's. She carries a mini-tape-recorder with her at all times, because she never knows when a plot idea or piece of dialogue will strike her. As of yet, the authorities have not tracked her down, because of her tendency to get excited about creating new ways to dispose of a body, or inventing a new crime, while she's out and about and brainstorming out loud.
Selena is the author of the contemporary romance, What A Girl Wants, paranormal romantic comedy, Sabrina's Destiny, romantic comedy, short story, Tempted by an Angel, and a children's novella, Pippy’s Wish.
Selena Robins Website: http://selenarobins.com/ Selena Robins Musings Blog: http://selenarobinsmusings.wordpress.com/