The house DJ is spinning in a swanky booth beside me. I’m standing in the entrance of the lingerie shop, and the synthesized bassline is reverberating off dainty hangers carrying lacy thongs, cotton panties and shiny pink push up bras, swaying back and forth near the speakers. I can’t hear myself think–“Wait, did I just see a diamond-encrusted, alligator print g-string with “hungover” written on the crotch?” Um, yes, I did. Better question, when did shopping for a bra turn into a 24-hour bump n’ grind? I was surrounded by an animal kingdom of exotic print thongs, battery-powered neon bras and push-ups that could easily support a mortgage for two investment bankers on Bay Street. It was terrifying. All I wanted was a classic under-the-T nude bra! Here’s how it went down:

The People
I look around; the store is a (really pink) cluster fuck. I feel out of place, because I’m not wearing 4-inch heels or fake eyelashes, and I keep making awkward eye contact with the DJ. Who is this guy? Akon, picking up weekday shifts for extra cash? I struggle to slide past bewildered stepmoms looking for their missing daughters in the “Hello Sugar” lingerie aisle. They look angry, over-stimulated by the battery-powered fluorescent thongs (batteries not included). A few non-suspicious-looking boyfriends (and/or) panty perverts look around in miscellaneous directions, avoiding eye contact, careful not to stare at anything for more than a few seconds. One looks upwards in a state of paralysis to avoid everyone and everything. To my right, a scruffy looking guy mumbles, “Yeah, sure,” to his girlfriend who attempts to make conversation while scrimmaging through a rack of “plunge bras,” a Hollywood style D-cup that’s waiting for a big break in the L.A. porn scene. Do plunge bras come with talent agents too? Maybe I’ll ask someone.

The Panic Attack
I start to panic. I can’t see the nude bra I’m looking for. The sales associates are dressed in all black, wearing headsets. I don’t trust them. Are they recording me or something? Who is on the receiving end of their headset? A panty pervert? For a moment, I consider asking the DJ, “Hi there, can you tell me where I can find a 34A nude cup, little bit of push, sort of basic?” Instead, I do what I do best – stand very still in one place and look helpless until someone assists me. Moments later, I’m spotted by a woman who can sense my anxiety from across the dance floor of middle-aged stepmoms, teen girls and last-minute shoppers. She hoists me over her shoulders like a baby lamb* and carries me to a tiny refuge in the corner of the store, filled with a basic bitch’s dream of nude, white and black bras. I sigh in relief, thank my rescuer (I think she worked there?) and I hightail it to the cashier by the flashy rompers, baby pink lip-glosses and glitter-infused body washes.
*Okay, maybe I’m being a little over dramatic here, she thoughtfully guided me to the bra I was looking for

The Checkout
Before leaving, I quickly grab a handful of “respectable” patterned panties – then, another 15, because a sign says “112 for $29 sale” or something like that. Without hesitation, I pick up a mango “#SURFBOARD” thong, a bright pink g-string with an ominous looking wolf on it and a hybrid animal print (alligator/leopard) booty short (I think by accident). Minutes later, I leave, feeling like the sober friend who dressed casually for Tequila Bookworm, but ended up at The Crock Rock. Literally, a girl’s worst nightmare.Things to

Remember To Not Be Me:
This goes out to all the ladies out there in search for a basic nude bra. Before you get your panty-shopping freak on, remember the following:

  • Safely assume that every guy wandering around the store is a panty pervert, not a boyfriend.
  • Don’t talk too loud about panties, the store associates are probably recording your voice on their headsets, and making fun of your bad taste in lingerie later.
  • Stay hydrated. This could take a while.
  • Don’t be distracted by the shiny fluorescent bras with laser beams on them, they probably have a really low battery life.
  • Don’t awkwardly stare at the DJ – it will get weird, fast.
  • The normcore stuff is at the back, you’re welcome.
  • If you see a thong with “#SURFBOARD” on it, don’t hesitate – just buy.

Now breathe deeply, and go forth. That perfect basic bitch nude bra is waiting for you around the corner.