If the Boobs are A-Shakin’, It May Be Earthquakin’

by Leigh Anne Jasheway
Leigh Anne Jasheway

I was at a local thrift store last weekend, looking for items to stock my emergency earthquake preparedness kit. I am proud to say that my kit now contains a partially functioning manual can-opener, a flashlight, a robe I will only be moderately embarrassed to run out into the street wearing, and a book called What To Eat if You’re a Vegan During the Big One. I feel VERY PREPARED!

As I was standing in line at the register, I noticed something that was definitely on my list of things I might need if my boobs are a-shakin’ as is the ground beneath them: a denim corset.

Before continuing on with this story, there are a few important details that you should know about me.

  • I’m no spring chicken. I’m more mid-autumn.
  • I’m single and haven’t dated (on purpose) in 112 dog years because whenever I date anyone I accidentally marry them.
  • My wardrobe consists primarily of comfortable clothing in neon colors so bright that no one would ever be able to pick me out of a line-up due to temporary blindness. This is my primary anti-aging strategy. I figure if you can’t focus, you can’t see my crows’ feet.
  • I consider $4.99 to be the most I’ll spend on any garment, unless it makes me look like Gal Gadot, the star of Wonder Woman, and has pockets deep enough to hold my cell phone and keys.
  • I get a lot of my fashion advice from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

So, when I spotted the denim corset, I had several thoughts…

  1. I’m too old for something like that.
  2. It’s denim. Who am I, a member of the Dixie Chicks? Believe me, I’m not dissing the Dixie Chicks. Those women rock and I’d love to be a member of their band. (Are you reading this, Natalie Maines? Text me!)
  3. What would Mama Ru say?

Suddenly, RuPaul’s voice whispered, “Sissy that walk” and before I knew what hit me, I had grabbed the denim corset off the rack – without trying it on! – and added it to my earthquake preparedness supplies.

“Who knows?” I thought. “Maybe if an earthquake hits, I can wear it under my robe as I run into the woods foraging for nuts and berries to survive on until the power comes back on!” The good news is that the corset was half price, so I was able to stick to my $4.99 rule.

When I got home, I was excited to try on my new purchase, so I ran into my bedroom, my three dogs eagerly trailing behind me, hoping I’d brought them something to either eat or destroy.

I removed my fluorescent pink and orange running shirt and my turquoise bra. The denim corset laced up the front, so I loosened the laces and tried to slip it on over my shoulders. Try as I might, I could not pull it down. I removed it and then noticed it had a zipper in the back! Aha! All was not lost. I unzipped the zipper and the garment slid right on. Once I got that back zipper zone up again, I was able to lace the corset up so that there was a 3” gap between the grommets on my chest and it closed completely at my waist.

Examining myself in the full-length mirror, my first thought was, “Geez, I’m hot!”

That is not a thought I have a lot these days. Okay, to be honest, that’s not a thought I’ve had a lot during my life. But standing there with my boobs semi-perky because the corset was pushing them up high and my waist cinched in tight, I looked quite (what’s the word?) fetching. I asked the dogs if they agreed, but they had gotten bored and wandered into the living room to lie down in front of the fan.

I removed the corset and left the tags on for two days, wondering whether I should keep it or take it back. The feminist in me wanted to wear it in public to show everyone that age doesn’t dictate what a woman can and can’t wear. The exhibitionist in me wanted to wear it on stage at my next comedy show. The penny-pincher in me told me to return it because the chances of me wearing it out of the house were slim, not matter what the other voices in my head said.

In the end, I did return it for a refund. And when the woman at the counter asked if there was anything wrong with it, I answered her with, “I’m 62 years-old and it made me look sexy. That would confuse many people.” A guy nearby snort-laughed. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was laughing with me.

I may not have all the supplies I need should an earthquake happen in my neck of the woods, but there is one thing I know I have: IT. And that’s worth more than a can-opener and a flashlight.


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