Jun 8 2011

Bloomingdale’s supports the girls

It’s 36 degrees centigrade outside but in the lingerie department at Bloomingdale’s, the temperature is very comfortable, and the “intimate apparel” (that’s what they call it here), even more so.

Galina, the friendly and authoritative woman staffing the fitting room has convincingly demonstrated that – like the women on Oprah referred to in Marlaina Gayle’s essay (tellingly called, “How Drooping Breasts Led Me to A Truck-driving Life of Adventure”), I, too, have been wearing the wrong bra size.

“Your selection is overwhelming,” I tell her. “Yes, she says, it is. But –” (and here she sizes me up in a glance and pronounces my size, in advance of confirming her accuracy with a tape measure), “we can help you.” And she does.

Half an hour later, she and her equally professional and supportive (pun intended) colleague Erica have equipped me with four new bras and (who knew) relevant insights into how best to wear, adjust and care for them. (It pains me to say this, but I can’t think of when I have ever, ever had remotely this good service in a department store in Canada.)

Is a career change next? (That’s the trajectory followed by Marlaina.) (And will I, too, start to adopt “the girls” terminology used by Galina as she coached mine into place, and cheered when they stood at attention?)

Finally, should I be approaching Bloomingdale’s to encourage them to stock copies of the book that has the potential to boost their sales just as Oprah’s episode no doubt did a few years ago?! (Ok, that may be wishful thinking…)

May 14 2011

The master of re-invention outdoes herself

Not everybody deals with turning 50 the same way. Take Marlaina Gayle, for instance. Sure, she joined a gym, went bra shopping and changed careers – something she’d done a few times before.

But never quite like this.

The one-time chef, reporter, columnist, political press secretary and creative manager (I may have missed a few other titles) recently launched herself behind the wheel (and into the sleeping compartment) of a massive truck, the driving of which she shares with her partner.

Her contribution to I Feel Great About My Hands describes the jaw-dropping transition. You have to read it to believe it. But for an in-person taste, you can come to the Vancouver Public Library on Wednesday night where Marlaina will join half a dozen other authors in reading excerpts from the book.