All Panic, No Disco

This week is a Costco week, and I happened to have a little bit of time on Monday morning to venture over there. I had seen the news about long lineups and store craziness, but honestly, from the photos I saw it just seemed like a regular day at my busy Costco. However, I have never been there at opening before, mostly because I only discovered a month ago that Costco opens at 9:00; I had always thought it was 10:00 and would time my arrival to be just shortly after that. Wow, people really get to the checkout quickly I would think, seeing lineups at 10:15 and assuming that all those people were power-shopping after their 10:00 arrival. Anyway, what I’m saying is I’ve never been to Costco at 8:55 before and it was an experience.

I don’t know if this is normal behaviour, or if it was Coronavirus panic, but carts were lined up awkwardly through the parking lot, waiting for the doors to open. Maybe this always happens; I don’t know. I turned to ask the lady beside me if it was always like this, but she was wearing a mask and latex gloves, so I felt she probably didn’t want me to strike up a conversation.

My friend Janet, of beautiful hair fame, (HI JANET) said she was at Costco and the greeters were wiping down carts with antibacterial wipes, but using the same wipe over and over. I’m not sure what we are doing here.

I have a natural tendency to overbuy things when they are on sale, and I have to really fight that tendency so as to not end up with an overflowing house. That said, I always – always! – have backups of important things like my most-used food staples, soap, toothpaste, dish soap, and – wait for it – toilet paper. I never buy it at Costco though, only Superstore when they have a sale or there are special PC points involved. So I was probably the only person at Costco on Monday morning without giant stacks of Kirkland toilet paper in my giant cart.

It was impossible not to notice. When I later heard that Costco ran OUT of toilet paper, I was completely unsurprised.

Well. I don’t ever think it’s a bad idea to be prepared for an emergency, and the great news is that Superstore still has plenty of toilet paper, people, plenty. I have been slowly and quietly putting a few extra things in my pantry and medicine chest like ibuprofen, vitamins, and, alliteratively enough, shelf-stable staples. If it’s all for naught, well, at least I won’t have to buy chickpeas for a while.

I am generally very good at cleaning out my cupboards; rotating canned goods and making sure they all get consumed. However, I was organizing things in my canned-good cupboard and I noticed a jar, way at the back. I pulled it out and it was a jar of olives, not the brand I normally buy, and in fact, I couldn’t remember ever buying them. They had pits, for one thing, and I always buy pitted. I looked at the top and people, they expired in 2013. Expired! How long does it take for olives to expire? When did I even buy these? We renovated our kitchen in 2012, I would have thought I would have discovered the olives prior to that. Who knows?

I had a friend over for tea the other day (HI T) and we were talking about my long-ago shopping challenge. I mentioned to her that, because of the shopping challenge and also when I Kondo-ed the house, I am a lot more aware of the things I buy and bring into the house. Other than, apparently, olives. But I am more mindful of what I buy; sometimes I am too mindful, as is the case with my ill-fitting bras. One of my exceptions to the shopping challenge was a new bra, because my old ones didn’t – and do not – fit properly. I finished that shopping challenge in 2018. Buying a bra was one of my 2020 New Year’s Resolutions.

My friend told me that I really should get on that resolution, that she herself had been bra shopping and, after being measured, discovered that she is a much different size than she thought she was. She and I wear the same size bra, or DID until she got fitted. Her new size made my eyes pop out of my head. Could I ALSO be that size? I know a number is just a number and a size is just a size, but I was wowed. And so it was with this thought in mind, plus her assertion about how much more comfortable she is in her bras these days, I decided to bite the bullet and go to the mall.

I probably wouldn’t have even gone to the mall had I not needed to purchase a birthday gift for a special soon-to-be-sixteen-year-old, but there I was, gift purchased, with thirty minutes to spare before I needed to leave for my afternoon class. I power-walked through the mall to get extra steps in, and circled around to the Victoria’s Secret. Well, to what WAS the Victoria’s Secret. The store was shuttered, with not even a sign remaining. How long has this been closed? I thought. I was just in the mall in January, and it was open then. Regrets, I have them. All this time, I have had a Victoria’s Secret five minutes away from my home, all these years, and now it’s gone. I could have been buying a bra anytime I wanted, and now, no. They probably had a closing out sale! I COULD HAVE HAD A DISCOUNTED NEW BRA IN MY (HOPEFULLY) NEW BRA SIZE! Don’t take life for granted, people. I took Victoria’s Secret for granted, and now it’s gone. Probably because I couldn’t even get it together enough to got shopping. I started humming You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone…

I stood there, staring, at the shuttered window with the song going in my head on a loop. I must have stood there for three solid minutes, probably looking like a lunatic, while another song came into my head, courtesy of the Evita soundtrack. So what happens now…where am I going to…

It goes without saying that I left the mall with my New Year’s Resolution still unfulfilled. Yes, I do know that there are other lingerie stores. Yes, I do know I could visit The Bay where I could get chided by an older Eastern European lady for wearing an incorrect bra size, before being steered toward the Olga line. But I’ve only worn Victoria’s Secret bras for the last decade, and I am feeling bereft. Yes, I do know that there are other Victoria’s Secrets in the general Calgary area, but I tell you this: if I didn’t go to a shop only five minutes away, there is no way I am going to get in the car and drive to the outlet mall outside the city limits, or, worse, to the mall in the south side of the city, to get to which I have to take my most-loathed-it-must-have-been-engineered-and-planned-by-a-group-of-drunks freeway.

No, I am going to just accept that I will probably wear my current bras when I’m in the nursing home. We are together for life, now. Me and my ill-fitting bras, together forever.


  1. I wonder if stores near me are encountering buy-toilet-paper-or-die-trying issues. I have been avoiding stores by sending Coach for a few items here and there whenever possible. Is the threat of the viris worse in Canada?

    The bra situation is a bummer. Ugh. I can’t believe the dang store closed. I fear I have commented before about my bra buying experience after wearing nursing bras for too many years to count. Mini was with me and she was like 4. She was horrified that the measuring woman ‘saw’ me. Ha. I hate my Vixtoria secret bras right now. They are not old but they rub on a microscopic mole or something on my back that makes me insane. Maybe I should channel my hatred at the skin flaw not the bras. I have seen dermatologist about it. I think steroid cream was not aggressive enough.

    Good luck – hope you secure the right bra before year end. Maybe you will have cause to be near another Victoria Secret and can plan to hop in and get it done.

  2. The stores here are similarly crazed. Very little toilet paper left on the shelves. No soap. No hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes as far as the eye can see. The dried fruit aisle is decimated. No generic Immodium. It is amusing and panic-inducing at once.

    I got fitted for a bra after I stopped breastfeeding and now wear a size I never in a million years would have though would apply to my particular chest. I am suspicious that Big Bra has gotten into the vanity sizing game. Obviously, Big Bra is run by a dude.

    • nicoleboyhouse says

      No hand sanitizer can be found for love or money! Luckily, I always have extras. Maybe I should sell it! I’ll be rich!

  3. I wouldn’t put a ton of stock into Victoria’s Secret giving you the best bra fitting anyway. I tried a VS bra fitting once and the woman just brought me a bunch of bras of different sizes to try on and see what I liked. I could’ve done that myself.

    Maybe look around for a department store that does them? Or–I don’t think that Canada has Title 9 clothing, but maybe there’s something like them? Title 9 in the US does bra fittings, at least for sports bras.

  4. Even before all this panic buying began I have ALWAYS stockpiled paper products; particularly toilet paper. I think/know I have a “thing” about running out.

    From what I’ve experienced, we should probably all have bra fittings every couple of years. My most recent fitting gave me a “WHAT?!” moment. This new size isn’t “quite” right but much better than it was (personally, I think I’m an in between size). Most department stores (Belk, Macy’s, etc. here) should have someone on staff who can fit you. Shockingly, the most comfortable bra I own actually came from Target. *wait a minute and I’ll look up the brand* The brand is Auden and the make is Bliss (or The Bliss – I already forgot). It is a wireless bra but is sculpted and in the size recommended by the fitter – but I have to clip it at the very tightest option.

    I just read an article re: Victoria Secret’s closing – apparently, the online competition became too much – as they offer a wide array of sizes.

    • nicoleboyhouse says

      I have a thing about running out too! I definitely like to have backup. We don’t have Target up here, sadly!

  5. bibliomama2 says

    Omg, that SUCKS about the Victoria’s Secret. You need the utterly businesslike Scottish woman at the place in Barrie I go with Zarah every fall – she measures you and then makes you try a bunch of different styles to tell which fits better in different areas. It’s a pain in the butt and they’re crazy expensive but all my bras fit like a dream. And I feel bad for the toilet paper people – half of my timeline is full of advice to be prepared for if you’re quarantined inside and the other half is people shaming people for hoarding (I know that’s not what you’re doing, and I was annoyed when there were no antiseptic wipes left because I wanted to take them to work for doorknobs). The hardest thing for me is remembering to refill my prescriptions before I have three pills left. Most of them aren’t life-threatening, but a couple of them are pretty important, and I don’t like the idea of running out.

  6. We have an extra freezer, so we’ve decided to stock up on frozen and canned foods, stuff we’ll eat eventually no matter what. We buy toilet paper in bulk anyway, so we have literally scores of rolls in the basement anyway.

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