Mon Dieu!

Upon a recent holiday in Paris, I decided to visit some of my favourite upscale lingerie shops to get a few intimates to update my flagging collection.

This was going to require stepping way out of my comfort zone as usual as the assistants are always front and present on any occasion I have frequented their establishments.

This time was no different but far more challenging (read – embarrassing!) than usual. As I entered the lingerie department of said upscale store, I was immediately greeted and exchanged limited pleasantries ‘en francais’ until thankfully switching to English before it got too complicated.

With husband in tow, I got down to the business at hand. While I explained what I was after the sales assistant, interrupted me and asked “may I” to what I was unsure she was asking and while I tried to work out what she was referring to, she placed her hands on my bosom giving me a good ol handle and squash for several excruciatingly long minutes.

I looked at the husband in utter disbelief and slight horror at being felt up in the middle of the department of a very swanky department store! For the assistant this was all de rigueur and part of the job while I was turning several shades of crimson.

With my new purchases bagged and de-tagged and the experience firmly behind me, we shuffled off to a well established intimate boutique on the left bank. I had shopped there on previous occasions but had not needed to enter the changing room. As I was having something custom made, it would need to be fitted. So, the sales assistant quickly placed me in my cubicle and I hurriedly tried to undress to be a state of quasi-readiness for her return with the measuring tape.

Unbeknownst to me, she was standing on the other side of the curtain and as soon as she heard some unzipping she tore back the curtains with determination, revealing me in my undress to the rest of my fellow shoppers and the husband.

The colour must have drained from my face because the husband looked at me with oceans of concern and conveyed apologetic looks while she measured and relayed her findings to a nearby colleague with a notepad!

I cannot begin to tell you dear readers, the level of embarrassment that will haunt me to my dying day. It was like that dream we all have where you are at school, but naked. This had shades of that dream but sadly, it was really happening, to me, in FRANCE OF ALL PLACES! The land of the chic, home of the stylish. The French have none of my latent puritanical shyness, they are proud of their bodies and generally rightly so. But I, with my bastion of insecurities found all the openness and frankness I experienced on my day of lingerie shopping unnerving at a cellular level. Suffice it to say, I am going to be in recovery for a while – guess I’ll be doing my lingerie shopping online for the foreseeable future!

One Response to Mon Dieu!
  1. Meg
    October 29, 2012 | 8:49 pm

    Wow, I would have been mortified (and a tad irritated!) at the second shop!

    There’s little I dislike more than overzealous sales assistants. I like to be left alone while shopping; if I need help I’ll ask for it!

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