Just three more days to go! THE SUMMER SPRINGSTEEN’S SONGS SAVED ME is almost here and we’ve decided to share another excerpt from this warm and uplifting novel. Last time we shared from chapter one, today, we’re sharing from chapter twenty-three. One of our favorite scenes…


Life Me Up

I need to update my underwear wardrobe. Phoebe and the white panty caper certainly proved the inadequacy of my undergarments. However, trying on bras with Amy and Terri amounts to madness. This excursion trumps trying on bathing suits in the middle of February at the height of my vampire-like paleness. I clench my jaw. Better the lingerie devil you know than the one you don’t. Besides, I’d promised Terri to visit so here I am.

From behind me Terri’s voice rings out a cheery, “You made it. I can’t wait to show you what’s new.”

“My lingerie is like my life — I don’t know what to do about either of them.”

Terri laces her arm through mine. “You’ve come to the right place to fix at least one of those problems.” She sends me a sideways glance. “Any word from your ex?”

“I have no idea where he is. I can honestly say I don’t care what he’s up to.”

“That sounds promising, hon.”

I pick up a lacy bra. “So delicate. And so impractical for anyone built like me.”

Terri says, “Don’t say silly stuff like that.”

I glance down at my full bust. The title of the tune “Lift Me Up” comes to mind, and I laugh. The song’s pleading prayer about stripped bare love having the power to lift you up, has nothing to do with lingerie, but that title rings oh, so true. I need a lift for sure.

Amy and I follow Terri to the rear of the store, and I mutter, “Great.” The lingerie designed for us must be so ugly Terri hides the items in the back where no one sees them. Terri immediately shoots a huge hole in that theory. She stops and points at an artful arrangement of wispy wearables on a large table.

“There are lots of options throughout the store for you. This is a new shipment that’s going to be in the window next week. It’s guaranteed to provide full-figured support under a sweater. It’s our ‘Twice Blessed’ line.”

“Oh Mama, now you’re talkin’,” Amy says.

I smooth my T-shirt. “I’ll buy three if they work. Especially if they don’t look like my grandma’s bras. I still have nightmares about the times I helped my Nana into a long-line number. That thing had more hooks than my grandfather’s fishing tackle box.”

“I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised,” Terri says. “No long-line bras for you.”

My reflection takes me back to Nana’s bedroom. Nana’s flesh squashed out of the edges of the cups; the white pasty blobs terrifying me. Buttoning up her back was bad, but unhooking the thing at day’s end was worse. On those help-Nana occasions I kept my eyes on the hooks or on the rose-patterned rug of the bedroom lest I came face to face with Nana’s long, wrinkled breasts. I encountered the banana-shaped boobs once in a mirror hanging on the bedroom wall, and I still want to scrub my eyeballs.

We enter the fitting room area, and Terri digs into a cardboard box. “I have lots of goodies in here for you.”

Amy grabs a neon pink bra and matching panty and slips inside a fitting room. She calls to us, “I can’t stay long. I have a conference call from a client I have to take. I’m trying to land a big one.”

“Need me?”

“Not yet, but I will. He’s submitting a proposal and then you’ll have to do some plans. And we should visit Terri’s real estate office soon too.”

“Yes,” Terri calls. “I can’t wait to discuss what you’ve come up with.”

“I’ve already sketched out some more ideas.” It’s good to be working again.

Terri hands over a thin nylon piece of fabric and tosses one over the top of Amy’s fitting room. “We have our own special throwaway liner so you can try everything on without your own panties.”

Amy snorts. “Peds for your privates. Brilliant.”

I toy with making a selection and avoid the fitting room. None of the lingerie appears sturdy enough. The thin straps and airy, light cups make me uncomfortable. A vision of my breasts as they sag and bounce flashes before me. Not a sight I want to see. Not Nana’s elliptical white eggplants, but certainly not perky.

Terri coughs. “Now what’s wrong?”

I dangle a lace thong in front of her. “I need fabric, big fabric to cover my rear. These thongs are horrid.”

Terri places her hands on her hips. “You’d get used to it if you wore one. Guaranteed to have no panty line.”

“I don’t want to get used to a string up my butt. Not at this age. Not at any age.”

Terri rummages in the box. “Have it your way.” She pulls out a pair of gossamer bikini panties without one smidge of white cotton. “How’s this instead of a thong? It’s a no panty line model too.”

“Much better. And where’s the bra that’s going to do wonders for me under a sweater?”

Terri chuckles and pushes me to the dressing room. She hands me a blue and white silk bra, skimpy material which appears to have little support.

“This is for a twelve year old. I should know better than to believe you.”

“Be quiet and try it on. I’m going to bring you a couple of the new ‘Booby-traps’ line too.” The door shuts, and Terri’s black-and-white, checked heels click away. I wonder where she discovers such interesting footwear.

I slip off my clothes and underwear and hear Amy laughing in the room next door.

“I’m glad you’re amused, Amy.”

“I haven’t had so much fun in ages. This stuff is almost as good as my vibrator.”

I avoid facing the mirror till the last possible moment. Preparing for the worst, I clench my fists and take in my reflection.  I shift slightly and look at my rear, surprised at the view. How on earth does fabric make my butt so taut? I practically have those “buns of steel” the infomercials tout, instead of what I call my “buns of steel wool.” Maybe the jogging is helping. I note with surprise that the wasp sting is practically gone thanks to Sammy’s magic potion.


My insides do a flip flop.

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