15-year-old Margo ‘splains “the code” to her best friend Brian, so that Brian can, you know… help his girlfriend Christy shop for bras. Yeah. Shop for bras. That’s it.
(Excerpt from chapter 15 of the serialized novel Meeting Dennis Wilson: Book Two by Max Harrick Shenk)
We stood quietly for a couple seconds as Margo looked down at the sidewalk, at her foot, swinging back and forth, making an invisible arc on the curb. “So… ” she said, softly, “I might be able to get Christy’s bra size for you this weekend.”
“So?” I said.
“‘So?!'” Margo laughed, and she kicked my shin weakly. “O.K… eff you. ‘So…'” she repeated, tittering. “Don’t you wanna know?”
“I thought you said she was a 32 C,” I said.
“Brian… that’s what she says. But it’s like I keep sayin’… if you look, a lot of them don’t fit.”
“Yeah…” I said, like I understood… and of course, Margo saw right through it.
“Well… how can you tell?”
“Spillage and bumpage, Bri. Look…” She lowered her voice. “Bras… you have the number and the letter. You know all this, right?”
O.K. Was this finally the time to profess my ignorance–
“–what am I sayin’?” Margo cut me off. “Why should you know? You don’t wear one. At least I hope not.” She reached and felt my back with her flattened palm, right between the shoulder blades. “Just checkin’…” She took a breath. “Anyway… in a bra size, you have a number and a letter. Say… 32 C.”
I nodded. I was with her so far.
Margo continued. “Now… the number is… if you took a tape measure and went around your rib cage… not yours, but mine, or Christy’s… a girl’s… that number is how big around her chest is. Under her boobs. O.K.? But then the letter… that’s the actual size of the boobage. The cup size. So… someone who’s really big around the ribs but has teeny tiny boobs? They’d be like a 38 A. You know? And then meanwhile, there’s the Daralee phenomenon. Who’s this teeny tiny petite thing, but who is huge. I mean, possibly a triple-D. We have discussed this…”
We certainly had… ever since the first day of eighth grade, when petite, previously flat-chested Daralee Holbert came into school and “Yeesh… va-va-va-va-VOOM!” I’d gotten many reports since then from Margo, who was in Daralee’s gym class for the fourth year in a row, and usually they went like this:
They’re HUGE, Brian. I mean, we’re talking bigger-than-her-head huge. And I’m a C, so I know she’s gotta be at least three times that.
“So,” Margo continued, “that’s how you decipher–” She lowered her voice dramatically. “–the bra code. Now… how can I tell that some of Christy’s don’t fit? Just… look when she’s wearing a tight top. She’s bumpy around the straps in the back, and that means they’re too tight in the chest. Which would mean if it’s a 32, it’s too small. And others in the front she spills out of the top of the cups, which means if she’s wearing a C-cup, that’s too small. The cups. And that’s a problem.”
I’d noticed that look occasionally with Christy, and, actually, I kind of liked it. To me, it said Christy has so much breast that she can’t fit into her bra.
Why would that be a “problem”?
Margo looked at me. “So either way, it means her bras are too small. You got it?”
I nodded. I couldn’t believe it, but I actually did get it.
Still just one question, though…
“Why doesn’t she just buy bras that fit?”
“Because she doesn’t try them on. Either she just thinks that’s her size and she grabs them… or… my guess… she told Katie that she’s a 32 C and Katie just goes and gets them for her. Which Christy wouldn’t complain about if they didn’t fit, because her mom is so busy and does so much…” Margo rolled her eyes. “But even if not… clothing sizes… I mean, think of those Wranglers you bought. They said 30-32, which is your Levi’s size, but with Wranglers they were too tight. And who knows what it’d be with store brands. You know? Same with bra-age. You can’t go by the size.” She looked at me. “Vous comprenez? Capiche?”
“Ouais,” I said.
“Ouais! Y-E-S… ouais!” Margo said, smiling…
Meeting Dennis Wilson by Max Harrick Shenk…
“Today marks the day that I officially add Meeting Dennis Wilson to my ‘Favorite Coming of Age Books’ list. I adore John Green and his work [and] I fell in love with this book just as easily as I fell in love with Paper Towns or An Abundance of Katherines. Meeting Dennis Wilson can easily be compared to a teenager who’s just coming of age: awkward, quirky, hilarious, and loads of fun to be around. Meeting Dennis Wilson is incredibly comical, sweet, and ultimately feel-good.”
(The Literary Connoisseur)
Meeting Dennis Wilson is available in both softcover print and Kindle editions, in either seven serialized installments or as an omnibus edition gathering all seven books.