I had been saying for months that I wanted some sort of percentage that compared the chances of dying from COVID next to some other way of dying, let’s say in a traffic accident, a way of dying that we all just accept as being a risk that exists but never prevents us from getting in the car, and I finally came across something just like that recently. I won’t link it here because no way can I be assured of its accuracy, but it should have alleviated my virus anxiety in a pretty big way.

I mean, statistically, my personal chances — according to this one maybe-dubious source — are low that I will die. A 0.104% chance, specifically. My chances of catching it (and then there is the unknown of recovery, all those stories about “long haulers” dealing with all kinds of lingering damage are pretty distressing) are higher, 5%, but still fairly low.

(Also please take those numbers with a giant grain of salt, I know everything about COVID is a moving target and there’s no way to be accurate about risks yet.)

Anyway, it does help to try and put things in perspective when I feel a runaway train of worry barreling through my head, but there’s the rational side of me and then there’s the side of me that is always, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

My deepest fear is that I have had this incredibly lucky life and because I don’t deserve it, there is a massive karmic reckoning coming. I know that sounds ridiculous and dramatic, but it’s the truth. The COVID odds don’t soothe me because when I think of someone drawing that bad card, I think, why shouldn’t that person be me, or worse, someone I love?

What an insanely self-absorbed way to think, right? And it’s not even a helpful way to think, in the sense that these gloomy thoughts drive more useful self-protective behaviors.

I have no good conclusion about any of this. Just that I am tired of thinking about it and I bet you sure are too.


Do you ever see the appeal of a thing while knowing, deep in your heart, that the thing is not for you? I’m talking of course about the bralette, which seems to have become much more popular in these unsupported, loosey-goosey pandemic times.

I love everything about the idea of a bralette, with its wirefree cups, tiny straps, and fancy lacy back, but I do not have a bralette body. Or I guess in the spirit of every body is a beach body I technically do, except only in the sense that it is physically possible to put a bralette on.

I have long resisted the siren song of the bralette and its bullshit promises despite 1) being heavily targeted by Internet ads as a top member of the ideal bralette consumer demographic (and even accurately pegged as someone who will perk up at the ads that specifically claim to offer a solution for larger-busted ladies) and 2) really being kind of a massive sucker these days for anything that promises the holy grail convergence of cute + comfortable.

However, I was at TJ Maxx the other day (side journey to tell you that yes, I still go out browsing, masked up and fingers crossed, but I do it far less than I used to and I don’t enjoy it nearly as much) (further side journey to also tell you that I saw a women bring a dog inside and I was like LINDA YOU LEAVE THAT LADY BE on account of probably an emotional support animal PLUS pandemic but it turned out to be a FRENCH BULLDOG and come on, there is only so much a person can be expected to do in terms of self-control) (the lady and dog were very nice) and I found myself in the lingerie section, faced with the ultimate temptation: TWO bralettes, sold together, in adorable colors and pretty lace backs, for like, 7 bucks.

If I know deep down that even the most expensive well-made bralette is unlikely to do what I need it to do, I know damn good and well that an extremely flimsy and cheap 2-for-1 bralette from TJ Maxx’s clearance rack is certainly going to be a massive disappointment, but for $6.99 I couldn’t help myself. It was like that bat-eared Frenchie: IT CALLED TO ME.

This is the part of the boring story where I would love to tell you that I got home and lo! It was a miracle! My bosoms were lifted to the heavens in an effortless fashion and I was transformed into a buxom creature that exuded both comfort and sensuality! But no.

It was pretty much just as bad as I thought it would be: the back was cute enough, but the front was pure disaster. There were those too-small, too-mobile pads in the cups that utterly failed to do anything in terms of support or shaping and instead made my nipples look weirdly square. There was a lack of any kind of hefting whatsoever and my boobs fought each other in a depressing battle to rest on my navel. Instead of cleavage there was just a long saggy gap that reminded me of that tragic blobfish that looks like melted hell when dredged out of its home 4,000 feet below the water.

In the end I can chalk the failed hooter-holster up to an experiment that simply didn’t pan out but I know the ultimate truth: I was convinced it wasn’t going to work yet I bought it anyway. There is either something purely hopeful and upbeat about this entire endeavor, or the downright definition of bullheaded stupidity.


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