The story revolves around the disruption the girls cause by walking into A&P in only their bathing suits. The bathing suits, in contrast to the regular attire of the housewives and other "sheep" who enter the store, draw attention to the girls' sexuality, which Sammy
immediately takes note of. As the other employees and customers react to the girls, however, their bathing suits begin to symbolize a sort of freedom to Sammy, who finds it exciting that the girls flout the norms of social conduct. When Lengel
reprimands the girls and accuses them of indecency, the bathing suits take on a different tint, akin more to sexual shame or, more accurately, sexual shaming.