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My kingdom for a bra
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I went shopping at the mall for the first time in probably a year or two, and I suddenly became aware at how little I get out.

The mall was so claustrophobic, even though there were only about 30 folks wandering around.

It was just the unbelievable amount of goods available in every shop that was making me feel boxed in.

I was getting dizzy just looking at things that were on display. All displayed nicely, but just tons and tons of "stuff!"

What happens to all that stuff that doesn’t get sold? Does it end up at Marshall’s? TJ Maxx? Ross? Burlington Coat Factory?

I mean, that quilt I saw at Macy’s was just so beautiful, but not for $200. If I wait six months, it will end up at TJ Maxx for $35.

And all the fine china? Some truly pretty stuff but come on ... if I had china that pretty and expensive, do you think I’d ever use it? White porcelain with gold trim ... and a glop of macaroni and cheese in the middle of it? Not on your life!

I’ve become so accustomed to the cheap, but fairly durable, goods at The Dollar Tree.

A set of dishes for four people comes to about oh ... 16 bucks.

Now you’re talking! Can’t even square that at Wal-mart!

So I’m walking around, taking the escalator merely for the fun of it ... up and down ... looking around to see if there is anything remotely interesting that I might want to check out and I thought that it might be time to pick up a pack of new chonies.

I hopped off the escalator at the third floor of Macy’s and made my way the long way around, looking at all the bathing suits and clothing that was clearly not made in America because everything was so tiny.

I don’t care who keeps saying it, but the average size of the American woman is not 12. Twelve is the average size of sixth-grade girls in this country.

American women are probably somewhere in the size 16 to 20 range. Anything less than that is just not the norm. Over that is also "average."

We grow ’em big in this country!

Seriously. Go to any store in the USA that sells clothing and you won’t be able to find anything in your size. Why? Because 400 other women were looking for the same danged thing.

When you go online to look at sales, what is the predominant size of clothing "for sale?" That’s right, Small and medium. Large and XL are always sold out.

The gals who worked at Macy’s? They were all — all of them — size 20 or higher.

Here I was, checking out the measly little B-cupped bras and they were waxing poetic about the ghastly expensive Wacoal bras — 60 bucks or more a pop — and one said to me, "I got fitted, and turns out I had been wearing the wrong sized bra for years! I’m a 40 triple D! That Wacoal bra, though, it fits like a charm."

The other gal, a granny in her 70s who worked there, told me that she bought a couple at a "Pre-Event" sale and said, "I went to bed one night with it on, forgot I was wearing it!"

I shook my head and said, "Well, I can’t do it. Too expensive for me."

They both encouraged me to just try one on.

We searched high and low and for one my size. Guess what?

None to be found. Everything in every size above and below it. Nothing in what I needed. Which is why, when and if I ever do buy a bra, I buy an extender to go with it.

I admit it, I’m a large girl, I just do not have a big bosom.

I’m OK with that. Except that, clearly, many other women are built like me.

It was beginning to wear on me, all that looking and sorting and deciding ... row upon row of bras in every size, shape, and color. Except what I was looking for.

The average bra size remaining on the racks was — yeah, you guessed it — 32B.

Come on, people. I haven’t been a 32B since the 10th grade.

I finally found a bra that might fit me, one without underwire, so I went in and tried it one. Hmm. No underwire. What’s the point? It was like an expensive jog-bra. I took it right off and hung it back on the hanger.

I picked up the jog-bra I had been wearing, and noticed that it was time for a new one. But at $6, not $38.

I walked out of the dressing room, holding it up and shaking my head.

"I think I’ll pass on the bra buying for today ... where are the chonies?"

They pointed to a display just beyond the bras.

I walked over and it was another sea ... of underwear.

Bikini cut, boy cut, teeny tiny Thai panties.

"Seriously. Look at me. Where are the chonies that would fit me?"

They crooked their index fingers, as if sharing a secret, and pointed.

I looked around the corner, and there they were. MauMau panties.

Kite sized.

Shake a pair out and it looks like a bed sheet.

I found one package — one, mind you — of some colorful big-girl chonies. I snapped it up, not caring what the cost was.

Well, OK. I did flip it over and saw that it was on sale...

I did a double take and saw that the remaining packages were all ... what? Right. Sizes S and M.

The buffalo stampede had gotten there long before I had.

I took my prized possession up to checkout and paid for the six-pack. Under $20, so I felt like I was getting a good deal on some crack. No pun intended.

As for the bra situation, I am not even going to give it a second thought.

Jockey for Her has what I need at Wal-Mart.

Stretchy, comfy, and cheap ... as long as I can beat the other heffalumps to it.