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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Retail Therapy with Sister

TheQueen had an appointment with a new doctor yesterday - way off in the big city. Just a check-up. Of course, yesterday was a state holiday and she was horrified to think that she'd wasted a perfectly good holiday when she could have used a sick leave day but the happy news is that she really really really liked the new doctor, who only took 20 minutes yet made me feel like she had all the time in the world. That is a wonderful trait in a doctor.

But since I had already made plans to be in the city - and since it's still January and New Year and Resolutions and stuff - I also made up a shopping list for Stuff I can't get here unless I order on-line. And Stuff I Won't Order On-line. And I called Sister and asked her to join me at the biggest shopping center in the city.

Only it's not in the city.

It's way out on the frontier of Henrico County.

And it's not the only mega-giga-wowza-brick extravaganza-shopping destination out there on West Broad. Out there where we used to just call it the road to Charlottesville. Out there where you really can't walk anywhere - you MUST drive a car - south on Lauderdale Drive, around the U turn, through 3 stop lights and ooops. Missed it. Out on West Broad again were fortylevendyhundred strangers are whizzing past you. I know I cut off a woman driving a blue van when I realized that here right now was my turn. Whoever you are, m'am. I am sorry. These places are definitely not human scale.
What Broad Street Means To TheQueen

I come into that part of the city (I know, it's not a city, but it's where the city activities have moved) via the 295 beltway - a knuckle whitening drive for this rural (c)hick - and am debouched onto Broad Street at least  a mile from my destination and on both sides of the highway there are clusters of shopping and OtherBrickBuildingsThatIAmNotSureAreStores - TheyMayBeOffices for at least a mile or two.

I would love to know what is in those places but for a stranger to find her way into those engineered parking lots is as good as a 3 year sentence into traffic architecture prison. If I had fifty hours to meander around with nothing to do and if it were 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday, I might be tempted to pull off the road and explore. I might not. I might not actually ever find the way past the speed bumps and concrete bumpers back onto the road home. Unlike ThePrince, who will just drive across a curb or a median if he can't find an exit - I am frozen in traffic obedience and will circle the aisles of cars in a faint hope I will find a way out.

In fact - I might never venture out there at all, in spite of the lure of a real brick and mortar Apple store or a Nordstrums, only - there are bras.

I suspect I have no male readers, other than cousins who will just figure I'm a nutcase, so I will continue here with officially girly TMI.  I will talk about bras. Bras for the older ladies. Bras for the older ladies who have both expanded and widened. Bras that wear out and leave you in tattered droopiness.

There used to be a Bra Lady in Carytown - a delightfully old neighborhood in Richmond City Proper where you can park your car and then walk all over the place. You could even park your car way out on Malvern or Hanover, in a residential neighborhood, and get in some invigorating exercise before you actually go shop. The store moved up and down the 10 blocks of West Cary depending on their lease options but Betty, the Bra Babe was always there, an old New York garment district denizen who could measure you and fit you and have you walking out of the shop feeling 10 years younger and 20 lbs lighter.

Thank god for Betty the Bra Babe because she taught me that there is a solution to a droopy middle aged body and it's not Jenny Craig or gym membership or a time machine. It is a well fitted bra. But time and high rents took Betty away from here and TheQueen was left with whatever was available at Walmart - not the best options - definitely not optimum options.  At last she had the bright idea of writing to the fashion consultant for the Richmond Times Dispatch for advice on the best bra fitters in the city and she was directed to Blythe.  Now - I will only shop at Blythe.  The link is to the Yelp review page but they do have a facebook page here.

Reviews are helpful and you're going to see good ones and not so good ones. Eh. TheQueen is not just a convert - she is a devotee. In part it's because I've been 100% satisfied with everything I've bought from them, but in part it is also because I spent enough time finding them - I am not in the mood to hunt down another bra source. And I can afford them. Or if I can't, I can save up for them.  No bones about it - this place is pricey. But the first bra I purchased there 3 years ago, is still holding up in spite of the fact that I do put it in the washing machine. Oh - I didn't when it was new - I was all about the delicate hand washing. That fades after a few months. No - the older bras are not as crisply new looking any more but they still hold the girls up and more importantly - in.  And after yesterday's purchase, the 2 older ones are now retired to weekend duty.

There is absolutely nothing as invigorating and happy making as a really great fitting bra. Beneath your clothes you feel well supported, un-jiggly, and comfortable. It's the comfortable part that is so important underneath your clothes. On the outside - whatever you had on will just look so much better. Narrower. Crisper. Hotter. The first time I shopped at Blythe I insisted on wearing the new bra home - even though that canceled the return policy. But why would I ever return something that made me look and feel that good?

Now I try to get a new one every 6 months or so. One year I even treated Sister to one for her birthday. In fact, she met me there yesterday, though she was not spending. She wanted to go to the Apple store - and we did - and I drooled. Well there you have it. I will pop the big bucks for the right bra. She does it for a computer. But hers is a business expense so it's tax deductible. Hmmm. I wonder. I wonder if a good bra - something that does so much for physical and mental health - could be a medical deduction.

TheQueen never knows where her thoughts will take her when she opens up blogspot dot com but at least she knows she'll be well fitted after a little Retail Therapy with Sister.

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