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When a mom needs to buy new undergarments (of either the scandalous or non scandalous variety) she essentially has two options. She can either go to a store that seems geared toward college girls who are really anxious for someone to see the three inches of fabric they paid $30 for, or we can pick up a plastic wrapped ten pack of underwear while we’re out getting a box of diapers, a pack of toilet paper and some chicken legs. Neither one of these options are my favorite. So I am here today to propose a third way (other than buying online which is guaranteed to somehow make all my children run into the room and become suddenly super interested in what’s on my screen). I am giving you this million dollar idea for free, just because I would so love to shop at this store. Whoever is willing to make my dream a reality, go forth with my blessing.

Environment: I would like this store to have tinted glass along the front. I don’t need to worry that some elder from my church is going to see me contemplating underwear patterns. I also need for the name to be something nondescript. I’m guessing there would be copyright issues with this, but if they could just name the store “Target” that would solve a lot of problems for me. Kids: Where did you go, Mom? Me: Target. The moment I walk in, I need someone to hand me a glass of something warm (I always feel less stressed with a warm drink in my hand) and the whole place should smell like donuts or some other warm carb. I need to feel super relaxed if I’m going to do what I’m about to do here. The lighting should be flattering– some kind of candle situation would be nice. No fluorescents.

Decor: This store will have none of those giant posters of scantily clad, buxom models giving me bedroom eyes. No thank you. I would like only calming, reassuring images on the walls. I think posters featuring bowls of pasta, a basket of puppies, or steaming mugs of coffee would be nice. The dressing rooms need to have a hook substantial enough to hold up a purse and/or diaper bag and there should be an option to get a room with only a waist up mirror, or a waist down mirror, depending on what you’re shopping for. No need seeing what you don’t need to see today. The dressing rooms need to have positive affirmations on the walls. Things like, “In the dark, everybody looks like a supermodel.” or, “He said for better or worse, so quit stressing about it.” or, “Your body does important work, so it’s okay to treat it with love and respect.” or, “Your mom thinks you’re perfect.” or, “After this, you can go get cupcakes.” Come to think of it, maybe we should offer cupcakes outside the dressing room? OH! And we need a little fire pit or wood burning stove where women can put their old nursing bras. There would be some kind of celebratory music that would play and you’d get a discount on whatever you purchased to replace it.

Inventory: I don’t really even care. For sure, we need some underthings that we can actually wear under things. The boring stuff that fits us well. And other fun stuff, too. Moms like to have fun and sometimes our secret happy thought involves cute undergarments that we buy and wear purely for our own enjoyment. I have seen that it is a big thing right now to put suggestive words on the back of underwear. That’s fine. But why do we have to make promises with our underwear that sometimes the responsibilities of the day won’t allow us to keep? We also need some underwear that clearly says, “Not Tonight” or “All Touched Out” or “I Could Be Convinced” or “Those Tacos Settled Kind of Weird.”

Sales staff: MOMS ONLY. And they need to be the encouraging kind of mom that always asks if you tried something new with your hair and tells you how cute it looks. They will posses some kind of airport body scanner technology that allows them to figure out your correct bra size while you’re still fully clothed and holding a toddler. They will not say ridiculous things about how you should buy bras and underwear in matched sets because they know what your actual life is like and that undergarment matching is falling pretty low on your priority list these days. We will also have a dermatologist on staff who can check out any suspicious moles while you’re there because we all know you’re about multitasking (especially if it means you only have to disrobe once).

For the kids: There is a constant loop of Pixar movies playing in the corner of the store along with a train table, coloring books, and fruit snacks. One salesperson is tasked with managing the kids area and she has a degree in early childhood education. If you’ve ever had your child run around a lingerie store with a D cup bra on his head, you know why this is important.

Just for men: I get that men will at times need to do a little shopping for their wives. I support this. I also don’t want to be bra shopping with somebody else’s husband eyeballing my purchases. It’s just weird and I don’t care how cool we’re all supposed to be about it. So I want a separate side entrance for men where they enter a lobby area. There they can fill out a survey about what they’re looking for and then they can put it through a hole. . . okay, I could try and explain it in a more classy way, but have you ever been to a doctor’s office where they have a tiny cabinet in the bathroom for leaving urine samples and the cabinet has doors both on the bathroom side and to some kind of office/nurse side so you don’t have to carry your own pee down the hall? It would be like that. You put in your request and then they put in something that would meet your needs. You buy it. You’re done. You don’t like it, you put it back in and they’ll find something else for you. Simple. 

After you leave: I want my purchase in a nondescript bag. Again, preferably one that said, “Target” on it. Do NOT put any coupons in my bag that have pictures that would qualify as porn in other circumstances that I will immediately forget until my toddler is holding it and asking “Where that lady’s shirt?”

If someone could get rolling on this (preferably before I have to go under garment shopping again), I’d really appreciate it. 

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Maralee Bradley

Maralee is a mom of six pretty incredible kids. Four were adopted (one internationally, three through foster care) and two were biological surprises. Prior to becoming parents, Maralee and her husband were houseparents at a children’s home and had the privilege of helping to raise 17 boys during their five year tenure. Maralee is passionate about caring for kids, foster parenting and adoption, making her family a fairly decent dinner every night, staying on top of the laundry, watching ridiculous documentaries and doing it all for God’s glory. Maralee can be heard on My Bridge Radio talking about motherhood and what won't fit in a 90 second radio segment ends up at www.amusingmaralee.com.

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