Praws train toward inequalities of later life

Ask and you shall receive. Well, at least you stand a better chance of receiving, depending on if Mom thinks it’s a suitable item. At our home, that translates to “put it on the grocery list” if you would like the godlike grownup in charge of the household to consider acquiring it for you.
How hard is that to understand conceptually? Even the most non-cerebral of athletes seem able to get it, as evidenced by the frequency with which coaches quote this maxim: “You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
The source of the quote isn’t as important as its message. You can’t expect results without putting forth effort. As a shopper, I always fail to purchase 100% of the items that aren’t written on my shopping list. I have maintained a perfect score on that score for as long I’ve been doing the weekly grocery gig.
So I was pretty surprised when one day, over a year ago, when the word “Praws” appeared on my grocery list. What the heck is a praw, and where would I get one, let alone a plural of them? Even more mysterious was who in my household wanted them enough to actually write something down where it could be found and acted on?
Thinking back to a recent conversation I’d had with my daughter, then nine, I suddenly realized “praw” meant “bra,” short for “brassiere,” and decidedly less French-sounding. That Christmas, Santa Baby and his four pair of reindeer delivered a pair of praws to our house. They were the most basic of praws, really: thin, white cotton, wrap-around strips of fabric that resembled hair bandeaus, with two strings attached to anchor them over slender young shoulders. I’ve seen sturdier Bounty paper towels that were quicker picker uppers.
The praws weren’t worn for the longest time because, well, they really weren’t needed – yet. They served more like those deer whistles we pay too much for and mount on the front bumpers of our cars, which look stupid and don’t go on right, but nevertheless make a person feel better just knowing they’re there, to ward off potential accidents. In this case, the approaching train wreck was named “adolescence.”
When the praws finally did need to be pressed into service, they were too small. They were also too flimsily designed, so a second set of hands (mine) was needed to help her into them, because the praws would otherwise roll up and have to be unfurled in order to do the cover up job for which they were intended. There’s something ironic about asking a parent for help with an article of clothing you are wearing as a symbol of budding maturity. I resisted commenting.
Last week, the word “praws” once again appeared on my grocery list. This year, the request was legitimate, but unfortunately, fell on the grocery week when I was buying catfood and kitty litter. Budget busters. Typically, praws don’t come cheap, regardless of how little fabric is involved. Generally, you get charged more for less.
Let me admit up front my response to the praws request flew in the face of the kind and comforting advice given on the flowery, pink website http://www.myfirstbra.us. I bypassed the website’s size calculator and fitting guide and headed straight to a real store where I ruthlessly price-shopped like I do for everything else. Why should praws be different?!
To my credit, I did not look for praws in a store that also sold produce. Neither did I go to establishments that featured fierce-looking, lingerie-clad models. I went to TJ Maxx and found a colorful assortment of training praws sold in tandem. Bearing brand names like “Sweet & Sassy” and “Girl Thing,” they were inexpensive enough that I got three two-packs for $10. What a deal! You couldn’t buy one cup of an adult praw for that price, assuming someone would sell you one.
The training praw concept gently lures juvenile wearers in the direction of the future where she can expect to pay top dollar for adult undergarments, a prospect that remains highly un-sexy, no matter which style you select. Better start saving now for the real thing, Girl Thing.

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