The day began like many others.
As she headed off for her morning bath, the menu of choices before Ginny seemed endless; she yawned as she contemplated the day before her.
Ginny's friend had phoned her earlier and suggested going out for breakfast.
She accepted the invitation even though it included her friend's 6 year old grandson, a delightful child, keenly intelligent and always a source of entertainment.
The boy's largest character defect in the moment was a certain limitation of scope. His tunnel vision excluded dining venues that would've been more to Ginny's liking. However, she enjoyed this child's company and so, agreed to going to McDonalds.
This choice would NOT have been high on Gin's list of preferences, but once committed, she was determined to follow through.
She, her friend and an exuberant child were to make their way to McDonald’s.
For Ginny, this capitulation put her under a large degree of duress.
She actually felt as though she’d been taken hostage, the kidnapper being her friend's 6 year old grandson.
Ginny longed to be going to another establishment, but no amount of cajoling seemed to persuade the child.
She dug deeply into her treasure chest of charms in an attempt to budge him from his obstinate decision. Unfortunately, the look of disapproval on the child's face convinced Ginny not to force the issue. She knew full well that doing so would not turn out well.
So, McDonald's it was.
Ginny's suspicions were that the true selling feature for this choice was the play area.
For her, the play area was a particularly awful spot in an arena of what was already unacceptable by all standards.
The ambiance of the loud, noise filled space was not her idea of ‘fine dining’.
Parents screaming at their children, children screaming at one another and the ever present danger of someone breaking their neck made the experience almost intolerable for her.
It was only her love for this child and her willingness to indulge his wishes that made her capitulate to his choice. Their young travelling companion loved the playroom in McDonalds and his happiness went a long way to making an outing pleasant.
Ginny sighed with resignation, determined to make the best of things and simply go with the flow.
Her main dilemma in the moment was...clothing.
She stood naked in front of her closet, wondering what to wear.
Her choices were many, including a vast selection of hats, scarves and shoes, pieces of clothing that always fit, no matter what number spun on that torture device that measured the state of her body.
Her wardrobe wasn't exactly tailored to the experience of fine dining at McDonalds, however, her attire was the one place Ginny refused to compromise.
Just because she was forced to eat in McDonalds, did not mean she needed to change her usual garb and even though she knew her long flowing summer dress, equally flowing shawl and lovely gray straw hat with an eloquent little bow was not exactly standard dress code for Micky D’s, she threw caution to the wind.
She had recently crossed the threshold that took her into her seventh decade of life. With this occurrence, a certain degree of discretion disappeared from Ginny's reserve.
She had never really enjoyed wearing braziers and had done so mostly to meet the approval of others, especially her mothers.
With age came the realization that she cared little for what society expected a woman to look like.
Her mother's passing several years before had eliminated any residual desire to conform to somewhat archaic standards. As she shed more and more of her mother's restrictions, she became less and less inclined to contain pendulous, sagging breasts.
Brassieres, designed to display or hide her lovely globes began to disappear from her closet.
So, as she stood in front of her chosen outfit, she debated the old dilema.
She mentally tossed a coin and accepted the result that dictated “no bra”.
She was quite delighted that the decision would 'let the girls loose' for the occasion.
It was this death defying act that perhaps was her undoing.
A bra which would have contained the exuberant entities, might have changed the course of events.
But Ginny was a fair person, she seldom cheated and when the coin toss rendered her braless, braless she went.
The disaster occurred as she and her breakfast party were leaving McDonalds.
The meal, though barely palatable, had gone over reasonably well.
The child in the entourage was happy and totally lost in the enjoyment of his cheap plastic toy, his reward for having kidnapped and brought hostage adults to an otherwise inhospitable environment.
Ginny had gathered her belongings, refilled her coffee and was about to leave when a gray haired, helmet headed, permy woman approached her with an air of intent, holding Ginny to the spot.
She smiled sweetly, wondering if perhaps this stranger was going to ask her where she found her wonderful clothes and maybe even seek some fashion advice.
Gin was ready with a few tips, especially some hints on how to let loose the steel helmet on the woman’s head.
Imagine her surprise when the woman sidled up to her and whispered, “Do you have ANY idea how ridiculous you look”
This was followed up with: “Honestly, fat people should not be dressed the way you are and for God’s sake woman, go home and put on a bra”.
Ginny was stunned. She quickly shelved her idea to gently give the woman fashion advice and instead politely asked the woman her name.
“Helen”, replied helmet head.
Ginny thanked her courteously and then turned to the rather crowded arena and rapped her cane loudly three times.
“Excuse me people, I have a few questions to ask you and am hoping you will satisfy my curiosity”.
People looked up, conversation ceased and expectant though somewhat shocked faces turned in her direction.
Ginny forged forward. “ My new friend here, Helen, says that I am fat, should not be dressed as I am and that I should go home and put on a bra”.
Helen blanched. Her hand went up in a gesture half intended to cover Ginny’s mouth but instead covered her own eyes that she might somehow block out the experience which was unfolding before her.
“Ok, who here notices that I am fat?”
A few hands went up reluctantly.
“Oh for God’s sake people, I know you're not blind, just answer truthfully”
More hands went up.
“ Well, now that we have that one out of the way, here is the next question, who likes my dress?”
Most hands went up.
“And my hat?”
Some hands up, some hands wavering with indecision, but definitely the crowd was warming up to the exercise.
“Now for the delicate question, you may want to cover your children’s ears”.
People, especially those accompanied by children, looked a little nervous.
“Do I need to go home and put on a bra?”
The women in the crowd considered this question deeply but failed to come up with any form of consensus.
The men however all looked very dreamily towards the topic at hand and shook their heads vehemently, “NO”!
Ginny thanked everyone for their help, turned towards Helen to continue their discussion and….lo and behold, Helen had disappeared.
Ginny sighed, gathered up her belongings, waved to the crowd and joined her entourage waiting in the car outside.
Did Helen’s advice weigh heavy on Gin’s mind?
Well, I suppose you could say….FAT CHANCE!