I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office waiting for my daughter, reading, and minding my own business. A mountain of an elderly woman squeezed herself into the chair on my left. Her caretaker (?) daughter (?) took the chair on my right. They began a conversation across my lap. Next thing I knew, they were passing an oversized handbag across me. And then an inhaler. And then the handbag again. I closed my iPad.

Mountain Woman took a long drag off her inhaler, while Caretaker-Daughter asked me about my iPad. After a quick Apple endorsement, the conversation dwindled. Caretaker-Daughter leaned around me and asked Mountain Woman if Xavier had gone back to sleep.

I looked around. What had I missed? Was there a kid somewhere? What the…?

Mountain Woman pulled the neckline of her blouse away from her chest and looked down at her enormous bosom. She nodded, confirming that Xavier had indeed gone back to sleep.

My jaw fell. Clearly baffled, I looked back and forth from woman to woman.

“Wanna see?” Mountain Woman inquired.

Um, well…of course I do. Or do I? Do I have to peek into your shirt? Are other people watching this? “Sure,” I said cautiously.

Mountain Woman reached between her twin peaks and extracted a furry creature. She held it out to me. “Want to pet it?”

Uh…

“It’s a Sugar Glider.” Exclaimed Caretaker-Daughter. “It goes everywhere with her.”

I have to take a second here and remind the reader that we were in a doctor’s office. Although I will be the first to admit that I kiss my dog on the lips, I found myself questioning whether or not this was sanitary.

The little mouse-guy sat on Mountain Woman’s out stretched palm and peered at me with huge, admittedly sweet eyes. Not wanting to hurt his feelings, I rubbed the top of his tiny head with my finger and wondered how clean he could possibly be. I love animals, but this rodent had emerged from a stranger’s bra. What other sorts of things were going on in there?

As if to answer my question, Xavier turned around and did his business on Mountain Woman’s hand. Then he scampered up her arm and nestled back down into her cleavage.

“Oopsie,” said Caretaker-Daughter, “let me get a Kleenex.”

And maybe hand sanitizer? My daughter emerged from the exam area and beckoned she was ready to go. “Well, it’s been fun,” I murmured to the women with a quick wave.

After explaining the exchange to my teenage daughter (whose first reaction was: “Why didn’t you ask her to let ME pet it?”), I pulled out my iPad and researched the Sugar Glider. First of all, I learned they are marsupials, not rodents. And they don’t do their business in places where they sleep, which are usually cages or people’s pockets. I assume this may apply to bras. They are cute and apparently make great pets.

I have mixed emotions. Are bra dwelling marsupials unsanitary? Cute as they are, would I want one living in my shirt? My daughter said she’d take one, but was worried that her chest wasn’t big enough to comfortably host it, which would mean she’d have to constantly wear a hoodie with pockets and that went against her stylish fashion sense. Thank goodness.

Having been made aware of the existence of bra dwelling marsupials, I now find myself compelled to look at all heavyset women and wonder what they might have living in their brassieres.

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