Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Treatise on Panties

You have the title of this post. If you, like me, think there is a point at which you do not need to know so much personal information about a person, then you will stop reading. But I'm not reading it, I'm writing it, and I'm out of fresh, witty insightful material. I have dug to the very bottom of my barrel, so here you go. If you turn back now, there might be hope for you.

There is an old family story about me. When I was about three, we had a house full of relatives visiting, and my mom, up to her elbows in Lutheran hospitality, decided it would be okay if I dressed myself for church. As my uncle carried me down the aisle of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, a smile broke across his face. As he handed me to my mother, her face grew red, and hot, and she marched me back out of the pew, down the aisle and back out to the car, where she had my father drive us home so she could put a pair of proper cotton panties on my bare bum. Apparently, we made it back for the sermon just in the nick. We were late for the opening hymn, but I'm sure mom didn't mind, because of the show off who always sat behind us and insisted on singing harmony, which cheesed her no end. Besides, better late than immodest.

When I was just out of college, I stayed for a couple months with my college roommates at the home of one of their moms, a single divorcee, who gave us all garter belts for Christmas. It was my first gift of that type - I've been given lingerie by a few men in my time since then, most notably my husband, but it seemed like a very loving, cosmopolitan, grown-up gift. I used it once or twice, but mostly I just liked the idea of it.

When I was in my late thirties, I shared a dressing room with a bunch of younger women, one of whom had just started wearing a thong, and swore by it, and so darn it, I had to get one too. It made me feel sexy.... when I looked at it in my drawer. But as soon as I put it on, I felt, well, like I had kitchen twine caught up my ass. I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to pick something out of there.

I've tried, since then, to wear a thong, trying on different styles of thongs, different fabrics, but it all feels like a nasty joke that I'm not in on. It feels kind of mean, like whoever designed them was someone who never intended to wear one. I fully admit that the IDEA of them is sexy, and that granted, they are not meant to be worn for long. And unfortunately, I will resort to them on occasion, having run out of clean, comfy, normal panties. But all day? Oy, it puts me in a bad mood. I need to take an extra dose of lexapro just to make it to lunch. Someone once gave me a very good piece of advice when I was shopping for lingerie for my honeymoon. They said "see how it looks around your ankles, because that's pretty much where it'll be most of the time." Honestly, that's where it's most comfortable.

I buy my undies in bulk now, from Costco, like a lot of other women in America. It makes me kind of sad, lumping them in my cart with cases of soup and nose spray and giant bags of coffee. I would love a sexier alternative.

If only sexy was comfortable.


Lolabola said...

I used to teach english to two sisters from Sierra Leone and they really wanted to master the "th" sound. I kept telling them to stick out their tongues but to no avail. It finally happened one day when a rather large girl in a thong was wearing rather small pants and strutting down the sidewalk in front of us.

I thought maybe you were going to tell a story about your yesterday's underwear dropping out of your pant leg in some public place. It seems many people have a story like that.

suttonhoo said...

yay -- you've given me courage to blog about the "defenestration of panties" -- something I've been wanting to do for awhile.

p.s. try those boy shorts. kinda sexy & comfy too. :)

Donna said...

Snort! Just when I find a style that fits they inevitably feel the need to change it to placate the gods of 40-something "fashion."

Comfort rules. Butt floss drools.