Thursday, June 19, 2008

Underwear Obsession

This morning I was putting my clean panties into their proper place in the proper drawer. They have their own section, and I put the end of a candle from L'Artisan Parfumeur in with them so they smell delightful.

About thirty three years ago, my mother walked down the stairs one day, hollering at us kids to get ourselves into the family room for an announcement. She said - and this is for real; she really said, "God came to me in the bathtub and said I don't have to put up with this shit anymore." Then she proceeded to tear into my sister and my brother. Since he was little, he only got in trouble for thinking he should have every Tonka truck in the land for digging holes in the backyard that would surely break her ankle.

My sister was guilty of thinking she should have a $1000 sterling silver piccolo in addition to her other expensive instruments. She was in the marching band at Spring High School, and given that she's always been petite, the piccolo seemed perfectly reasonable to me. Being in the Marching Band was so decidedly Uncool that she should at least play the piccolo.

When Mother launched into me, her complaint was that I thought I should always have at least thirty pairs of panties so that I didn't have to do my laundry for a month. She was right. I developed that policy over a number of years - ever since she taught me to do my own laundry when I was in fourth grade.

She's also the one who insisted I always wear good panties in case I got hit by a car. A girl doesn't want to go to the emergency room with stretched out elastic, holes or stains. It's very tacky.
Mother's attitude probably goes back to being embarrassed because her own mother had five husbands. That was quite a scandal in those days, and kids really weren't allowed to play with my mom when she was little on account of Granny the Ho. So it was especially important to Mother that everyone in town think my sister and I were Nice Girls. It also has to do with her belief - which plenty of of people share - that being poor doesn't mean you have to be dirty. In the South being clean separates regular poor folks from Poor White Trash. Sexuality has nothing to do with any of this since Nice Girls regularly got pregnant and had to get married back when my parents got married. Furthermore, nice girls had to dodge their incestuous relatives just as frequently as anyone else. No matter what the socioeconomic status of the Pervs and Perps, however, we can be sure a woman was washing the skid marks from his drawers. Assuming he wore clean drawers - which brings us back to Underwear.

The John Robert Powers Way to Teenage Beauty, Charm and Popularity (Prentice-Hall, 1962) doesn't address the state of a girl's panties as far as I remember. I'll have to look. That book is the definitive guide to being a Lady. In any case, I did have more than thirty pairs and continued that practice.

This morning I noticed I still have close to thirty pairs - but some are every day, some are for special occasions, some match camisoles or bras. I don't have thirty pairs of cotton briefs, that's for sure.

Gayle, whose skanky awful panties are legendary, liked Hanes Her Way - which are fine underwear. Very practical - G*d knows they take a licking and keep on ticking. I prefer Jockey no pantie line hipster briefs for every day wear, myself. I have inadvertently spent $50 for a pair of gorgeous pink embroidered panties that matched a brassiere which was also pricey - but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity and engineering to hoist up this old set of hooters with style.

After doing laundry for the first time with an old boyfriend, I started picking up new underwear for him whenever I found some good boxers or knit boxer briefs on sale somewhere. His weren't gross or anything - just a bit old and frayed. When Gigi (the friend who stayed at my apartment just after the original incident concerning Gayle's Panties and got quite the earful regarding the connection between the state of an individual's panties and her moral fiber) heard I kept getting the fellow new drawers ever since we did laundry together, all she could say was, "What's with you and Underwear???"

I wish I could blame this one on Mom, but I think she may have only gotten it started. My opinion about a person's underwear being related to his/her self image is not restricted to women. Velvet has been given a lecture about skid marks. I realize that everyone gets a little surprise in his or her underwear now and then. We're all human, and as every preschool teacher knows, Everyone Poops. It's just that I believe we should pay attention to hygiene. Our hygiene says something about how we feel about ourselves. For example, when people are depressed, they often don't shower for a couple of days.

I don't know what the hell Gayle's panties said about her - but I sure don't want anyone drawing conclusions from my drawers except that I take good care of my things. Some people might think I spend my money frivolously. Buzz Kill always thought I spent money frivolously, and he only saw the cotton briefs since moving on to cute panties was part of my changing identity during the divorce - but that's another story.


Blogger Kitty said...

I'm sure I have at least 30 pairs *blush* As you say - there are different ones for different occasions. It's just 'right' isn't it?


June 19, 2008 at 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too many panties but not that strange. Many girls learn a sort of ritual collecting and caring of their underware during their teen years.

June 19, 2008 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Kimberly M. Wetherell said...

HA! Love it!

Right now, I'm living out a suitcase and limited myself to 7 sets of matching bras & panties for ONE MONTH. I've been absolutely insane. Can't wait till I get to rejoin the rest of my "girls" in Brooklyn next Saturday...

June 28, 2008 at 9:11 PM  

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