When I confessed to my best friend, who, at the time, worked in the lingerie department at an upscale department store, that I never wore a matching bra and underwear set, she was aghast. I wasn’t. I mean, I was a single mother working part-time while I put myself through nursing school. I barely had time to shave my vagina, let alone imagine coordinating my undergarments. Besides, while I kinda wanted to date, I wasn’t actively seeking it out, and I figured that any guy that would be uninterested in me solely because I didn’t wear matching lingerie was probably not the kind of guy I wanted to be with. I mean, I had a toddler who routinely pooped in the bathtub, which is about as unglamorous as you can get. Wearing mismatching underwear was the least of my fucking concerns.
But I did let her talk me into coming to visit her at work so that she could set aside some nicer bras and underwear from the sale rack for me. I was cheap and I was broke, but with her discount, I could afford to buy some of the nicer stuff they carried. It worked out really well for me for quite a long time until, eventually, she quit working there, which left me back to where I started: buying cheaper underwear.
Every couple of months, Victoria’s Secret would run their X for $X underwear sale (I cannot bring myself to say “panties” because it’s a word that simply shouldn’t exist in nature. It offends me, which is weird because almost nothing else does.) and I’d hear about it, go in, blow about a hundred bucks stocking up, and then leave. Underwear shopping isn’t something I relish. Coat shopping, diamond tiara shopping, shoe shopping, clothes shopping, yes. Undergarments…not so much. It doesn’t so much make me feel badly about myself, because my ego knows no bounds, it’s mostly that I get pissed off by spending cash on stuff that only a certain subset of people will see.
Knowing I’m wearing something sassafrassy underneath my clothes has never made me swoon, even though all the beauty magazines tell me I’m supposed to. Mostly, they serve a purpose: to keep me propped up and/or tucked in. They’re great and all, and I’m totally pro-undergarments (GOOO BRAS!), but I’m just never able to get excited about spending forty bucks on a pair of undies. Or eighty on a bra. I guess, as I’ve told everyone, I’m just cheap.
A couple of months before I got pregnant with Alex, it was time to do the pilgrimage to Victoria’s Secret to replace my ratty undies. I should have known better. I really should have walked out and come back another time. But since I hate doing the deed and I wanted it over with, I just dove in with the hoards of people who were frantically digging through the sale bins. I’ve never seen Victoria’s Secret so packed with rabid women elbowing each other out of the way for a pair of boring undies, but there they were and there I was. Just looking for some boring Size Small undies. I wasn’t even being particular about the pattern on them like I normally am because I was so desperate to get out of there.
The estrogen level rose as the women clawed over the ugly undies and soon, I was sweating and ready to punch someone in the taco. Finally, I was done and headed to the cashier with my stash of undies in hand. She warned me that I couldn’t return anything with the tags off and we both laughed, talking about the things people had tried to return, because people are fucking freaks. I took my stash home where it was promptly packed into a box as we prepared to move from our condo to our new house.
That box wouldn’t be touched for many months.
When it was, probably a good four months later, I smiled at my good fortune, because finding a boxful of brand spankin’ new underwear is like finding a twenty-dollar bill in an old pair of pants. It’s a fucking bonus from the Gods that you don’t expect and when you get it you’re all, BEST DAY EVER!
So I ripped the tags off and threw the lot of ‘em in the washing machine. A couple days later, when my ass got around to sorting laundry again, I saw my fresh underoos and did a happy dance all around my bedroom. New undies, FUCK YEAH! I even remembered to close the blinds so that the neighbors didn’t get an eyeful (I was getting used to the whole suburban thing again)! I was on cloud nine! Nothing could ruin my mood!
I stripped down and pulled the new undies on, relishing how the elastic wasn’t all old and tired and the underwear was just all new and shiny looking and I realized that I just kept on….pulling. Right up to my nipples. I looked like Motherfucking ERKEL from this angle.
Oh, FUCK NO, I didn’t! Horrified, I ran to my full length mirror to see if I had been stupid enough to do it, and my reflection didn’t lie. I had.
I’d bought GRANNY PANTIES. Whimsical granny panties with adorable hibiscus flowers splashed here and there! TROPICAL granny panties! They were the nicest granny panties I’d ever seen, but they were still fucking GRANNY PANTIES and there was no way in motherfucking hell that I could wear them. Sure, Granny is a nice person, but you don’t want to FUCK her!
Please, please, please, please, let this have been the one pair I’d bought by accident, I pleaded as I made a mad dash for the clean laundry. I pulled them all out and one by one lined them up. Each and every pair of underwear that I’d just bought, cut the tags off of and then washed, oh yeah. Every fucking one was a pair of granny panties. Oh hell no. I couldn’t wear these. Ever. I may never be the girl who coordinates her lingerie drawer, and I’ve accepted that years ago, but I also cannot be the girl that wears motherfucking GRANNY PANTIES.
Groaning, as I took them off and pulled on a pair of old undies, and prepared to go back to Victoria’s Secret to buy a new stash (this time I would be the one elbowing other bitches out of the way), I did have to note one thing.
Those granny panties were fucking comfortable.