A million billion years ago, back when I was just graduating high school (or was I just in college? It’s all a little blurry, thanks to a wee bit of excessive, um, well, vodka usage), I was involved in my first serious relationship. Going on two years, we were finally showing the cracks in our united front, and I didn’t know what to do. So I did the only thing I could think to do at age nineteen when you’re relationship is failing and you’re not entirely sure how to fix it, only that you don’t want to be without each other because that’s all, like, sad and shit: I bought lingerie and body glitter.
Oh yes, Toy With Me-ers. I was one step shy of cutting all my hair off and dying my scalp pink just because, you know, that’s how to handle shit (rather than like, actually handle it, and shit). I figured the best course of action was More Sex and More Glitter. Which is, shockingly, not a bad way to handle problems, I suppose, now that I think about it.
But I was in the process of planning a romantic (read: sex-filled night of sexcapades) night composed of glitter and my new lingerie when my boyfriend “accidentally” found himself caught red-handed screwing around with the patchouli-smelling hippie friend I’d dragged to Victoria’s Secret to buy the lingerie with.
Whoops! Looks like I’d spent fifty bucks on some quality lingerie for fuck-nothing. And um, even worse than that, no fucking. It was a shame, too, I thought to myself as I sadly looked at the white ruffly baby-doll top and matching boy shorts. Because I’d really liked that outfit. It was classy stuff. And I didn’t even get to wear it.
(I’ve used the glitter all up)(duh)
I stuffed it in my sock drawer and turned on some emo song like, Cat Stevens ‘Wild World’ or anything by the Spice Girls and cried a lot. Like a lot. He was my first real boyfriend and it was shitty to have it end that way.
Eventually I threw away all of the stuff I’d gotten from him when I moved away to college. I kept the lingerie. Not in a sentimental, “I’m holding onto this because it is a link to you!” way. Just because I still liked it and thought it was pretty and cute and ruffly and I kinda wanted to prance around in it, smacking my ass in time to ‘Baby Got Back’ while my NEW boyfriend told me how awesome I was.
Oddly, it never happened. That’s probably better for all parties involved, now that I think about it.
I got married and moved to a condo in the city, then a house in the suburbs. The lingerie packed up and moved with me. My husband, The Daver, and I began trying for Baby Number Two (in that space, I’d accidentally popped out Baby Number One) which meant Baby Makin’ Sex. Apparently, in Aunt Becky Land that does not involve frilly lingerie.
At long last, that elusive second line appeared. I’d finally gotten knocked up. As the pee dried on that pregnancy test, I immediately looked five months pregnant. Time to bust out the jeans with the elastic waistband.
So, I packed up all my normal underwear and frilly lingerie in favor of underwear that could double as a bed sheet or the sail of a ship. I mocked the pregnancy lingerie I saw in catalogs because I resembled a daddy longlegs spider or a tomato. That cried. All the time. A crying, barfing daddy longlegs pregnant lady. I was the anthesis of sexy. No lingerie for me.
Then came the baby and nursing bras to hold up my gigantic melons and another baby and more nursing bras. The very idea of slipping into “something more comfortable” was laughable. Because, well, nothing was comfortable. I had a BABY kicking my ribcage and punching my vagina from the inside. Then the outside.
So, that same frilly negligee stayed in my wooden chest for four years. Untouched, my lingerie sat there, along with my string bikini and some misplaced socks, until last week, when I cracked open the trunk to see what was inside. I’d been cleaning out my closets, reorganizing my life, and this was yet another step in that direction.
There it was. My old lingerie. Nestled in with some mismatched socks and a pair of workout shorts, it sat there happily. I pulled it loose and held it up to the light. The first real piece of lingerie I’d ever bought, a solid reminder of old times; old bad times. But beautiful, still, even now. I threw it into the laundry because I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.
As I did my laundry this week, I thought a bit about that one piece of lingerie (never, though, about the mismatched socks). I still find it beautiful and it’s not like it’s part of some shrine I have composed of my ex made up of his fingernails and pictures of him or anything. I mean, I’m way over the whole thing. It’s been ten years. But I don’t know. Is lingerie like underwear? Does it have a shelf life? Am I supposed to buy new lingerie for a new lover? Is it creepy to still own it? I can’t tell.
I’ll figure it out, I guess, once I get my freshly laundered lingerie back into my grubby hands. Or maybe I’ll just shove it back into my sock drawer and figure it out later. I mean, by this point, it’s kinda tradition…right?
So what do you think, Toy With Me? Would you keep it or toss it? Is lingerie something that’s intended for one pair of lovers or is it something you can safely hold onto? Oh brilliant wise ones, impart your wisdom upon me!