Folding laundry the other day, I couldn’t help but notice the state of our underwear. What popped into my fairly empty head at the time was a statement I’m sure most of us heard in our youth, “make sure you put on clean underwear in case you have an accident.” How could one not remember that piece of advice provided by a mother or grandmother or auntie or some other female household member because you can be damn sure that the men didn’t give out advice like this. Men of our time didn’t give a rat’s ass about the condition of their skivvies.
Now, I know little or nothing about the average person’s undergarments. I only know about ours because I am the one who washes them. And what I know about ours is that they are not pretty. In particular they are dingy, discoloured, stretched out of shape and sometimes have holes. It is the holes that inspire us to finally throw them out.
Personally, I hate shopping including for undies so I will keep them as long as I can to postpone the task. They are far from sexy. Even in my prime I did not lean towards sexy. I was flat as a pancake and had been cut from my navel almost to my clitoris twice in my lifetime. The first time at twenty-one. The second, twenty years later. There is a lovely set of scars, one an inch wide, the other a fine line in the middle of the first that encouraged high-wasted undies and one-piece swim suits. No worries though, I never had the desire to be a sex symbol. My idea of an aphrodisiac was a good conversation not lingerie with itchy lace and underwired cups.
The older I get the more I want comfort. Finding comfortable underpants that don’t slide down or creep up my high-waisted torso can be a real challenge. Every time the dreaded shopping trip comes around, I end up buying a different kind in order to try something else because, as we all know, undies can’t be tested out in the store. Yet bra’s can, and there is nothing I hate more then heading into the dressing room with a collection of bras looking for the perfect one. I have yet to find a comfortable bra and believe me, over the years, I have tried more different kinds than I can count, including sports bras. None of them are comfortable. They are like wearing a harness. Discreetly holding women’s boobs in and up is important to society. I used to go without a bra in my smaller days. But I knew the importance of discretion when my son and his friends were teenagers. If I had my way, I would once again discard said harness, but I am not as small as I used to be. As a matter of fact, at sixty-three, I finally have the perky boobs that I wanted as a teenager. However, they have a tendency to show off a little too much if not contained. The last thing I want to do is give some old guy a heart attack.
The problem with comfort is that it doesn’t wash well. Whites take on the tints of sweat-stained undershirts. Other colours stain and fade. Pilling and colour transfer from rubbing against the armpits of t-shirts and the thighs of jeans begins during the very first wear. That new look does not last. There are sometimes a couple of pairs that are in better shape and are relegated to the bottom of the drawer for those rare occasions that dressing nice is required, but eventually they get pulled in with the rest since dressing up is so infrequent and laundry is sometimes delayed. They all end up with a not-so-clean look about them.
So I thought about this as I folded the laundry–The Doc’s skivvies and my undies into their separate but not-pretty piles. I couldn’t help but wonder, given the state of things, over the fact that if we did have an accident, we would be wearing a pair of these. A not-so-clean-looking but still-very-functional pair of underwear.
I can’t imagine that anyone will think twice over it even though I have just devoted over seven hundred words to the matter. Words written with the intent of keeping the subject light and the condition of our underwear justified.
Thank you for reading.