Saturday, January 06, 2007

On the Subject of Knickers

My darling daughters should be gratified to hear that their mother no longer wears granny panties---those awful, elderly looking undergarments that come all the way up to what is anatomically known as the "waist". After holding out for many years, fashion and availability made me cave. Now said undergarment ends a few modest inches below my bellybutton.[Can't resist---what does an older woman have between her boobs that a younger woman doesn't? I usually forget jokes as soon as I'm done laughing at them, but this one has stayed with me, to the tune of much eye rolling from les hommes. The answer, of course, is a bellybutton, but I digress.] I realise an inch or two is a small concession to fashion, but it keeps me in my comfort zone, no panties peek above the slightly dropped waist of my jeans, and my bottom is covered, which, unless I'm greatly mistaken, is the purpose of panties.

I am morbidly fascinated, when shopping for underthings, by the phenomenon known as a thong. For this few inches of skimpy fabric they want how much? So that I could spend every waking hour twitching and wriggling as though there were ants in my pants? Because there would be fabric, all day, in a place where fabric was never meant to be. Better, if I can make so bold a suggestion, to wear nothing at all.

When I was growing up, as soon as summer departed, my mother bought winter knickers for us. She was a practical woman who loved me, I'm sure, and wanted me to be warm, but she was disturbingly unconcerned about permanent damage to my delicate psyche. Darling daughters [and concerned passersby], granny panties are haute couture compared to those abominations. Not only did they cover the bellybutton, they had legs that plunged almost all the way to the knee. Even in that far distant time they were very uncool. Todds' department store provided them in two luscious colours---Pepto Bismol pink and Mawkish Blue. I don't think my younger sister, the cooler one, ever wore them. No,no, darlings....your auntie wasn't that cool [or wanton]. She merely shoved the offending garments under her mattress, pilferred her summer knickers from the back of the hot press and went about her business. But me? I was a martyr for the cause. If Mum said I had to wear them ,I was unaware of options that didn't involve me freezing my young butt off. My sister has a lovely name, but in Irish [and the nuns always used the Irish versions of our names] it is Siobhan --- yes, exactly like the bald one. She suffered years of torment from her peers,
who would snicker "shove on your knickers, your mother's coming...."

I loved to ride my bike to the other side of town to visit my Auntie Ita. She was not really my aunt, but an elderly friend, who had introduced my parents to one another. She fed me banana and jam sandwiches, and treated me like a grownup and was great fun and I loved her. In Auntie Ita's neighbourhood there were lots of children who went to posher schools than I. I was delighted to be accepted into their group and happily followed them around. One day we ended up in a field where there were lovely, climbable trees. Imagine my surprise when they encouraged me to go first.......what an honour.......until I attained some height, and chortling and guffaws broke out below. Two late I remembered what I was wearing under my billowing skirt.........I squirm still at the humiliation I felt that day. To think that I trusted them and thought well of them. Amazingly, it didn't scar me for life as I undoubtedly thought it would at the time. I still trust people, for the most part, and believe the best of them, unless they give me reason to do otherwise. But , as a precaution, whenever someone invites me to climb a tree with them I always insist that they go first.........and I never, ever wear granny panties any more.......


Stomper Girl said...

Knickers are such a personal choice aren't they? I, for example, can only wear 100% cotton knickers, and shock, horror, prefer a thong or g-string as we call them here. This year my cousin bought me rainbow striped undies for Christmas and even if they were 100% cotton, which they're not, I wouldn't wear them because they are bikini briefs and I hate that look! To each their own.

Molly said...

Tsk, tsk SG! Don't get your g-string in a twist. No criticism intended---three cheers for knickerdiversity!

Stomper Girl said...

None taken.

Stomper Girl said...

That is, I mean, I didn't take it as criticism. I'm all for knickerdiversity :-)

aunty evil said...

Actually, I do wonder why they call them G-strings, they don't look like a G?

Molly, I remember a horrid teacher I had in kindergarten, and no matter how long I held my hand up to ask to go to the toilet, she ignored me. Conseqently, I wet my pants. I then got into trouble from that same teacher. The point, though, to this story, is that I had to be given a spare pair that was kept at the school, and they were H-U-G-E! I spent the rest of the day holding them up. That was embarrassing for me, and I never forgave that teacher.

Tracey Petersen said...

In my family we call g-strings 'straight-line undies'. This is due to an incident when my son was three and sitting in a trolley in the underwear dept of a store as I browsed. In a voice at a volume only possessed by three year olds he observed that "those undies look like they would get stuck in your straight line." None of us had ever used the phrase 'straight line' before, it was entirely his own creation, but everyone in the store knew exactly what he meant!!

meggie said...

Laughed at your story, Molly!
Then laughed again, at Tracey Petersen's little tale.
The joys of littlies!
And knickers! Arent there some weird looking 'bits' about?
A friend's elderly mother took her off to try on.
She came back out, saying, "O, I dont think I could get used to these"
Her daughters howled with laughter- she had them on back-to-front!

Lukey Barlow said...

Oh, Molly, I loved this post! How funny! And the comments have been excellent reading, too.

I bought a certain style of underwear at Sears for many years. Maybe I was one of the few, for eventually they discontinued it. I visited as many Sears stores as I could, then, and bought up the remaining stock. I've been dipping into this ever since to maintain the number I keep in circulation. This has gone on for years. Perhaps decades. Very recently I mourned the culling of the last existing unit. And now I'm wearing something from Walmart which is NOT very similar. I wish I were an adventurous sort who could revel in underwear fashion. Alas, I'm futty-dutty to the core. Nothing will ever replace my old Sears hipsters. (White and 100% cotton, of course.)

My float said...

So glad the experience didn't scar you for life, otherwise you'd still remember it. Oh, wait...!

I don't get thongs (or g-strings as we call them here) myself. I didn't get them when I had the figure to wear them, let alone now when the fabric would have its choice of nooks and crannies. Eww, too much information!

My mum used to make me wear brown socks. I too wore them despite protesting too much.


"Here's Your War" posted Jan,1007

CrankMama said...

you are my new hero!!

Faith said...

hello there
Oh I loved you blogs I've beem laughing aloud to Scratch and Alice and they seriously think Im on the Absinthe again.
Scratch is a whippet cross deerhound, I loved the bunny phrases you used I had never heard of them before. Alice is a greyhound cross lurcher. Now G strings are like a rope up your bum
but there again everyone has different tastes. You cant keep warm with a g string so might as well be like a scotmans with nothing under his bits... I'd rather not get frostbite I'd rather be covered up just incase I'm climbing down a ladder if the fireman comes.

Liz said...

With the undergarments... you always could have done like me and put them on in the morning without protest, gone off to school and removed them in the rest room -- course that worked for the lace-trimmed undershirts my ma made me wear in Southern CA, probably wouldn't have done to have you trotting over the Irish countryside sans knickers.

WifeMomChocoholic said...

Thongs aren't too bad if you're not too overweight. Somehow when I put on weight, they become torturous no matter how large the size. When I'm skinner, they're more comfy. Go figure.

My dh and I were just in Ireland -- Sligo and Dublin. LOVELY country -- we definitely want to go back. My dh's brother was married in Ballymote.