Erin and I are in dressing rooms and closets with clients stripped down to their bras and underwear several days a week. It’s a no-big-deal thing.
I wasn’t expecting to be busted and embarrassed when I was in a Nordstrom dressing room alone with my daughter Erin after work one day, trying on a dress that had been altered. It was a graphic Anne Klein tent dress that came into the girl’s consignment store, SAX. Erin wanted it but it was actually cuter on me! It just needed some tweaking at the neck to fit better. I was striped down to my undies (that no-big-deal thing), about to slip the dress over my head to see if it fit right when she immediately noticed the thing I’d been rigorously not noticing for some time.
“Mom, your underwear is disgusting.” She wasn’t talking about my bra. I took care of bra updates a few months ago. She was talking about the slouchy panties I was wearing.
In spite of everything my mother taught me, I’ve been engaged in risky behavior for several months. “What if you get hit by a car and the ambulance takes you to the ER and you have bad underwear on?” she said. Yours did too, right? Mine weren’t dirty, they were just not fitting like a proper lady’s panty should fit.
Let’s just expose this threat for what it is. If I’m sent to the emergency room because I’ve been in an accident, doctors and nurses would have more pressing things on their minds than registering whether my underwear was clean, dirty, pretty, or shabby, right? Wouldn’t they be busy enough with the broken femur or the deep gash on my thigh to even notice my panties? (An expert gives her opinion in a minute. Stay tuned.)
If you ignore loose panties, they get ideas
Since changing my diet, I’ve shed some pounds. I made necessary size adjustments when my jeans got baggy. I also bought smaller sweaters that weren’t looking baggy. But panty shopping wasn’t on my radar. I remember how long it took me to buy bigger sized panties back when I’d gotten bigger. It was the same thing now, only in reverse: ignore, ignore, ignore until I could ignore no longer.
When I’m working with my clients I am on my feet and on the move for hours straight. If we’re shopping, I’m registering thousands of steps on my Fitbit running around a large department store or marching the length of the mall ducking in and out of multiple stores.
When I’m out and about in a professional setting, it’s not the time when I want to feel my panties heading south. Since they’re no longer clinging to my hips the way they used to, they get ideas of their own. “Hey,” they say, “let’s go exploring! I can see skin down there for miles! Let’s go check out those bony knobs down there.” My knees. Yes, they want to explore my knees. Did I mention I’m wearing a dress?
Trying the bow-legged trick
Have you watched old western movies where after that long dusty ride out of Cheyenne, Wyoming, the cowboy finds the shade of an old oak tree and gets off his horse? He’s planning his next moves after robbing the bank back there in Cheyenne in broad daylight. He’s in Levi’s 501 jeans, boots with scratches all over them from being in scrapes with the law, and a cowboy hat lined in sweat. You see him walk a few paces and his legs are bowed.
Well, that’s the image I had in my mind, a bow-legged cowboy, as I sensed my panties about to make their move. I thought if I walked like a bow-legged cowboy, maybe my panties wouldn’t hit the floor of the designer section of Nordstrom while shopping with my client.
It wasn’t until my dow-eyed daughter uttered those five words later that afternoon when our client had left and we were in the dressing room together, Mom, your underwear is disgusting, that I knew I had hit bottom.
I wore pants only until the weekend came around when I went over to McCaulogh’s department store in the corner of a strip mall in Sonoma. It’s small, but it has underwear! I looked at the selections and decided to try a Vanity Fair Illumination Hi Cut Panty. They had them in only black and nude. I bought one of each. They felt great. By Sunday I was online and ordered the same style but in more colors.
Safe to wear dresses again
I am oh-so-happy. I may acquire some variety but for now, the problem is fixed.
I read a blog post on granny panties by Jennifer Connelly. It’s here on her blog A Well Styled Life. She’s singing the praises of granny panties and after looking through her list of examples, I’m going to be trying some of those, too.
Bonus panty news
I was at a soft opening of Tony’s Seafood in Marshall. Hog Island Oyster Company is the new owner. Anyway, my friend Debra’s sister Laura was sitting across from me. She was telling me how she’d read my post about Debra wishing she had different lingerie on when she awoke from her grand mal seizure to see the gorgeous paramedics peering down at her at 4:30 in the morning. (Women Now: Finding the giggle and the fashion in a paramedic experience.) She said, “I read that and thought I need new lingerie!”
She works in hospitals; I had to ask. “Laura, I’m writing a blog post about panties and maybe you could answer my question. Don’t you think doctors are too busy dealing with the medical emergency to notice someone’s underwear when they’re in the ER?”
If you could see Laura’s face when she answered me you’d take your mother’s advice for sure. “Oh, we can’t help but notice! We have to take them off people and we have to dispose them. We are definitely in contact with people’s underwear. And it’s mostly not good.” (Imagine scrunched up nose.)
THEN, the next day I was in J.James chatting with Annie and Valerie. Underwear came up again! Annie was telling about when she broke her arm and her sister was going to take her to the hospital. In this case, she had risqué underwear on. “You have to help me change my underwear,” Annie said with panic in her voice. “I know everyone in town! I know the doctors and nurses! I can’t be seen in this underwear!”
Her sister insisted they wouldn’t be seeing her underwear as she had a broken arm, not a broken leg. “No, no, no! You have to help me,” Annie said. Her sis complied.
Annie went to the hospital in the right kind of underwear to be seen by all her friends only her sister was right. They only saw her from her waist up.
So, with these two stories in mind, are you, like me, thinking about your underwear right this second?
You guys told me about your paramedic experiences when I wrote about Debra’s; do you have underwear stories to share? Or how about brands you love? Let’s keep this subject rolling!