Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My Undulating Despair Over Underwear

I’ve never understood the appeal of fancy underwear.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never had a body that would fit into anything AT Victoria’s Secret.

All through college, my girl friends would excitedly tromp out to Vicki’s and return with striped pink bags overflowing with lace and see through lingerie.

And these were, for the most part, “good” single girls, who wouldn’t show their underwear clad areas to anyone until they got married.

I just didn’t get it. Why spend your money on something no one is going to see?

Now that I’m married and someone does get to see my underwear clad parts, I have an even stronger argument. That person, namely my husband, just wants me OUT of any underwear, no matter how expensive or fancy it might be.

I understand the rules of attraction and how fancy underwear excites men, but I’m still not willing to shell out big bucks for the ten minutes wear I’d get out of it.

He’ll survive as long as he gets what’s underneath WHATEVER I’m wearing.

And, yes, I make the concession of pleasing my husband, if that’s what he wants at the time, but the truth is that I still don’t get it.

And this is one time I can’t say it’s because I don’t think like a man.

I know plenty of women who are overjoyed – overjoyed! – to shop for (and wear) fancy underwear.

Not me.

To me, underwear has had the same function it has had since I was 12.

1. To separate me from my outer clothes (that’s the reason underwear was created, after all, so I’d have to say it’s primary.)

2. To make me appear thinner. All I’ve ever asked my underwear to do (besides covering my girl parts) is help hold my stomach in. I’ve worn spandex underwear since I was 12. I kissed comfortable underwear goodbye a long, long time ago.

I also wore a girdle to school everyday for four years. It was painful, and (looking back now) didn’t make a bit of difference. But at the time, I thought it made me look thinner.

Ask my high school friends. It didn’t.

3. As for bras, well, that’s another story. I’ve always been a weird size. Small cup size, LARGE strap size. Strange that for a “big” girl, I wasn’t blessed with a great big…well, let’s say…personality.

Shopping for bras and underwear has always been an unpleasant trip to the mall for me. And that’s saying a lot for someone who LOVES to shop.

After 16 years of confirmation, I am still convinced that comfortable underwear makes me look fatter. I know it certainly makes me FEEL fatter. I can count the number of times I’ve worn comfy undies on one hand. And each time, I felt like a blimp on display for the world to see. At least with the spandex kind, I feel like I have some kind of support.

So, I look for the spandex kind. These are not very comfortable, but at least it’s better that the 12-hour girdle I wore in high school.

In the bra department when I whisper my odd-bodkins size to the sales person, I get the raised eyebrow, and the “We don’t carry THOSE kinds of sizes” sales pitch excuse.

When I finally DO find a bra in my size, I’ve only ever had three options – plain white, plain black, and plain beige. So, I guess it’s good that I’m not a fancy underwear fanatic.

Underwear has hardly been my friend through the years; it’s just been something I’ve had to contend with.

So, I guess it didn’t come as much of a surprise when one of my bras committed suicide the other day.

It was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. After getting out of the shower, I put my (plain white) bra on. It made a strange squealing sound and then burst apart in the front, spewing forth little cotton bits like a mini-foam volcano. It literally jumped off my body onto the floor.

I have to admit I stood there for a minute trying to take it all in. It seemed like such an unusually violent end for an undergarment.

Then, of course, I had to mourn the loss of one of my three good bras.

I tried to decide what had made it want to end its life (and its usefulness to me).

Where there signs I had missed? Had it tried to tell me? Had I enabled it by trying to hook the second hook instead of the third hook? Had I put it under pressure to be something it was never meant to be?

Poor bra. I gave it a decent burial in the trash can in recognition of its many years of service to me and my…personality.

When Mom heard of my loss, she kindly offered to look for a new bra while she was out shopping. And (as good fortune seems to follow my mother on occasion) she found TWO bras in my size – a lovely plain white and stunning plain beige.

“I looked forever. It IS a hard size to find. They were out of black,” she explained sweetly, as I nodded my head in expectation.

So, yesterday I took my new beige bra out for a spin. It fit perfectly, and I walked around in my everyday work clothes, knowing that I had something NEW on underneath.

And that was annoying because (obviously) I couldn’t show anyone. And telling people that I was wearing a new bra could constitute sexual harassment in today’s workplace.

So, no one knew but me.

When I got home, I showed my husband. “Look at my new bra,” I crowed.

He looked up, smiled in appreciation, and said, “Looks nice. Want to take it off?”

I just can’t win.


Heidi said...

I truly can sympathize. I will leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

You totally crack me up! Reading your blog is absolutely therapeutic! As far as fancy underclothes go... I think they're a waste of money... in fact, I might even tend to think that people who think otherwise simply need more important things to think about...

SturgillMom said...

Wow! What a great post for me to read the first time I got on your blog :) You are just too funny!

Jennittia said...

Believe it or not, even us "little people" have the same problem!! I finally found my "perfect fit" and now I have memorized the Playtex make and stly number and only get that one. What will I ever do if they stop making it?!!

Linda said...

I love you, Ann Marie!!! And I love your blog. I always look forward to reading what new and funny thing you have to say. This made me laugh out loud. How do you explain the humor of bra-suicide to your 3-year-old and 5-year old? They wanted to "see" what I was laughing at. I am glad that there wasn't a video clip of this occurrance.

mom2mine said...


I truly needed a good giggle tonight!