I Got 99 (Underwear) Problems
I crack up almost every single time I see that meme that says, “life with a toddler summed up in one image” with a picture of a pair of leggings turned inside out, with underwear still attached, thrown willy-nilly anywhere in the middle of the floor of any given room of the house.
Underwear. It goes by many names. (I refuse to say, “panties.” Bleh! It’s one of the worst words known to womankind – it just sounds so skeevy. Yet there it is, emblazoned on sale signs in the lingerie department of every women’s clothing store.)
A clothing necessity, if you will. A badge of honor we wear proudly as toddlers, declaring to the world that we no longer “go potty” in our pants. And one we begrudgingly give up in our later years as our bodies revert back to their infantile ways.
In my teens and 20s, when I was still living at home (or at college in a dorm during the school year) and didn’t have to worry about bills being paid or mouths to feed – back when I could legitimately pay for a tank of gas by scrounging around for a large handful of coins in the ashtray-turned-change receptacle of my little hatchback car – I would buy fancy lacy things, or even a thong or two (gasp!). I’d cruise by those cotton granny knickers, pulling a face of sheer disdain as I moved passed the display, to find coordinating SETS.
Many years (and many pounds) later, it costs a small fortune to find a decent bra to hold everything in place without creating extra rolls. And by the time I find even ONE decent bra that works, I’m exhausted from the physical workout I’ve just had in the fitting room to even think about finding a few bikini briefs to match. And let’s face it. The days of the thong are a distant memory. (Bless you if you can wear one, especially if it doesn’t cut into you anywhere!)
Back in those college days, I remember chuckling that a few friends had “period panties” – cheaply constructed cotton and elastic numbers meant for the explicit purpose of wearing them a day or two each month when there wouldn’t be a chance in Hell that a love interest would catch a glimpse of them. And since they never saw the light of day, stain removal (to the point you would never have known they weren’t a brand new pair) wasn’t really a priority, nor did it matter if they had holes in them.
Living on my own brought a realization that there was no money allotted to undergarments purchased on a whim. Ah, how the Universe must have laughed at me…
In one attempt to be frugal, I thought I’d found the ultimate score – a 5-pack of britches with some cutesy patterns on each for a very low price, ending in an oddball number like 87 cents. Imagine my surprise (and horror) when one pair of this underwear began disintegrating on me WHILE I was wearing them!
Or, there have been times when I’ve spent a little more in hopes that the extra money meant better quality. Perhaps they were better. But maybe you know this scenario too … you THINK you’re in the clear … only to find that the few pairs you just bought are making you walk in ways you hadn’t anticipated – either riding up on you or rolling down until you’re rocking a hammock between your knees. (Yes world, without my jeans right now, my bare bum would be in your face in all of it’s blinding white flabbiness!)
I’ve begun to wonder if my underwear issues are solely those of a “curvy girl” or if there are super athletic, toned, and/or just generally blessed gals with leaner physiques out there who experience these phenomena too.
Why oh why does underwear have to be an issue? It’s a first world problem, really. I get that. But, c’mon now!
When my husband and I were dating, I poked fun that he would get boxer briefs and new undershirts for Christmas and birthdays from his mom each year. (He still does, actually.) But now I’m wondering if that’s what I should have been requesting all these years…
I know some moms are good at putting themselves and their needs first. I’m in awe of these women! (Lord knows, my mental, emotional, and physical health could use some serious attention.)
Yet I spend our disposable income on adorable outfits and accessories for our daughter or dining and entertainment instead. (A bad financial habit to be sure! Even shopping consignment sales and thrift stores, or using coupons, it adds up. Ugh!)
Or (if you’re like me), you just start making up excuses as to why you shouldn’t refresh your wardrobe a bit. You know the excuses I’m talking about, ladies!
“I can’t afford the 5 pairs for $35 deal at my favorite trendy plus-sized store right now. (Even though they’re normally $16.50 each!)”
“Oh, I got 10 new pairs after my c-section scar healed up and I’d lost most of my pregnancy weight.”
“I’ve managed to rock out these 5 pairs of underwear for 5 years and they are hardly looking very worn at all! I don’t need anything new right now.”
“I’m planning on losing some serious weight, so I may as well just keep wearing these until I need a newer/smaller size, so we’re not wasting money.”
I know moms everywhere feel me on the budget thing. When it comes to what we can live with versus what is a true necessity (especially for our kiddos), we sacrifice.
Long gone are the days of hitting up the mall and dropping some hard-earned cash on a balconette bra and frilly skivvies to match (with coupons and retailer rewards vouchers in hand, of course!) … or better yet, giggling with girlfriends over the products available for men while at a Frederick’s of Hollywood store buying something “to spice things up” with the high school boyfriend. (Oh, how I laugh at my younger self now!)
There’s way too much to consider when shopping for unmentionables. From their construction to their functionality (whoever invented Spanx is a true champion!) to brand labels and pricing – it’s a lot to process … and when you DO find just the right pair, you shout it from the rooftops (well, or at least brag about your find to your friends – especially if you got them on sale). It’s just a bit too much. Oh, how I envy my kid – her only worries are how quickly she can rip off those little pants, leaving them (with underwear attached) for someone else to worry about.