Clothes line cotillion, bow, hands to the basket, grab the wet sheets give them a shake, throw it over the line, my little self too short to reach all the way up, wooden pins hang in a flowery bag, always one in each hand, two in the mouth, spread the cool cloth, stretch it taut, wipe away the wrinkles, straight and even, don’t let it touch the grass.
The damp cotton sheets stand guard on the outside of the line, towels opposite on the other outside line, and then and only then, and under the cover of clean cotton can you hang the underwear in the middle line, between them and out of sight.
I stand in the in-between, the wet sheets cooling the desert breeze, bleach and white and light, stand between the sheets and the towels, hanging the panties where no-one can see.
Undies are neither to be seen, acknowledged or discussed and never are they hung first, nor are they hung without their protective sheets or towel cotton coverings. One might have to wash and wear them, but they are not to been seen.
Times haven’t changed much. It’s still true.
Despite all this, I am thong see my lacy strap above my jeans nonsense, Victoria Secret Fashion Show bravado, underwear is still tucked away.
It is a fact.
I have proof.
It is a universal truth that woman upon donning a paper gown for any, please take everything off including the underwear exams, will fold tuck and somehow tuck and cover, or otherwise hide her undies under her other clothes.
They are the last thing off, then tucked away out of sight under anything else.
Once I confess I pondered where to tuck my panties as I changed into the paper gown, I had worn a dress and hung it on a hanger.
The nickers were just out there on the chair, screaming at me, it was just wrong. I had nowhere to tuck, nothing with which to cover.
So I stuffed them into my shoe.
We are a Nation of Tucker’s.
Go ahead ask a woman.
I dare you.
While I’m telling all, let me fill you in on another universal truth.
If you have seen her in her underwear, that was a choice she made long ago, way before the evening came to this possible ending.
Like Bridget Jones told us, underwear selection on a gal is the best thermometer for what the end of the date entails.
The spankies that suck everything in, can’t eat, can’t get them back up after peeing undies, the slinky beautiful pair that cover nothing and hide in ones crevasses, the comfortable cotton grannie panty, or the boy short that just makes one sigh with comfort, and begs the question; Are men really this comfortable in their underwear?
Bastards! No itchy seams that dig into the waist or hip or leg? No strangling elastic? Don’t even get me started on bra’s and underwire discomfort. The injustice of it all !
If my boy shorts are to be believed, men have had it made when it comes to their drawers and we woman need to demand equal opportunity in undie comfort.
So it isn’t dinner, the close conversation, exploring common interests that decide what happens at the end of the date.
It’s the careful selection of undies, or lack of them that will ultimately decide.
As careful as undies are selected washed, worn and folded away, they sometimes escape.
There is nothing nastier than a strange untucked, lost pair of undies out in a public place.
Think about it…ewe…gross… yucky comes to mind.
I try to remember to shake the legs, or turn the pants inside out before taking them to the cleaners. I try.
Sometimes the pile is large and I miss a pair. Sometimes I’m in a rush and as I wait my turn there has been a clingy pair of undies that falls out of the pant leg right there in the dry cleaners. I stoop quickly and grab them up, but bless my heart it has happened.
The last time I shook all the pants while waiting to get to the drive through window, and a pair of grannies fell out onto my lap. In a hurry for work, I stuffed them into the glovebox, went on with my day, and forgot all about the undies in the glove box.
So when the boy came home from college and borrowed the car I thought nothing of it.
I had forgotten all about the grannies in the box.
He came home late, the mommie mind still cleaning wiping worrying until all children are home, safe and tucked away, was still up.
“Did you have a good night?” I ask.
“Ah yes…mom,” he looks at the floor. Something is wrong I can sense it.
“I found this in the glove box,” he hands me my grannies. “and I don’t even want to know how they got there…”
He walks away to bed accompanied by my cackles.
It never pays to laugh, the undies are listening…
The car was a fancy one, the dealership far away, I pull on my jeans and boots, we have decided to take the plunge and buy a car.
It’s a long way, nervous and uncomfortable like when I enter gated communities, always feeling I feel as if I don’t belong, don’t fit in, I enter the dealership head down, husband follows. He thinks my reluctance ridiculous, laughable even.
No one is in sight. It is quiet, solemn showroom a shrine to perceived success; its gleaming cars fanned out before me most with price tags on par with buying a house, not a depreciating vehicle. I walk around as I hear hushed whispers, a beautiful and probably thong wearing woman approaches my husband, she smiles and touches his arm, then retreats. Off to get the requested sales rep I suppose.
I continue my slow walk around and look into the windows of the beautiful German machines.
It’s then I spy it. Something white on the floor behind me, and my stomach drops.
Husband and sales guy see it to. They approach.
Heart racing I watch as the salesman bends and picks up the white cotton fabric.
I turn away, can’t watch. Wonder why I am always the Lucy in my life, why these things always follow me around, cheeks are on fire.
“Yours?” he queries as he holds it out.
A white sock.
I shake my head no…like he and the husband and thong girl all just didn’t see that fall out of my pant leg.
“What can I say,” the husband laughs, “Your cars just blew her sock off!”
A nod my head, mortified, knowing it could have been oh so much worse.