My underwear drawer is filled with saggy, old panties.
I became aware of this unseemly state of affairs while packing for a weekend getaway with my boyfriend. I looked forward to some time in the mountains with my honey. No wifi or TV, just a fireplace in a little log cabin; him, me and unlimited quantities of red wine.
How would we fill our time?
Sorry, thread-bare excuses for undergarments were all I owned. Even the “special occasion” panties resembled the unwelcome guest who lingers too long after the party is over. This would require an emergency shopping trip but what had happened to my panties!
Right now, the psychologists in the room are surmising my mental state. The dismal condition of the clothing that covers the most intimate parts of my self is a reflection of a deeper issue. I must be depressed or have low self-esteem.
At 42, I have some self-acceptance.
I am not a model.
I will never think that skinny feels better than any yummy, decadent, so good it makes you wet your underpants food tastes. We could blame my mother for being a great cook or rewarding good grades with trips to my favorite restaurant.
But I own this body; I take full responsibility for its current shape. Mom never force-fed me. I opened wide willingly. Unless it was lima beans.
In my late 30s, I was teased by a guy for having the panties of a 16-year-old.
Women my age wear silky, lacy, thongy stuff.
Not me. No slave to fashion, I chose styles that covered all the important parts without qualifying as granny panties. In their heyday, they had been vibrant; just about every color of the rainbow. Some had stripes, some said things “Girls love guys who play guitar.”
Maybe the 16-year-olds he dated had collections like that but at 16, my panties came in a 12-pack plastic bag from the grocery store. So what if I was reclaiming my inner 16-year-old through underwear? Unfortunately, all of these years later, my panty drawer had become the place where colors and elastic waistbands went to die.
Sure, I have struggled some days in the two years since my dad died. Who wouldn’t? That first year was a doozy.
I was fired from a sales job I hated and was no good at, just two months after he passed. Disappointed but not shocked, I was first humbled by the masses filing for unemployment, then the playing field leveled even further when I agreed to be a prep cook for a personal chef friend, relieved for the income.
Sprinkle a heaping scoop of “crazy, disturbed, emotionally detached man magnet” and I certainly had grounds for hiding under the blankets. But this soap opera stuff has never kept me down. It’s all just fodder for the book I will write someday, about this John Hughes-like life of mine.
Perhaps there is a subconscious element to this. My world went completely upside down in the year after my father died, and maybe holding on to one little familiar, comfortable thing, helped. Every day, those panties literally had my backside.
Finances restricted new panty purchases but there was nothing subconscious about the condition of what I owned.
I came by my saggy panties honestly. I was raised by a Depression baby (“make it last”) Scottish ancestry (cheap) dad. Growing up, “needing” something was no guarantee I was going to get it.
I made the most of what I had, spent little energy complaining about what I didn’t and learned to take care of my belongings. By carefully laundering and neatly folding and storing them, I have gotten almost 10 years out of my panties.
But, when I returned from my trip, I determined it was time to purge my saggy panties and make room for pretty and sassy again.
Easier said than done, apparently.
After too many hours online (Google “pretty panties”––enjoy)! I waited excitedly for them to arrive. All too quickly, I would conclude that finding perfect, new, pretty panties was going to require some effort and patience, my favorite.
The first $12 pair ($12 for panties? They must be good) were garbage, with a gap sewn between the lace and the fabric. The second $12 pair was shipped in the wrong color and the right color was out of stock. Not to be swayed by poor craftsmanship and crappy customer service, I took to the streets in search of panties worthy of my ass.
Even name brands I had once entrusted to my backside proved unreliable. Holes in seams, shredded teeny elastic threads. Nothing brand new should require repair after just one wash!
And I got the right size too! Hanes did not comment when I Tweeted about it. What a disgrace!
No matter. I will press on until I find the panties that are worthy of my drawer.
I deserve pretty panties and I will not be discouraged by the sad state of the panty manufacturing industry.
Even now, when I am trying to replace them, my saggy panties are there for me. Thank you, saggy panties, for never letting me down.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Kristin Laing
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock