There are many, many things that I just never fully appreciated as a child. Coffee, chocolate and sexy undies would all make the rather long list of things flying below my childhood radar. No, I wasn’t running around commando as a wee one. (Well, I actually did a few times, but that’s for another post.) After all, it was the 1970s. We were all sporting practical cotton briefs in neutral colors versus anything remotely attractive — unless you find the days of the week remarkably cute. But the aging process is all about finding new perspective. And things in your closets and cupboards you never thought you would back when you thought 35 was “over the hill” and stretch marks would never happen to you.
As a kid, my mom would always get us a chocolate Easter bunny for our baskets. And, as a kid, I would eat the ears off my bunny and then decide I would save it for later. (I apparently have hoarder tendencies.) This went on for years. YEARS people. To the extent that one fine day during my adolescence my mom agreed to keep me company while I reorganized my closet. We stood there in front of a long line of long and short sleeves mixed together with wild abandonment and suddenly I hear something a bit like this:
“What on earth is that!?!”
There my mother stood, mouth agape, pointing to the shelf above my curtain rod. I look up. I spy nothing of great concern — from my rather short vantage point, my eye makes out no spiders, no rodents of unusual size, and obviously no corpses.
“You must have a hundred Easter bunnies up here!”
It was actually more like eight of them, all marching along like some bedraggled army of Easter Bunny Zombies — each missing its ears, but some missing heads, while others only the torso and legs remained.
Unbeknownst to my mother, I am not a big fan of cheap chocolate. Such as the cheap chocolate kind used to make those lovely little bunnies with the fixed candy eye forever peering at the incisors about to remove its body parts. So, I would have a bite or two and then rewrap the foil and set it aside. For later. Except that later never came. And, instead, Easter did. Hence, the cycle continued.
To this day, give me some good chocolate or just go home.
In addition to the Easter bunnies’ rather poor substitute for my snobby palatte, I was also raised in a household of Folgers coffee. Now, don’t get me wrong. If I want to get a whiff of home, all I need to do is be present for the opening of a can of ground coffee. But I never drank the stuff. Blech. Oh, I tried. Many a time I tried to find a way to enjoy the magical properties of coffee. High school, college — nothing like time crunches to make this girl attempt to once again find a taste for coffee. However, no matter how desperate my need for wakefulness, I just never found a taste for coffee. In fact the first coffee I ever happily consumed was poured for me in a tiny little family run hotel in Courmayeur, Italy. This smiling little grandmother came to my table and gestured with two shiny pots. Her words escaped me, but her gestures did not. Stirring raw sugar into my cup of espresso and steamed milk, I learned that I did indeed quite enjoy coffee. Just not what I had previously known via the coffee maker on my parent’s kitchen counter and the food service selection at college. Of course, some of my appreciation was for the softening properties my cup of “coffee” had as I dipped my breakfast offering in it in order that my teeth could tear off a bit of the hardest rolls known to humankind.
Aging also taught me the role of cute undies. There was a short time in my life when I collected them. If it was shiny, beribboned, matched a bra, or sported the label “hand wash only” I would naturally be tempted to add it to my shopping cart. Now I just collect things that have one thing in common: comfort. Yes, I’m a middle aged mom. Sexy went out the window years ago.
The other day, in my pursuit of comfortable undies, I made a terrible error. I bought the largest pair of granny panties in the history of the modern world. In neutral colors, of course. A friend asked me just how does one go about accidently buying a pair of granny panties (there were 3 actually on the hanger) and my only response is “distraction.”
See, I rarely have a shopping experience that doesn’t include some humanoid somehow begging me to hurry up. It could be a fidgetting child or a bored husband jingling his pocket change. It seems that if I am going to do some retail therapy, it is going to cost me more than just money. So, I tend to “grab” more than “scheme.” And in this case, I had made my selection of comfortable panties but then, just as I started to push the cart with my complaining 4 year old in it past the shelving display, his foot caught the rack and began towing it along with us.
I stop. Disentangle his appendage from the now wildly swaying display of women’s panties. Dry his tears and snot on the sleeve of my sweatshirt as I was experiencing a “badly prepared mommy moment” and then attempted to distract his screaming self with a “hey, look! Legos!”
The screaming reduced to a mere whimper and favored mantra, “Batman Starwars Indiana Jones Legos Batman Starwars Indiana Jones Legos,” I ease my cart past the now barely swaying undies. And I suddenly see a slightly less boring hanger-full of comfortable undies. I grab my previous selection, hang it on the metal arm and snap up my bounty.
Perhaps none of you roll like me, but this shopping excursion happened to be about thirteen hours before I needed to be embarking on a week-long trip. A week-long trip that needed more comfortable panties. So that night, some time after doing the dishes and getting the kids to bed, I threw my belongings into a suitcase, including my new undies.
And wouldn’t you know it? The second morning of my trip, I pull out my brushed cotton undies and find that not only are they XXL, but they contain enough fabric to make a very soft parasail, should I happen to need one. Suddenly, a skimpy whale-tail producer never seemed so attractive. Uncomfortable as hell, but cuter than three inches of brushed pink cotton bagging out over the top of my jeans.