Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Speaking of panties...

I am nothing if not a practical kind of girl.

That is why when The Butcher and I were getting married 15 years ago, all those fancy see-through babydoll top and panty sets went straight into my underwear drawer (folded neatly into one corner - ok, the back corner) only to be seen on birthdays (his) and sometimes an anniversary... or maybe when I'd had a bit too much wine.  I had a friend in college who was working her way up the Victoria Secret retail ladder and I'm pretty sure she gave all my other friends deep discounts the week or so before the shower they threw me.  So I ended up with quite a few of these types of things... all folded neatly and placed in the back corner of the drawer, as I said.

As the years passed, my mother got into the habit of purchasing underwear for me wherever she went.  I'm not sure why exactly.  But trust me when I say, I ain't hurting for underwear.  But they have all been very practical, no-panty-line, full-coverage type things (as you would expect a mother to supply).  And these take prominence at the front of the underwear drawer.

And so, with each move (this being our 8th), the drawer has been pulled out while the dresser was placed in some moving truck and promptly put back in.  For 15 years I have had no need to go through this drawer... or at least the things folded neatly in the back corner of this drawer.

Until our last move...

In trying to figure out how to get everything into Ella's room (bed, desk, dresser, side table, and on and on), we decided her long but short dresser was not going to fit.  It would, however, fit perfectly in our room where my narrow but tall dresser would have trouble backing up to the pitched-ceiling walls.  So we swapped. (A bonus of not having matchy-matchy Pottery Barn type things - finally, a small bank account pays off.)

This was a great idea and I set Ella the task of emptying my drawers into a basket and taking the contents up to my room to put (dump) neatly on the floor (middle of the floor).  She is the kind of kid that needs a task or she feels left out.  This was working wonderfully until I noticed she was nearing the top (underwear) drawer and so I took over and carried the contents of that drawer upstairs and placed everything (discreetly) in a corner.  (I'm beginning to think I have a thing with corners.)

The next day, I set to putting all of my things into what was Ella's dresser.  Trust me when I say it is hard to change things like "where my socks go" after 15 years of them always being in one place.  Anyway, in putting all these things away, I was confronted with the "back corner of the underwear drawer" items.  I have three children... I work two jobs from home... I like to fall asleep by 9:15... don't judge me...but these things had not been gone through in a long time.

And that is when I found the blue and white polka-dot panties.  I pulled them out and held them up and realized that perhaps elastic is not meant to keep its stretch for 15 years, or just maybe I lost 300 lbs since I was married??

Truly, all three of my kids can fit into these...and the (evil) cat.  They are wider than my toaster oven and my computer (yes, I have been carrying them around comparing their size to household items).

Are you ready for a size reference?  Those who are easily offended may want to skip this part.

They are longer than my (evil) cat.  (And yes, I did for a bit contemplate if I could get them on him to prove my point...I need to get out more.  Good thing no kids are home.)

I am not intrigued with how big they are.  I know there are big panties out there... or at least I hope there are for bigger people.  It's that they were once smaller.  And how many years have I been carting around these panties that truly will no longer stay on my hips?  I like getting value out of things, but my God, do I need to hang on to things for so long that they morph and (quite possibly) disintegrate?

But, I am a practical girl... 

...and while these won't fit me anymore, I do see a potential Halloween costume for The Butcher...

(An apology to my Instagram followers... yes, I did Instagram a few pictures of these panties... solely for artistic purpose.  Hope you aren't/weren't offended.  And you blog readers should be happy I chose to stick with just this one picture.  The one of the panties on the toaster is truly disturbing.)

Monday, May 21, 2012

To panty or not to panty... that is the question

This is truly my fault and I take full responsibility.  But I thought I had fixed the problem...

I learned this weekend that I had not.

The problem is this: when to wear panties with tights and when NOT to wear panties with tights.

It all began when each of my girls started taking ballet lessons at the ripe age of 3 (ish).  As someone who has spent most of my life traipsing through ballet studios, I sent each of my toddler dancers to ballet class without panties on.  Gasp if you want... how crazy of me...

I have been in enough classes and taught enough classes and sat through enough dance recitals, that I didn't want my girls strapped with the shame of trying to hide pink polka-dot panties by hitching them up under their leotards when they should be dancing.  And what's a little pantilessness when your young and at ballet class?

Inevitably, each girl would go through a Sunday morning (or two) of confussion about whether or not to wear panties.  "I am wearing tights to church, therefore I do not wear panties..."  WRONG.  It became connected in each of their minds that if they were wearing tights, they didn't need panties.  But I truly feel that things like church and school and birthday parties require panty wearing.

So the lesson became "Always wear panties with tights unless you're going to ballet."  And I thought they got it... truly.  For awhile we always did Sunday morning panty checks.  Things seemed fine.  Panties were always on.

When Ella started gymnastics, I kind of felt the whole panty thing was similar to ballet.  I'm not sure I'm right on this, but all the giggles that occured when gymnasts tried hiding panties during floor routines at her first meet led me to believe I was right.  Although I'm still not sure...

And so, I thought I was safe and out of the woods about the whole panty issue.  But this weekend has taught me I will never be safe on this panty issue...

Ella's gynastics team was to walk in the local parade with the theme of "Remember When."  Each of the girls was to dress in 80s garb and I thought we pretty much nailed it.  Neon green shirt off the shoulder, fluffy net skirt, neon pink tights.  We even faked crimped hair by braiding it the night before.

Cute, no?
As I left her with her group of neoned friends with ripped T-shirts and side-ponies, I thought we were all set.

We sat and watched the parade go by and cheered Ella's group as they passed.  A few of them did cartwheels and front walkovers.  80s music was blasting from their float.  It was great.

On the way home, Ella mentioned that there was a hole in her new pink neon tights.  I didn't notice any hole, so I asked where.  "On the butt."  Well... of course...

And The Butcher, remembering our panty problems from their youth said, "At least you had your panties on."

At which point Ella admitted that, no, she was not wearing panties.  "You're not supposed to wear panties with tights.  That's what you taught me," she moaned from the backseat.

Luckily, she only did a few cartwheels on the parade route because they were behind some horses and some goats.  It's also a good thing that not too many people know us here... if it had been SJ - oh my...

And now, I guess, we are back to panty checks... (sigh)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One year...and counting

It has been one year and three days since we loaded up my friend's minivan with suitcases, my kids, and my parents and headed to Midway Airport.  It has been one year and three days since my kids ooohhed and ahhhed over the "fancy" hotel Grandma booked for the night before our big trip, trying calamari at dinner.  It has been one year and three days since Wren had a panic attack at the security gate and almost vomitted all over TSA while trying to wave goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa.

One year and three days...

At the beginning of April I had grand plans to mark the one year anniversary of our arrival in Washington by taking the girls to the same restaurant we visited after climbing off the maybe have a deep conversation about how they were feeling with the move, the things (and people) they missed, the new things they loved...but it just didn't happen.

No one took notice.  The girls played.  The Butcher and I worked in the yard.  We went about our day in total obliviousness to the anniversary - which is probably a much better way to mark such an anniversary.

We are setting roots here.  We have bought a house - that I love and dream of growing old in (I will figure out the stairs, Mom, I promise).  We have set the kids on some great paths for school and they love planning the next steps.  We are getting involved in activities, making friends, setting memories...

Which doesn't mean that we don't have those days when we are so lonely for the people and places we love so much in Michigan.  Ella keeps talking about wanting to get married in Michigan.  Wren, out of the blue, will say, "I miss Sudzy" (her best friend and neighbor in Michigan).  Abby doesn't say much about Michigan, but writes lovely, touching poetry about her friends there.

I'm not quite sure how to end this post.  I just wanted pay homage to one year and three days.

One year and three days...

I'm truly looking forward to the next year and three days...