Warning: This blog has nothing to do with children's literature, my usual topic. Sometimes, a girl has to deviate to keep things fresh.
Our family recently went on a lovely trip together. All four kids, my husband and I traveled together for 8 days. It was a fantastic trip. Weather was wonderful. We swam and snorkeled and walked through intriguing towns and so forth. Packing for trips like this can be exciting in itself, especially at the beginning of the summer when children have outgrown things from the year before. Having birthed four children, I have become, shall we say, a bit hard to fit. My tummy is a bit disproportionate to the rest of my body. Not in a vulgar way (give me some credit here, I am healthy and in good shape), but in a way that makes dresses way more comfortable than shorts, pants, or skirts. SO I packed a bunch of cute, casual dresses and sandals. I know you think this is irrelevant, but hang on because here's where the problem comes in. My cute little bikini underwear, the style that I've worn for years and years, just doesn't stay up anymore. I have no idea why (although I want to blame it on synthetic materials that just stretch and stretch and don't return to their original size), but it's just a fact. I spent 8 days hitching up my underwear under these cute dresses. To the point that one of our vacation pictures actually captures me, annoyed face and all, pulling up my underwear for the 900th time. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN LAST YEAR. I do not weigh any more. I have not bought a different brand of underwear, but about the time I began hot flashes, something strange happened to my body that wants to shed underwear. Constantly. It must have happened sometime this winter but the spandex in my tights kept the underwear up, and I didn't notice. But now? I can barely take a dozen steps without having to grab hold of the waistband of my panties. It's annoying, uncomfortable, and unladylike, to say the least.
At first I blamed it on specific pairs of underwear. But after a few days, I realized I could now blame it on every pair I owned. So what to do? Should I call a plastic surgeon and ask if he'll sew snaps onto my midsection, and I'll snap up my underwear? Should I get some suspenders? (If I had found some on vacation, I would have worn them.) But they would be bulky under clothes. I tried a smaller size of underwear. They still slid down. I started to notice men with enormous bellies (not that my belly is enormous, but I thought I could learn something from them). They belt their pants tightly under their belly, and I'm guessing they've had a similar problem. However, they have an external portion of their body that probably acts as a sort of peg to hold things up. But I'm just guessing here. Older ladies wear spanx or girdles. I always thought it was to mask imperfections, but I'm starting to think they actually wear them, so they stay up. But I wasn't ready for that. I was too young for the torture of spandex.
So I returned, yet again, to the store to shop for underwear. An insistent salesperson finally forced me to confess my problem. She laughed and said she had experienced the same thing! All of a sudden, her underwear slid down all the time! I couldn't believe it. I wasn't the only one! I was so relieved. Until she told me her solution.
Big Girl Panties.
Really? I was there already? I looked at the panties she pulled from the rack. They reminded me of maternity underwear. Even pregnant, I had to pull them up to my armpits and secure them with my bra. Was I ready for these extraordinarily long pairs of underwear? Aren't they hot? They're, like, five times the fabric of my other underwear.
But they stay up, she assured me.
So I bought some. Two pairs. They sat in the top drawer of my dresser for days. Finally, after a particularly frustrating baggy underwear day, I tried a pair. Wow. They were long. Tall. I decided to think of them as old school glamorous. I am certain Marilyn Monroe wore giant underwear. And Jackie O. So I would, too.
I would put on my Big Girl Panties, and get over it.
Here's the thing. I have two free hands all the time now. I can run and skip like the children. I can carry an object with two hands without worrying about losing something important. I can sit and stand and kneel in church without holding on. I have fewer VPL. And they're comfortable. It's really not so bad. I just channel my inner Marilyn Monroe and Jackie O., and go with it.
I never realized that inner confidence is directly linked to the knowledge that your panties will not fall down, but it is. That's the secret of Big Girl Panties. When they say, "Put on your big girl panties and get over it," it means stop worrying about stupid things like what size you are and what style of underwear fills your drawer. Just take care of what you've got, and you have more hours in your day to do more important things than pull up your panties. Marilyn Monroe and Jackie O, the most glamorous women of all time, knew the power of the panties.
And I suspect that's Victoria's Secret.