Friday, October 16, 2009

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

My parents had eight children in ten years. There are five girls and three boys. The girls came first and then the boys.

When we were young, because we were so close in age, we girls were similar in size for a while. We shared our clothes. I am not talking about hand-me-downs; the clothes were communal.

Because we shared the clothes, the wear and tear was five times that of normal wear and tear. Socks quickly became thin at the heel and toe. They lost their elasticity and sagged down the leg instead of staying put. Underwear had the same problem; the loss of elasticity and not staying put.

The number of socks and underwear was finite. Although we had enough to go around, some of the pairs of socks and underwear were more coveted than others. Those with less elastic were less desirable. When you had a pair of the coveted underwear or socks in your possession (or pantie drawer) you tended to guard them like they were gold from Ft. Knox. (There were pantie raids in times of desperation).

If you were lucky enough to have a pair of the primo-panties in your possession and laundry day came around, it was hard parting with them, you might not get that same pair back. Sometimes when Mom was doing the laundry we would lay in wait until the dryer beeped just to be the first one to grab the good underwear (and socks).

Sometimes I would not get to the dryer first...

I went to a catholic grade school for eight years. We had to wear uniforms. The uniform for girls was a plaid, skirted jumper worn from first to fifth grade and then a skirt for the next three years. The school rule was that you could not wear shorts under your uniform (although many girls did, which made recess more fun for the girls, but maybe not for the boys).

One morning as I was getting ready for school, I reached into my pantie drawer to find that I had only one pair of underwear...a pair with not much of an elastic waist band left! Trying to keep a cool head (remember I was only in 2nd or 3rd grade), I quickly and stealthily rummaged through the drawers of my sisters. To my horror no replacement undies were to be found (it must have been laundry day). I could not wear shorts under my uniform, that was forbidden by school rule and my Mom. What could I do? I had no choice but to put on the undesirable undies...they immediately slid down towards the floor. I was now beginning to loose my cool head. I could not go to school without anything on under my uniform! Wasn't that a sin or something? Plus that would feel weird...the stuff nightmares are made know, showing up to school naked (or at least naked under your uniform). I had to do something quick, it was nearly time to head out the door for school and I hadn't even had my breakfast yet.

I quickly looked around the room I shared with my sister (clutching one-handed to the underwear so that they would not fall off during my search effort), hoping I could find something to use to help keep my underwear up. I searched under the beds, in the closet and through the drawers. Finally, I stumbled across an old, beaded, Indian belt. It would have to do.

I pulled my underwear up and cinched the belt around my waist where the elastic band should have been, got dressed and headed down to breakfast.

I do not recall what my day at school was like then, but I can bet that using the bathroom took me a little longer than usual.

These days I only buy my underwear from Victoria's Secret and at the first sign of the elastic band giving way, they go directly in the trash.


  1. I just LOVE this story, Jill. Thanks for the great chuckle!

  2. You should have been one of your brothers. All of our undies were undesireable. Michael

  3. sorry to hear that sis, I never was in your position which is good, I rolled up my uniform waistband to make it shorter, it wouldn't have been pretty.K