This week’s edition of Wacky News Wednesday is hereby interrupted for a rant on my part about underwear.
For those of you waiting on the edge of your seat for this week’s installment of Wacky News Wednesday, you’ll have to come back again tomorrow. This underwear rant just can’t wait.
So, here’s the deal. I’m getting Alex ready to go out to the farm to visit my parents for a few days beginning tomorrow. As usual, the laundry is piled up and I don’t have enough clean underwear to pack to send with him to last until I pick him up on Sunday. Herein lies my problem: do I stay up all night doing laundry, or do I venture out on this wet and dreary night to burn thru the Kohl’s cash I’ve been stashing in my wallet? Laundry, or shopping?
Not a difficult decision in the least.
I make my selections for Alex in the Boys Department, grabbing him two new pairs of school uniform pants and a couple of shirts while I’m at it, and head to the cash registers at the front of the store. Of course, there is only one cashier working and there are at least 7 people in line, including me.
Directly in front of me in line was a small group of four girls from a nearby high school (NOT New Haven). I could ascertain this because they all had on some form of this school’s clothing—either a letter jacket, sweatpants with the school’s name emblazoned on the leg, or a hoodie.
The girls spoke to each other as if they were the only people in the store and I wasn’t standing right behind them, able to hear every single word they said. I learned that they are all sophomores. Two of them play volleyball, and one of them plays basketball.
I also learned that the fall semi-formal is coming up. This is where things go all wonky.
While discussing the semi-formal, one of the girls, a reasonably pretty brunette, holds up three pairs of very racy, very lacy thong underwear in white, red, and black. “Which ones do you think Brody will like the best?” she asks her friends as she nervously bites her lip. “I really want him to like me!”
Her friends discuss the color choices while I simultaneously try to process this new information in my brain while attempting to scrape my jaw off of the floor.
This girl is a sophomore. That means she is 15, no more than 16 years old.
If I had ever attempted to wear underwear like that at any time while I lived under my parent’s roof, much less when I was a 15-year-old sophomore in high school, I can guarantee you that my mother would have stroked out and died on the spot. My father, on the other hand, would have locked me in the basement and stood guard outside the door with any one of his assorted deer hunting rifles and I never would have been seen or heard from again.
Come to think of it, I wasn’t even supposed to wear the very in-style 1990s Umbro shorts because, in my mother’s opinion, they were too short since they came to the middle of my thigh; I had to sneak them to school in my backpack to change into them (sorry, Mom, but it’s true).
Back to the issue at hand: the thong underwear. This girl said, and I quote, ““Which ones do you think Brody will like the best? I really want him to like me!” To me, this statement infers a couple of things. One, that she doesn’t know this Brody character anywhere remotely near well enough to be showing him her underpants; and two, if Brody is simple-minded enough to like her solely because of her underpants, she’s setting her sights way, way too low. Someday, he’ll meet someone with either A)., better underpants or B)., no underpants, and it’ll be bye-bye, Brody. (On a side note, with a name like Brody, what is this? An episode of ‘The Hills?’)
One of the girls, another pretty brunette, is holding a “Body-Slimming, Back Smoothing Shaper” in her hands, or, as my Grandma would have called it, a girdle. Soaking wet, this girl maybe weighs 125 pounds. Maybe. She needs to buy that girdle about as badly as I need to buy a membership to the Krispy Kreme doughnut of the month club.
“Cass, maybe Brody likes you just because,” she says to her friend as she shifts the girdle from one hand to the other.
The other girls stare at her blankly.
‘Yeah!’ I think to myself. ‘Maybe Brody likes you just because!’
The line moves up, and ‘Cass’ pays for her $25 purchase of practically non-existent underwear.
Her friend pays $30 for the girdle that she doesn’t really need.
Then, the girls are gone and I’m left to pay for Alex’s Lego Star Wars and Marvel Superheroes underwear. At buy one get one half off, I paid a grand total of $16 for 12 pairs of full coverage boy’s briefs.
I’m thinking I definitely got the best deal of the night when it came to underwear.
Yet, in spite of my shopping prowess I’m left feeling kind of irritated and angry about the whole Kohl’s thong underwear incident I witnessed tonight. I probably shouldn’t let it bother me, I know I shouldn’t; but my heart breaks in very different ways for both of these girls.
I wish they could see this entire scenario from my perspective in line behind them.
“You’re so young, and so beautiful, with so much life and opportunity still waiting in front of you,” I want to tell them. “Don’t worry about whether stupid boys named Brody like you or not. For heaven’s sake, wear comfortable underwear for as long as you possibly can. Most importantly, if you think you need a girdle, you probably don’t, and if you don’t think you need one, you probably do.”
I want to tell them other pieces of wisdom I’ve picked up along the way, like don’t worry if you’re awkward and not supermodel material as a teenager. You’re like a fine wine and will only get better with age. (Trust me, I know girls whose beauty peaked in high school…it’s been a downhill slope ever since. You really don’t want that to happen!)
I want them to know that they are at minimum fifty times smarter and prettier than they think they are at any given time. No really, they are. (Well, except for the whole “Which underwear will make him like me more?” thing. That’s not very smart, but nobody’s perfect!)
I could go on…but I think you get the picture.
If I’m being completely honest here, the worst moment in all of this happened after I left Kohl’s and went out to my car. I tried to come up with anything remotely positive that I could think of about this entire situation.
For a brief moment, I smiled and thought to myself, “Yes, I’m glad I have a son and not a daughter!”
Then, I realized in less than 10 short years, my sweet, incredibly handsome and witty little boy will be taking 16-year-old girls to the semi-formal at his school.
They may or may not be wearing lacy thong underwear to impress him.
That pretty much wiped the smile completely off my face.
Mark my words, Alex will not be dating anyone until he’s 40 or I’m dead.