Opening the top left drawer of my dresser in the bedroom, I need a fresh pair of underwear. However, the drawer is filled with so many items besides the needed unders. This is where I store 1/2 ream of printed emails that my husband sent to me in the year before we got married. It holds 18 old mother’s day cards from my three children, 8 bibs from races that I’ve run and 4 metals from three half-marathons and one full marathon that I ran, and 12 multi-colored headbands.
At first glance, it holds everything EXCEPT underwear. Do I not own underwear? Do I even wear underwear?
Have you ever given any thought to the idea that underwear should be considered when making a commitment to yourself about self-care? Well, let me tell you a story…
Wait, a little background…
First, let me just say that the idea of self-care in the area of undergarments was NEVER a thing for me. I was raised by a woman whose only concern regarding underwear is comfort. A bra can be held together with safety pins, but if it doesn’t “bind” it’s good to go!
So back in the day, my underwear drawer was stacked with a dozen random, stretchy, hipster panties. I bought undergarments rarely and only got rid of ones that got eaten in the washer when I neglected to put them in a lingerie bag.
And that is where the story really starts.
Tom (my ex-husband) and I were enjoying ourselves at a Halloween shindig with friends. The couple who were hosting had a cute, comfortable little house in a nearby community that is known for its exclusivity. They had “access” to the nearby lake and owned a hot tub.
Some eople were watching the creepy “Blair Witch Project”. Others were grabbing a martini and heading out to the hot tub. I was torn. One, I had already seen and freaked out by that particular movie. Two, I love a dirty martini. And three, people were laughing and inviting me to join them in the water.
But there was a problem…
I had not come prepared for swimming or hot tub soaking. Others were stripping down and enjoying the experience in their underwear, plaid boxers, red boxer briefs, and floral bra/pantie matched sets embellished people who appeared to be SUPER comfortable with their bodies.
The alcohol may have helped.
I wasn’t an exhibitionist, but I was okay with my body. Unfortunately, I had a problem underneath my clothes that no one could see…utilitarian, faded, and shabby undies and a non-matching grubby bra.
No way on God’s green earth was anyone going to see that combo. I felt embarrassed. People thought I was shy or modest.
Nope. I sat in a lounge chair off to the side wanting to join in but stopped by underwear shame.
This led to an almost immediate and long-standing commitment to “The Hot Tub Rules”.
The “Hot Tub Rules”
- Undergarments must fit. (See here for my opinions on this.)
- Underwear must not have any signs of wear.
- The color of your underpants must match the bra’s color, although they don’t have to be a matched set or even the same brand.
- Co-ordination is also okay. For example, undies with a leopard print pair nicely with a black bra.
- Speaking of bras…sports bras are meant for sports. Full-coverage or longline bras for every day. (Here is an interesting resource on bra styles.)
Now, more than twenty years later, I have only just begun to loosen up my commitment to these rules. I have a variety of solid-color underthings, but nothing patterned. They are comfortable and stretchy. They are fresh, clean, and sometimes I wear a bra and panties that don’t match.
But one thing is for certain, I WILL strip and get in the next hot tub filled with Jockey-wearing guests. My body may, or may not, be ready for public display, but my undergarments are good to go!