Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rachael's Clean Underpinnings

"Dont leave the house without clean underwear."

Didn't you ever wonder about that one? I don't think my mother ever actually said it, but I'd read it enough that I knew it was a cliche. But whose?

Number 1: Who WOULD leave the house with dirty underwear? Since The time I could dress myself, I'd known that you put on fresh chones when you put on clean clothes. Never any reusing, oh no.

Number 2: The ostensible reason for this rule is that if you get in an accident, you don't want the nice paramedic to know you were a lazy slob who couldn't be bothered to wash enough underwear for the week. Guess what? If the paramedics are slicing off your clothes to get to where you're injured, the blood will probably cover up your slovenliness.

So I never bought this line of thinking. But then again, I was the kind of child who washed my hands three times while eating a chocolate bar. I hated to be dirty in any way, shape, or form. I wasn't even good at making mud pies. The idea horrified me then as it does now.

The only time I've ever flouted any part of this rule is when I travel. I take a perverse pleasure in packing lightly, in traveling to Europe with only a small carrryon bag, with five pairs of underwear for a two-week trip. I love staying in Italian hotels, with their wonderful radiators, washing clothes in the sink, drying them overnight on the radiators while I sleep. A black dress, some scarves, good shoes, leaves you a lot of room in the suitcase for bringing treasures home.

But I failed on this last trip. I failed miserably. I packed badly, too way too much, and yet, I stuck to the idea that I'd wash out my underpinnings and only took a week's worth for a two-week trip. It was a ridiculous point of stubborn pride. Every day that drew closer to the Last Day Of Clean Underwear had me shaking my head, somehow unwilling to sacrifice the few moments it would take to wash my clothes with soap and water and hang them over the shower rail.

I ended up, panicked, at a K-Mart, buying a seven-pack of cheap cotton underwear. I now have chones with rainbows and elephants on them. I won't make that mistake again (but I did have clean underwear. Always. Of course).


Juliet Blackwell said...

And there I was in Columbus, waiting to see what undies might be hanging on the line to greet me during my morning shower ;-)

I tend to overpack undies. I could wear the same outfit for three months, but I HAVE to have clean unmentionables. Plenty, so I don't get nervous. Plus I bring cotton everydays, as well as lacy ones just in case...;-)

Unknown said...

I pack undies that are on their last elastic legs. And throw them away. For some reason I can never do it at home.

I've done the Walmart walk of shame too, glad to know I'm not the only one!

Unknown said...

Hah-I was in a car accident in high school-hit my head on the windshield, almost-not-quite totalled the car and I remember thinking, with blood running down my face...did I put clean underwear on this morning? :)

Sophie Littlefield said...

travel undies! what a great topic - i'm an overpacker too. and, I always pack skimpy ones because at home I usually am sporting the comfy cotton grannie panties and on the road i like to feel...zestier :) but mysti, i do love throwing things out on the road - usually for me it's the ends of cosmetics and shampoo and so on.

toni in florida said...

Was it Richard Pryor or Bill Cosby who said it made no sense to put on clean underwear "in case you're in a traffic accident"? He gave the simple reason that, in an impending crash, "First you say it, then you do it." The result: unclean undies.

That said, I detest the feeling of unfresh undies and always overpack them. Better safe than sorry.