The Underpants Dilemma


I have to preface this post by explaining a little bit about my life circumstances. When I was 18, I moved out of home and fell in love with one of my housemates, with whom I was in a relationship until about 3 months ago. Due to this fact I am now a 27-year-old single person with the domestic skills and street smarts of a 42-year-old housewife. In short, I missed the “explore and discover” phase of my early 20’s which for so many people forms the basis of their social and sexual development, and thus, apparently, am quite the noob. (See, when I try using words like “noob” I actually sound like a 42-year-old housewife.)

I recently became aware of the importance of underpants. Not only aware, but intimidated and frightened. Underpants have always been a practical part of my wardrobe. Sturdy. Long lasting. Comfortable. High-waisted so as to prevent any unsightly bum-cleavage from revealing itself in the event of pants-slippage. Cotton. I chose my undies the way a middle-aged insurance salesman chooses a car. What will get me the best mileage? Is there plenty of room in the back? It’s fair to say that for the last 9 years I’ve been getting around in the Tarago of ladies’ undergarments. Practical? Yes. Flattering? In a “you can’t see any of my bumpy stuff cos it’s all packed away in here” way, yes. Exciting? No.

1996 Toyota Tarago. Note the choice of practicality over style in every aspect of design.

Underpants, it seems, come in a plethora of styles. I’m talking many choices. Everything from the humble Falcon station wagon to the minimalist Smart Car and the flamboyant Lamborghini. And then there’s fabric, colour, embellishment – it is thoroughly overwhelming. I feel safe and secure in my Tarago. I’m not sure I’ll feel the same sense of comfort and security in a sleek, flashy Ferrari. And something Korean? Forget about it! But I can’t help feeling that my giant, practical and comfortable grundies (granny undies) are not what brings all the boys to the yard.

And so, like Goldilocks in a horribly twisted version of the beloved children’s tale, I tentatively tried some of the many alternatives available. Too wedgie. (G-string.) Too bedazzled. (‘Playboy’ range at Big W.) I do not have a boy’s legs, I have the disproportionately large thighs of an Irish Washerwoman, so why, oh why God would I want to emphasise that? (Boy leg.) Too “Baywatch.” (Hi-cut.)

And then, finally, there they were. Hanging from a simple black plastic hanger in an affordable three-pack at K-Mart. Lace. Full coverage of front and back without weird exposure of lumps and creases I didn’t know I had. High enough in the front to cover my lady-paunch but not so high that they encroach on valuable torso-lengthening real estate. A range of fun and sexy colours. Smart, sleek, practical, affordable. Holy mother of God, I’ve found them – the Volkswagen Golf of underpants.

I’m wearing them now as I write this. Ok, that’s a lie, I’m still in the grundies. I figure it’s all about compromise – the Tarago is my daily drive, it gets me from A to B safely and comfortably. When I feel like living it up a bit, I’ll take the Golf. I hope this is acceptable underpants decorum. I’m ok with it even if it’s not.


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