In honor of Valentine’s Day, I offer up a story for y’all.
A cautionary tale, if you will, on the dangers of…lingerie.
In lieu of a regular bridal shower, my sister-in-law and friends threw me a lingerie shower. Which I thought brilliant because I love parties, booze and fancy underwear. A win all the way around.
An interesting sidenote about lingerie showers? It’s totally a secret view into your friends’ sex lives. It’s not completely accurate, but let’s just say that I wasn’t surprised who got me the classy ivory peignoir and who got me the black and red lace maid’s apron.
Plus, it makes for a new favorite game: put on one of your gifts, get your husband to admit he thinks it’s sexy and then tell him his sister bought it for you. NEVER STOPS BEING FUNNY.
I had an absolute blast, but one of the funniest parts of the night was opening my present from my friend J. She had just gotten back from New York and was excited to give me her gift that she’d bought there. I examined the bag, getting excited because it was covered in superheroes and I’m a comic book dork. But, upon closer inspection, I discovered that said superheroes were not of the DC or Marvel variety but of a yet unknown universe — populated entirely by gay men if their hands placement was an indicator. Dirty. Now, my soon to be mother-in-law and aunt-in-law were there with us, completely supportive of seeing their son/nephew’s wife’s underwear and having a great time too, but I think we all died a little when I pulled out J’s gift.
Lilac chiffon and lace babydoll teddy with matching panties.
Lilac chiffon and lace OPEN BUST babydoll teddy with matching CROTCHLESS panties.
Now, for those of you unaware, an open bust teddy is a teddy with the boobs cut out.
I’m not explaining crotchless panties.
This lovely gift was paired with a pair of edible underwear. Not scandalous among friends, but slightly mortifying among future in-law’s. They laughed along with the rest of us and took it all in stride, proving once again that my in-law’s are awesome. (Be jealous. It’s okay.)
Now, fast-forward to after the wedding and honeymoon. Jethro goes out of town fairly regularly, so I was alone at home on a Saturday night. Well, I had my old buddy Pinot Grigio there, whose fault is what happened next. Somehow, it occurred to me that I hadn’t tried on some of my gifts from my shower. And what better time than when Jethro is gone? If they looked horrible, I wouldn’t have to endure him trying to make up ways to describe how he felt without lying or making me cry!
So, as I dug through my closet, I found J’s gift. And then I thought the words that have damned many a man before me: “Eh, why not?”
Here’s the thing. This gift was labelled as O/S from Shirley of Hollywood. So that meant that Shirley was “One Size Fits All.” I find this to be a misnomer. “O/S” tends to mean, “One Size Fit The One Model We Based It On.” Or “One Size Would Have Fit You If You Stopped Eating So Much Candy, Fatty.” So I knew going in, Shirley and I probably wouldn’t get along. But Grigio was right there, spurring me on, so I charged ahead.
The crotchless panties came first. Those things are more difficult to manage than you think; there’s about six different ways that you can put them on, and only one of them is the correct and not painful way. Also, the elastic was a little less than forgiving. So I stood there in the bathroom, in front our our giant eight- foot mirror, attempting to figure out which was the leg hole and which was the part designed to frame my lady bidness. I felt like a kid with head trauma trying to do algebra. But finally, I figured it out and pulled them on.
It was not pretty.
Not just because they were crotchless and therefore not pretty on anyone, but the O/S turned out to be the lie I thought it would be; the waistband cutting into my hips so deeply that if I turned a certain way it seemed like the lace disappeared. My self-esteem began to plummet. And yet, I soldiered on.
The teddy was labelled O/S also, but since I’m built like a tan, chubby Jessica Rabbit, my upper half often fit in sizes my bottom didn’t. The teddy had underwire but was made to pull on over your head, so I did just that.
It was slightly painful but I yanked, jiggled and pulled my way (and my boobies) into Shirley. Then I faced the mirror.
BAD idea. It was…it was bad. I looked like a puffy 80’s porn star. I started to tear up, but stopped myself. Body issues do not extend to joke underwear that will never get worn anyway. Save that sh*t for bathing suit season. So I tried to take Shirley off.
Have y’all ever been in the dressing room and you put something on over your head, and you realize about halfway through that it’s a bad idea? Your brain tells you it might be too small, but for whatever reason, your ego goes, “Nah, I got this.” And your brain says, “Seriously.” And your ego replies, “But….it’s my size.” And your brain is like, “Moron. It’s not going to fit.” And your ego says, “BUT IT’S MY SIZE.” And then you brain is like, “Whatever.” And you get it on, but when it’s time to take it off, you get stuck. So you’re all “HALP!” and your brain goes blank because it’s like, “Eff off, I told you so,” and so you’re stuck in the dressing room and you realize that you’re going to have to have someone help you take it off or die in there, alone, stuck in an outfit you didn’t like that much anyway?
Yeah. Apparently O/S stands for “Oh Sh*t.”
Somehow, I’d managed to get the teddy yanked up above my chest, with one arm pinned to my side and the other pointing almost straight up in the air. I looked like the Statue of Liberty, except clad in purple lace and shame.
And I’m standing there thinking, “Oh God. Who can I call? I can’t get out. WHO CAN I CALL?!?” All my go-to buddies whom I used to contact for 2am sob-fests or emergency DD’s were all out of town. Can you really call someone to drive six hours to help pull you out of scandalous drawers??
Even if Jethro had been closer, he would have been out of the question. He may be my husband, but there was no way I wanted our grandchildren to hear about the time Poppa had to pull Maw-Maw out of her tawdry underwear.
Then I spotted my salvation – a pair of scissors sitting on the counter. The only problem was how to get them. All the while, the crotchless panties are scratching me in parts that don’t need to be scratched and cutting off my circulation. So I waddle closer and then bend over about two feet from the edge of the counter so I could try to reach them with the arm stuck up in the air like an know-it-all student trying to get the teacher’s attention. Hermione Granger in horrible lingerie. (I’m sure there’s fanfic somewhere with this very image…)
So there I am, being attacked by Shirley the Porn Lingerie, and holding a pair of scissors in my raised arm – with no way to reach the offending fabric that needed to be cut. Just as I’m about to start freaking out, my right arm starts to worm its way free from its stuck position against my torso. I tried not to rejoice prematurely lest I anger Shirley and cause her to constrict even tighter, like a slutty, lacy Technicolor anaconda. But I slowly yanked my arm free and was able to pull the rest of the teddy off. And the panties. And then throw them across the room in a wadded up pile, just to show them who’s boss.
I then went to bed, clearly too stupid to be awake and alone with idle time on my hands.
I did put Shirley in the closet and shut the door, however. I didn’t want her to come after me in the middle of the night and strangle me.
So, my lovelies, when you’re perusing your local lingerie store and looking for something nice for your sweetie, just remember my tale of woe.
And beware of lilac lace lurking on the rack.
Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!