Saturday, October 28, 2006


A warning to the men folk...there is talk of girly things ahead...

Yesterday morning I went to see my doctor for my annual checkup. There’s just nothing like a pap smear to start the day out right, is there? While I was there she noticed that I was due for a tetanus shot and also asked me if I wanted a flu shot while we were at it. Sure! Give me everything. Seems like the efficient thing to do. So I got a tetanus shot in one arm and a flu shot in the other. Today, my arms are virtually incapacitated. I am unable to lift them more than a few inches without pain. Guess the Nordic Track will have to wait. Whine. Ouch.

Then yesterday afternoon, on the way home from work, I decided to run a couple of errands, one in particular. I’d noticed the contents of my underwear drawer were getting a little ratty. It was time to make that every-three-years underwear shopping trip. Oh, this wouldn’t be a bra shopping trip. For those, I have to prepare myself for in advance, usually with a mild sedative taken with a glass of cheap, red wine. Shopping for bras is second only to shopping for bathing suits in annoyance and frustration and I wasn’t up for that. The underwear is a little simpler. I just stop by the local Victoria’s Secret and stock up. I know exactly what I need there, so I don’t have to try anything on or talk to any sales ladies. I can just get what I want and go.

When most people hear Victoria’s Secret, they immediately think of expensive lingerie or lacey butt floss. However, VS does carry plain, ordinary panties too. You just have to look for them in the far recesses of the store, behind all the lace and hot pink spandex and things that I would need an instruction manual to don properly. The stuff I want isn’t displayed under spotlights in the front window on little pink padded hangers with bows. No, I end up in the back, digging through piles of pink and off-white cotton laid out on a table under a sign that says “5 for $25.” I am not their target consumer.

The real high point of underwear shopping for me is people-watching, or more specifically, men-watching. A man is not comfortable in Victoria’s Secret. He is not in his natural habitat and he is nervous. If he’s alone, he usually doesn’t know what he’s looking for and he doesn’t want to ask, so he ends up studying the label on a garter belt for twenty minutes while trying to muster the courage to take something up to checkout counter and buy it. If he’s with his woman, he’s afraid to look closely at anything for fear of being accused of leering, so he plays with his cell phone or examines his fingernails at length. He wants to go home.

This trip, as I was standing in line to check out, the guy two places behind me got a call on his cell phone. At one point he stammered, “Yeah, I’m at the…um…um…lingerie store.”

Whereupon both I and the lady behind me turned around and giggled while he smiled weakly back at us. Not sure why he was in line, he didn’t have any merchandise. Probably there to get a gift certificate. Dude, you can get those on-line and totally avoid having to tell your buddy that you’re in the “um…lingerie store.”

Anyway, after everything was said and done, I walked out with 13 pairs of panties, carefully folded, wrapped in pink tissue paper and gently placed into a cute little pink bag. The total weight of my purchase couldn’t have been more than 8 ounces. Total price? $87. Ouch again. But it’s OK. I’m set for another three years.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh, talk of 'girly things'. Always a fun subject. Your observations of men in VS are very accurate. There is not a more uncomfortable store in which to shop/stand/browse/etc. It feels like there is no option that will prevent me from looking a leech. In truth, probably no one is paying any attention. But if feels like EVERYONE is staring at me!!!

Enjoy your 13 brand new undies.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Hi Jill. Thanks for visiting my blog. I love your advice about burning things when i turn 40. Sounds like a blast!

I like your blog, you have a way with words. You're right, those men in underwear shops sometimes look nervous... and they should. I figure either (a) his wife dragged him in so he's ok, (b) he's a cross-dresser, to each his own, or (c) he's a leering perv and i would be doing the world a favor if i hit him over the head with a 3-pack of big white granny underpants! The problem is it's hard to tell those guys apart so i usually just swing underpants now and ask questions later! ;D

9:37 PM  
Blogger Stucco said...

Anne, in defense of pervs, the world needs us to make the rest of you feel comfortably normal. And some girlies love us even as we are (no restraining orders, even!)

Jill, I'm unsettled by your purchase of 13 undies. I mean 13? And they were 5/$25?

11:27 PM  
Blogger Schmoopie said...

I buy my panties at Vicky's too. I practically run to the back of the store for the cotton bikinis. It used to be 5 for $20. They have raised prices since I bought my last pairs. I'd better get in there and stock-up before they raise prices again.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

And on the 14th day?? It must be wash day... or go commando day?

9:15 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

em, Sounds you're one of the "playing with the cell phone" guys. I applaud you for standing by your woman and enduring the uncomfortableness of it all.

anne, You're cracking me up. "swing underpants now and ask questions later" is going to have me snickering all day. I keep picturing an indignat, petite woman whacking an enormous, line-backer guy over the head with a multi-pack of "Hanes for Her." :D

stucco, I knew I should have explained the 13. I got 10 pairs of the 5-for-$25 underwear. I also splurged and got three pairs of the 3-for-$30 "Body by Victoria" panties. They're a little more alluring than the plain cotton ones, but not much.

schmoopie, Now that you mention it, they HAVE gone up. I remember them being 5-for-$20 the last time I was there. Grumble.

cheesy, I can usually manage to do laundry more often than every two weeks, so I figured 13 would give me a little slop. I do admit to going commando occasionally in my younger days, but it's been a long time. Comfort is the top priority now.

10:06 AM  

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