Well, I did mention my purple lacy knickers in the last post. I was amused to find out a couple of my dear bloggy friends ‘fessed up to grey – dare I say boring? – undercrackers as their standard issue. Well, a few years ago I’d’ve had the same. Tired. Grey. Or black. I wore a lot of black. Baggy. Exceptionally plain and functional. And now, my only boring functional ones are a set of five (black, natch) neo-brutalist Big Pants, the sort Rosa Klebb probably wears, reserved for surfing the Red Menace. Everything else is pink and red and blue and purple and lacy and, well, black-and-lacy. I have the liveliest lingerie drawer in London (but I draw the line at thongs (hah! Draw the line! Thongs! I crack me up) because, really, I hate it very much indeed when an ordinary knicker gets wedged up there. Flossing my butt-cheeks on purpose? Na-ah).
My socks are more of the same. Pink and yellow and blue and red and green and polka-dotted and striped and covered in hearts. According to Mr Snazzy the Head Acupuncturist, my wildly cheerful socks were one of the reasons he diagnosed me as being in hiding from my true, live-wire self. To which I say, thank God he didn’t see my knickers.
(My bra choice, I must confess, is more along the functional, armor-plated, does-not-show-through-shirt axis. But I have a violent objection to bouncing and over-spill, not to mention bust-lumpiness due to over-enthusiastic lace and embroidery).
I’d never thought about why my taste in smalls changed so colossally. I know I used to think I wore very plain grey or black knickers because H really doesn’t like frills and suspenders and that sort of lingerie (he says it reminds him of something trussed for the oven). He does like black, though he insists he prefers absolutely nada. But I am fairly sure this was an excuse on my part. I think I really felt I didn’t deserve pretty knickers. Pretty knickers were for pretty women, sexy successful women. Pretty knickers were for girls whose mothers hadn’t bulk-brought bright white 20-pair multi-packs of Calvinistically stern underpants and insisted on them lasting for as long as possible. When I was fifteen, I still had a few ragged, tight and greyish pairs lingering on from my eleventh birthday.
The first time I brought lacy knickers for myself, it was a disaster. I panicked and grabbed the wrong size. I think I grabbed the wrong type of knicker altogether. They were too small, uncomfortable, and the lace panel was too, well, too much of the composition of the knicker, and more was on display than I was happy about. And H (for yes, I was dating him back then) disliked them intensely, and said so.
Back into stern pants it was, then.
Years passed. And one day I was in a big shop, looking for more immensely dull and puritanical undercarriage coverings, when I saw some fuchsia pink ones. They were otherwise perfectly plain, and something in me went, ah, feck it, and I bought them, and I wore them, and something else in me decided that if H ever had an issue with my underwear, he could always take it off, ha ha. And a few weeks later I bought a lacy pair. And a pair with big red flowers on. And a scarlet pair. And next thing you know, I was buying orange tee-shirts with deep scoop necks and pink silk brocade skirts and just, generally, you know, giving a toss about my appearance.
Odd, that it took so long. Odd, that it didn’t even have the narrative grace to coincide with a flowering of my artistic integrity. Surely, if this was a proper story, the cute undies and pretty frock should have meant dinner with a literary agent. *sigh*. Artistic integrity still very much tightly closed bud. Pants, fabulous, thanks.