Sunday, August 23, 2009

Knicker notes

Something very weird is happening in our street. Once upon a time, we were the yuppies. But the newer arrivals are wearing very expensive underpants, and put us to shame.

I know this because one morning I walked out the gate and found a pair of Calvin Kleins flung upon our car roof. It was gross and hilarious and intriguing - how did they get up there? I wondered. Why are they here? (When I tell the story, I like to add that those underpants were more expensive than our first car - but then I have to admit that our first car was actually a handmedown and cost us nothing. That car had been jumped upon by so many drunks that its roof had a great sag; our friends were pathetically grateful when we took it away.)

I assumed this underwear incident was a one-off, the mad capers of someone passing through our suburb. I mean, who would be crazy enough to own CK undies, let alone toss them onto our car?

But more recently, our street has been littered with boxes for Versace Y-fronts. Our garbos aren't too fussy about whether the recycling goes in the truck or onto the street, and these clearly missed. It occurred to me that kinder is always looking for small cardboard boxes, but I don't think this is what they have in mind.

Because I have nothing better to do, I googled Versace men's underwear. I found some on sale, marked down from $90 to a mere $60 a pair. My neighbours are spending more on their underpants than I spend on an entire outfit. Now I'm eyeballing my neighbours' posteriors, as if I had x-ray vision and could discern their underclothes. It makes me wonder. Are they that much more comfortable? Do they add lift, or come with free botox? How can they be so expensive?

Here I am with three leaky little kids, not to mention my menstruating self. One wears handmedown nappies - lovely fitted ones, for which I didn't pay a cent. The others wear a combination of el cheapo undies (I am yet find a fair trade option) and handmedowns. Perhaps second hand underwear is gross, but I'm at the stage where a poo is a poo is a poo. Friends' girls grow out of their knickers; we wash them, dry them in the sun, and on they go. Even I just wear plain black cotton bonds.

Rinsing out knickers, or finding soggy piles hidden behind the toilet door, is a big part of my life. So is dealing with a writhing baby who thinks it's hilarious to roll while I'm wiping the poo off her bottom. I can no longer think of underwear as anything other than functional, no matter who's wearing it, adult or child. Undies are for catching drips and spills, and to keep us nice when the wind blows up our skirts. When I want to be sexy, I take my clothes off.

In a world where millions of children have almost no food to eat, I'm amazed that people spend this much on their Y-fronts. More shocking by far is the realisation that these people look normal, and that they live on my street.

1 comment:

  1. Alison, I barely know what to say ... once I've stopped laughing! Though I have to confess, I've lingered by the exclusive underwear displays at David Jones and wondered, for just a moment, if I might be transformed somehow!


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