Wednesday, December 12, 2007

never hurts to be prepared, and also, breaking with convention

I went home over the weekend to visit my parents and ended up getting iced in. When I found out Sunday afternoon that the roads in Rensselaer had been closed, as well as portions of I65, it went without saying that I'd be staying another night and leaving in the morning. Fully aware that there wasn't much I could do about it at this point, I worried that I hadn't packed enough clothes for an extra day. I ran to check my suitcase (which is pink, by the way), mostly afraid that I hadn't packed enough underwear - because, let's face it... what's scarier than being stuck somewhere without clean underwear?

Every single time I pack a bag - no matter if I'm going on an all-day shopping spree, to a friend's for a weekend visit, or to my parents' house for an extended holiday - I pack double the amount of underwear I'll actually need to get me through the trip.

Okay. Now that I've said the U-word three times, here's where I must pause to consider the ramifications of me, a girl, using the word "underwear" when referring to her own - equally feminine - undergarments. I recently conducted a scientific poll consisting of a hastily-written instant message to my one male friend, and the results, needless to say, weren't surprising. What follows is the transcript of our conversation (with all unrelated Guitar Hero references omitted):

me: would it be too inappropriate of me to blog about my underwear? and that also raises the question - if i do, do i have to say "panties"? because i really hate that word.
test subject: i think that if you're not going to say "panties"....as a girl, you must say "unmentionables"
me: that sucks that girls have to use retarded words like that.
test subject: i know, i know, but...hey, what are you gonna do?
me: i think it's directly related to the fact that men get to be bachelors and women have to be spinsters.
test subject: there's also the ever-popular "whore"

(I promise he's not really so misogynistic, folks. He's just trying it on for size.)

So there you have it. Apparently I'm in direct violation of some unwritten code forbidding respectable girls to refer to their underwear as such. But the alternatives are nauseating! Thesaurus.com thoughtfully provided these choices:

Drawers
Intimate things
Lingerie
Panties
Skivvy
Smallclothes
Underclothes
Underclothing
Undergarment
Underpants
Undershirt
Underthings
Undies
Unmentionables
Woollies

I don't like any of those. And I don't think I should be forced to use a word that I don't like just because the one I do like happens to be conventionally associated with men. So on this day, December 12, in the Year of Our Lord 2007, I vow never to allow unwritten etiquette to bind my verbal discourse!

Underwear, underwear, UNDERWEAR!

Now back to our regularly-scheduled blog.

All I wanted to say was that, when I got out of the shower on Monday morning, I wasn't laughing at myself for overpacking.

4 comments:

Phil said...

I'm a little disappointed that you didn't go with "skivvy".

MissHum22 said...

I like underwear. Drawers are boxer shorts, Intimate things & Lingerie implies teddies and lacy things, which are fine, but not day to day wear. Panties are for teenage boys to try and peel off teenage girls. Under+anything = I live in 1802. Small clothes, underpants & "undies" are what my kids wear. Woolies are what people who live in Siberia might wear. And unmentionables? Yikes! That sounds like you're hiding something... very diry... under your clothes.

I agree with phil - skivvies is okay, but other than that... UNDERWEAR!

Your blog is really amusing, btw. I am on the year of reading dangerously & scoping out everyone's blogs. (I'm Liz)

annie said...

I'm with you. The word "panties" turns me off. It makes me feel weird. I just like underwear - that's what they are. Tell it like it is, sister friend.

(Remember when we took the "Family Planning" class poll about folding one's underwear? That was awesome.
"Family Planning" ha!

Luke said...

I tend to overpack as well. Always a good idea, as you never know what might happen. You could drop a half of a BBQ sandwich on your pants in the airport bar, for instance.

But the first part of this post reminds of the first month I lived in Rensselaer. Though I wasn't iced out of town. I was snowed in and couldn't leave the city limits for over a week. In fact, I couldn't get my car out of my lot for a few days.