Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mama Knows Best

Long ago, in a small town far, far away, I was a maladjusted Catholic school girl. Although outwardly compliant, I had a passive-aggressive rebellious streak, one of the more amusing and innocuous manifestations of which was my aversion to underwear.

Mom asking me if I was wearing underwear became part of the morning litany with such classics as, “Did you brush your teeth, do you have your lunch,” etc. Sometimes she’d simply lift the back of my uniform to see for herself. If she caught me literally with my pants down, she sent me back upstairs to get some. She always concluded with the admonition that “only bad girls” don’t wear panties. The logical Catholic (is that an oxymoron?) thought progression from there was, “bad girls go to hell,” but I was unable to comprehend the connection between a little strip of fabric and one’s behavior, much less one’s salvation.

Me and my brother Stan circa 1973.
My transfer to the public school system punctuated my mid-teen years, and became the catalyst for my descent into hippiedom, heathenism, and hedonism. Like most fashionable young radicals of the day, I wore jeans so impossibly tight and that rode so low, it was a wonder I could sit in them at all without exposing every bit of my charm. Even the tiniest bikini underwear stuck out the top.

Fast forward to the birth of my son in 1985. I was 33 years old. Mom came for a couple weeks. One day, I was taking care of the baby, and she was gathering up laundry.

She called out from my bedroom, “Where’s your underwear?”

Not grasping the context of the question, I yelled back, “Top drawer.”


She walked into the living room carrying 15 years worth of gift underwear, still in the boxes, some still bearing Christmas tags.

She looked at me, now howling with laughter, and said, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

I said, “It seemed so important to you, I didn’t want to upset you.”

We laughed until we cried, and I never got another gift of underwear.

Fast forward again to the first time I jumped on Jazu in late 2006.


Wearing jeans.


I made a beeline to Wal-Mart.

Fast forward once more to last week, when Mom came to visit. I started a load of laundry, and combined her whites with mine. She got to the dryer first, and I saw momentary confusion on her face, followed by amusement, as she beheld underwear not her own.

I shared my epiphany, and once again, we laughed so hard, we cried.

Mama really does know best, and did so all along.


Sarah said...

One of my mother's fondest stories is of one of the... special... Christmas gifts she got from her crazy aunt:

Matching bra, panties, and purse.

Bear in mind, this was the 60s. If I remember correctly, she and her two female cousins between them got the whole trifecta of avocado green, orange, and that charming, charming mid-century yellow. And the family tradition was to model any clothes one received. Yeahhh, my Baptist grandma put a stop to that pretty quickly.

The real punchline?

Same aunt sent me a set of matching training bra, panties, and stuffed teddy bear some time shortly before I actually hit puberty. We were laughing for days...

Dreaming said...

Oh, my, too funny!

the7msn said...

Our horses teach us so many things...

Sherry Sikstrom said...

Undies when riding yup! and cotton at that!

Jeni said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!!!! You should try breeches - not as harsh as jeans....

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awww. Such a great story. You're so blessed to still have your Mother and have so many great memories to laugh about and share with one another. Makes me rather wistful because my Mom died when I was 8 yrs old and I don't have any special memories like that.

Thanks for sharing, made me smile,

Leah Fry said...

Sarah, that's priceless.

Carson, yes, they do. On so many levels.

Jeni - yuh, THANKS. I know about breeches NOW, but back then? Oh man, I was raw meat in places where that shouldn't happen to a girl!

Lisa, yes, I am very lucky to have her, and she's still sharp and healthy. And the older I get, the smarter she gets!

This has been one of my favorite stories since I the birth of my son. It was such an unexpected joy to add another chapter to it last week.

Rising Rainbow said...

I must admit this post made me cry.....of course, it was because I couldn't stop laughing. Being one of those Catholic girls myself, I totally get the FULL context of the evil of your thought and deeds. I wouldn't have dared sneak off to school with no underwear for fear the lightning would strike me dead.

It's nice to hear you mother has had a sense of humor about it. As for riding without it, I can imagine the discomfort of that having had several experiences with underwear that slips and that is miserable enough. I wouldn't dream of riding without it, or for that matter wearing a thong. I can only imagine what that could do. LOL

Unknown said...

Lol! Mama knows, that's for sure. But to have your horse drive home the point? Hysterical!

Crystal said...

That is so awesome!

Desert Rose said...

mama's always know best about them panties ;)

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

OMG-I laughed so hard I couldn't breath.

Laura said...

too funny!

C-ingspots said...

I loved this story!! And, I agree that you're quite blessed to still have your mom and be able to appreciate her as a person after all these years...priceless!!

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