Back in the day when I had a non-stop traveling job I got pretty used to living out of a suitcase. The hardest part of it was learning how to look professional for a whole week with one rolling suitcase when I had to see the same people for five days in a row. I worked with a woman who was always impeccably dressed which fit her never a hair out of place personality. She also was a stickler for perfection in all written and spoken presentations, which was scary for me.
Since she was my senior I was a little intimidated by her until one day she shared a traveling trick with me. She told me that she would take her oldest underwear on trips and throw it away rather than repack it to bring it home. My first thought was, ”We travel every day, that’s a lot of underwear.”
Since we traveled to nice places and stayed at the Four Seasons and the like my second thought was, “If I threw my oldest underwear away at the Ritz Carlton when the maid went to empty the trash she would think that some homeless person had broken into my room and thrown their underpants out.”
I tactfully, or as tactfully as I was capable of, tried to relay my thoughts to my colleague. She let me know that no homeless person would want what she was throwing away. Suddenly, this very buttoned-up person on the outside seemed much more like me on the inside.
I had imagined that everything about her was always perfect right down to her underwear, not that I had ever thought about her underwear. Knowing there is a chink in someone’s armor makes him or her human. Realizing their humanity makes relating to them easier. After learning that about her I was less intimidated by her and actually was able to relax and learn more easily from her. She has no idea how she helped push me professionally by confessing that her old underwear was not worth bringing home.
I don’t travel for work like that anymore so I have probably built up a good collection of “not even worthy of homeless women” underpants, so I can’t take her advice literally anymore. But what I do try and do is let people in on the many chinks, cracks, folds and crumbling places in my armor so they can feel comfortable enough to maybe learn something from me. We all have things we can teach each other so please share your wisdom. I promise I won’t ask you about your underpants.
On June 6, a month into this weight loss blog I wrote a post called “The problem with underpants” chronicling how much weight a person could gain and still wear the same size underpants. The problem, I wrote, is that my underpants were not getting tight so I did not have a constant pinching feeling reminding me that I was getting fatter.
Here I am over eight months later and 68 pounds lighter and I can report that I finally had to go down one, uno, a single size in underpants. Actually my original ones still fit and are quite comfortable without being baggy. The reason I had to go down in size is that the old ones stuck out of my jeans, which have gone down five sizes.
Does that make sense? Five jean sizes are equal to one underpants size? I feel like this is a true scientific experiment since I had a hypothesis that underpants stretched much too much. I was my own control, using the same kind of underpants and measuring everyday by actually wearing them and I proved that it took a giant weight change before a smaller size fit.
The good news is that I think that I will not lose another 68 pounds so I feel fairly certain that the size panty I wear now will be my final small size. That means that I can actually invest in fancy pants without the fear of not getting to wear them for long. If only I liked or even cared about high-end undergarments. Alas, too much information for some of you readers
Today while waiting around at the horse show for our daughters’ next events fellow barn Mom and friend Laura told me a story about the time her husband drove an RV. See those of us who don’t own RV’s or rent them for the fair, tend to covet them by the third day. After spending three days sitting in lawn chairs outside horse stalls sucking on hair and horse poop flying through the air we start to fanaticize about having a big-ass, tricked-out, climate-controlled, comfy RV to park ourselves in while we wait.
Not that we want to own an RV, just have one to sit in. After hearing Laura’s story its not that we want to drive an RV either. Her husband had to go pick up his invalid mother in Philly and rather than having a professional ambulance bring her to North Carolina he rented a giant RV and drove up to get her. According to Laura it could have had it’s own zip code and perhaps a famous band had once used it for touring it was so badass.
On the way up I-95 Laura’s husband noticed that people passing by were waving at him and flashing their lights. He just assumed they were admiring the deluxe apartment of the road he was piloting. It was not until a state trooper pulled him over and told him he had run over a bale of hay, which had lodged itself to the undercarriage of his vehicle and caught on fire.
To say he had missed the signals other drivers were giving him might be putting it mildly. But I should have realized that Laura’s story was just foreshadowing my missing a big sign today myself.
While walking the 400 yards from our stalls to the main arena for the fifth time today I felt a cooling breeze on my backside, but I just kept walking. A few hundred yards later a nice woman driving a golf cart passed me and said “hitcher’ up” as she glided by. Since we were at a horse affair I assumed she was talking about some horse thing. Another moment and another cool breeze. I put my hand behind me and realized that my jeans and my underpants had fallen to sub plumber levels.
Early on in this blog journey I wrote one titled “The problem with underpants” about how your underpants don’t get too tight early enough in the weight gaining process. Apparently 49 pounds is how much you have to lose to actually lose your underpants. I blame my two sizes too big jeans, which were only one size too big last week. If I had tight enough pants on they could have kept my underpants up.
So now I vow to not wear any pants, under or otherwise that are too big. I am paying attention to the signs before I scare anyone to death.
When I go to Belk’s and look at the women’s underpants the majority come in an incredibly small range of sizes. I’m not talking about just small panties, just a small range of numbers. If you are a woman the size numbers 5, 6 and 7 might sound familiar.
Now, I have a close association with the other range of 8, 9, and10 all of which I have worn or might be wearing right now, it’s your guess. But for the regular sized people who wear what Belk’s calls “Misses” sized clothing, the underpants are 5, 6 or 7. Three numbers to cover butts from size 4-16 seems to be just too few numbers.
I understand that 5, 6 and 7 might just be another way of saying small, medium and large, so why 5, 6 and 7? I digress.
Here is the real problem as I not only see it, but also have experienced it. Having three numbers that span 7 sizes of clothing means that they can expand. For example, a small woman who wears a size 4 dress may buy size 5 panties just as a woman who wears a 6 or an 8 buys.
It is all well and good that they all could fit into a 5, but the problem comes when that size 4 person wearing her size 5 underpants gains a little weight. She may no longer fit into her size four dress, but magically her size 5 panties still fit.
Not many people are crying about that poor size 4 people, but what about those of us in the double-digit range. There is nothing happy about going from a 12 to a 16 dress except that you still could wear your same size 7 underwear.
If my panties got tight as soon as I crept up one dress size I might be better at nipping it in the bud, so to speak, right then. But no, my panties, made of that forgiving elastic, and fine-spun knitted material just happily accommodates my increasing bum.
You might think the mirror or jeans would snap me into reality, but I can always stand at a more flattering angle or not machine dry my jeans. It isn’t until my oh-so-forgiving panties actually get too tight that I say, “I’ve really got to lose weight.” By then it’s at least two or three sizes too late.
So my answer to this problem is to beg lingerie manufacturers for less forgiving panties. They have already done it with Bras. The word on the street is for every ten pounds you lose or gain you need a different Bra size. That has got to have helped sales. So do for panties what has been done to bras. Something that is really a pain-in-my-ass is the reminder I need to walk away from the kitchen.