panty lines excerpt

Pretty?  Yeah, they were, all dressed up in hot pink, licorice black or hot tamale red.  They were soft, too, I noted as I fingered the delicate satin and lace trimmed panties while standing in Victoria’s Secret.  I needed a change and maybe this underwear was the way to go.

I had thrown out a couple pair of underwear that morning and have only worn Hanes Her Way, nude so that they blended in with my skin tone whenever I wore white, for the past thirteen years.  They were cheap and disposable.  “Granny panties,” my husband called them.

“Where’s the lace?” he asked late one night, his finger gliding under the waistband of my underwear, his hands still quite adept and his passion as urgent after all these years.

“Lace?” I asked.

“Yeah, lace.  That frilly stuff.  The pair you have on is stretched out and huge.”  He tugged on the waistband and I heard a rip.  “There’s a hole in them, too.  They look like they’re about to disintegrate.”

“Well, buddy, so am I.  Off ya go,” I said as I pushed him aside and rolled out from underneath him.

“Oh, come on, babe.  Don’t be that way,” he said as he sat up.

“How is it that you are noticing them right now?” I asked, slipping back into my flannel pajama pants.

“I’ve noticed them before,” he said.  “I just never said anything.  I don’t know.  I thought maybe, you know, you could wear those pretty panties you used to wear when we got married, not those granny panties.”

“I am a granny panty lover,” I said.  “They’re comfortable and they don’t give me panty lines.  Besides, I don’t think I need to wear something decorative that no one else sees.”

He looked up over his eyebrows at me and said, “I see them.  I was only hoping, you know, for a little change.”  He shrugged and gave me a half-smile.  “You like to shop, don’t you?”

“Ohhh, yes,” I said, my voice crawling with sarcasm.  “We women love to shop.”  I plopped in bed beside him and slathered on face cream and lip balm.  “But, as a history professor, I figured you’d appreciate the story behind each rip and thread of elastic in this well-aged pair of underwear.  Goodnight.”

As I lay in bed listening to my husband toss and turn, I tried to remember how things were years ago when we first married, but it was difficult.  We had fallen into the rut that married couples often do as they get comfortable with each other.  I considered myself spontaneous, impulsive.  We had always enjoyed each other’s company and had fun, but spontaneity had taken a back seat.  When I ask for a backrub, that’s really all I want.  When we hop into bed, it’s because we are tired.  If my husband rolls over on top of me it’s because his large, six foot frame takes up half the bed, and then I just push him aside.

We have been married for over a decade.  I didn’t think I needed frilly underwear anymore.  I never had matching bras and panties.  It seemed like such a waste of time and money.  Admittedly, my underwear did nothing to get the juices flowing.  Even my bras were boring, barely functional.

I decided I would go shopping in the morning.

My hip ached as I stood in Victoria’s Secret, staring into open dresser drawers filled with panties.   There were dozens of colors and styles on display and I was overwhelmed by the choices.  I needed to have an open mind.  I had to be willing to surprise not only my husband, but myself.  Don’t go for the automatic black, said the voice in my head.  Yes, it’s flattering, but pick a shade that says something.  What on earth should the color say?  Something about you.

What about me?  Middle age, petite, copper skin, dark hair with a few strands of stubborn gray at the crown.  I liked the gray.  I liked the fine lines around my eyes.  Those first signs of aging were well earned, in my opinion, and they spoke to my confidence.

Red, I decided as I snatched three pair of panties: a thong, a satin bikini, and a French cut with a tiny bow on the back.  I checked the tags, the practical me wanting to know how to wash them, and spotted the size; extra small.  My size medium laughed and said aloud, “Yeah.  Right.”

As I rummaged for my correct size, a cute young blond approached me, dressed in black, measuring tape around her neck.  She told me about the panty sale and asked if I wanted to be fitted for a matching bra, also on sale.

I followed her to the back and into a well lit dressing room.  She drew the tape around my chest and as I breathed in her strong flowery perfume, something about her seemed familiar.