From 32 to 52: Changing Underwear

Do you ever find you have so many things on your mind that you find it hard to focus on just one? Or even 12?

I haven’t done our taxes yet. I don’t even know where all the forms are that I’ll need. My baby boy needs a tux for prom. Prom is less than 3 weeks away. My floors haven’t been mopped in..well..a long time. There might have still been snow on the ground.

There was definitely still snow on the ground.

That is a sampling. We won’t even start with the in depth way I’ve been internally analyzing Better Call Saul. 

So what do I end up fixating on?

My underwear.

I considered, for a disturbing number of minutes, how my underwear has changed over the last 20 years.

Randy and I met 20 years ago. We met in the Spring and by the Summer of 1995 we were living with each other.

Out of all the times I face planted in life, this situation had the makings of a spectacular life fail.

As it turned out, we are good for each other. We spent a lot of years figuring that out and we both bear our scars, but we’re good for each other.

I thought about the underwear I wore when Randy and I were first together and mentioned to Randy that my underwear was so much better back then.

Randy: I remember a pair of your underwear from back then. They were dark blue and kind of lacy. 

Me: Yeah, I know which ones you are talking about. You remember those because that’s what I was wearing the first time you saw me in my underwear. They were navy and from Victoria’s Secret. I had a matching bra. 

Randy: Those were some tuff ass underwear

Me: I haven’t heard ‘tuff’ used in that context since 1978.

Randy: Bullshit.

Me: 1978 called. They want their expressions back.

I used to match my bras with my panties. On purpose. I carefully considered each panty purchase. I didn’t just pick up a six pack of cotton ones and, if I did, I would go through each color choice as to avoid the stripes and plaids.

Now? If the package has the ‘6’ crossed out and excitedly tells me there are 7 pairs in that pack, then I am happy. I have no fucks to give regarding whether or not they are stripey or plaid. I’ll even go for the all white granny panties.

This does not mean that I’ve given up. I’ve just reached a stage in life where I’ve worried and obsessed over so many things for so many years that I had to discard some of the lesser concerns. Concern over whether or not my bra and panties matched was given the boot right after worrying about shaving my legs during winter.

I didn’t go suddenly change from bikini and low rise boy shorts to white cotton granny panties. There were others in between.

Oh god, remember when teddies were the rage? I had a teddy. I was 22 years old and worked downtown and I had to have some teddies because that was the underwear to wear. I hated teddies. They would pull up in a most uncomfortable way. I’d shrug my shoulders and my teddy would yank up and chafe the least chafable skin on my whole person. 

But I digress.

One year, I broke down and bought some thongs. Holy shit, I am not a fan of the all day wedgie. Still, I had them, but they became the backup underwear. You know, what you wear when laundry has been put off until a dire clean clothes situation.

I rarely wore thongs and after the day my pants disintegrated, I never wore them again.

Around five years ago, I wore my favorite jeans and a thong to work because Randy must have been slacking on the laundry.

Laundry is Randy’s job. My job is to bitch about laundry not being done. 

I loved my jeans, they were worn just the right amount, they didn’t bind and I actually liked they way they made my bubble butt look. I had gone out to lunch with some of the tech guys and when we came back, I sat in my cubicle and thought “That’s odd. It seems like I can feel way more of my chair than I should be feeling.”

Instantly, my brain dismissed the possibility that my pants had split as too horrifying to consider.

Turns out, I had no choice but to consider.

My jeans had split vertically over my left ass check. The entire length of my ass cheek. I realize that you have no way of knowing how big that split would be, but trust me when I tell you, it was an impressively sized split.

My actual ass had been touching my chair.

I managed to make it to the bathroom with a sewing kit and stitch up that bitch, but I did not escape without some mental damage. I haven’t worn a thong since. I am unreasonably afraid that if I wear a thong, my clothes might melt off.

Besides, a pair of well fitting cotton granny panties are about as comfortable as underwear gets.

Randy can talk all wistfully about my navy blue Victoria’s Secret panties, but I know he doesn’t really care. Or he doesn’t seem to. Just the other night, as he folded laundry, he wore my clean panties as a hat. He just kept layering them on.

Some were striped and some were plaid.


Add your comments below. Profanity is encouraged, but not required. ;)
  1. KK says:

    I swear I have underwear that is older than our drummer…
    Absolutely hate thongs! Yes I do have some and yes they are emergency use only. Why on earth would anyone deliberately wear underwear that is deliberately designed to be where you don’t want underwear to be?
    So it’s not just me with the teddies either then? Seriously uncomfortable, makes me wonder how guys cope with boxers.
    Not ready to give up the nice ones yet, even though they are only for me.
    It’s a weird one that, I can be in total scruff but my underwear is killer hot stuff and no-one but me knows, well they didn’t till now, ha ha ha!

  2. Doug in Oakland says:

    My Granny had polka-dot underwear. I know this because I had to move her twice.

  3. Belinda says:

    Oh hell no to thongs! I don’t need to feel like I need to be pulling my underwear out of my ass all day. I did wear sexy panties back in the day. Now it’s all granny panties. I have a few of the sexy ones somewhere. I think, but I haven’t had a reason to wear them in a long time. Comfort is what it’s all about.

  4. mary-anne says:

    I have never bought or worn a thong.

    I am going to keep it that way.
    I do have some kickass underwear though….and once a week it matches my bra!
    no plaid, but one pair polka dot.
    Hey, they are cute!

  5. This post reminded me of something I saw on Facebook: “Guys, if you both take off your clothes, and her bra and panties match, it wasn’t you who decided you were going to have sex.”

    I often wear thongs, but after your anecdote, I may need to reconsider my life choices.

  6. That reminds me. I need to buy underwear.

  7. I do not get thongs. I mean, seriously. I do not get them. Why would anyone want a string up their butt?

  8. Oooh…Baby boy’s prom…. How exciting…. I bet his partner will be wearing Victoria’s secret underwear… Now go worry about that!

  9. irritant says:

    When we were in our 20s, my wife told me that she wanted her underwear to excite me. After 20+ years of marriage, I’m excited if she isn’t grouchy from picking her panties out of her crack all day or dealing with a bra that, if “snapped”, automatically applies the Heimlich maneuver… Getting old isn’t exciting, but I’m not ready for the alternative.

  10. caveman says:

    I’d love to care about the sentiment of the story but “tuff”? Did everyone forget the fabulous thunderbirds?
    Yes, yes they did…in part because said thunderbirds died in a struggle with the word tuff over why it wasn’t the 70s anymore. There were no survivors.

  11. Christine says:

    OMG teddies! Yes, that was the underwear back then. A pain in the ass when using the bathroom, having to pull and try and resnap. And if alcohol was involved, it could get really frustrating and I would just give up and tuck them into my jeans. Hahahaha I forgot all about those!

  12. kdcol says:

    Thongs are killers (and yeast infection instigators to boot). I’ll only wear one if my outfit absolutely requires it. Panty lines, anyone? But I’ll even try to get away with going commando before wearing a dang thong! Long live (my super comfortable) granny panties!

  13. Terri Lee says:

    Once again, I find myself surrounded by a group of women who would truly “get” me! My underwear journey has been one of buying underwear in my youth with my man in mind and finally getting to the point where it’s “Oh, the hell with that! Either he loves me for me or he doesn’t!” I keep reminding myself of all the articles in women’s magazines where men state that they have fantasies about women wearing sun dresses with the old-fashioned white, cotton panties on beneath them. Yeah! Granny panties no more! I’m wearing sexy, white cotton fantasy undies!! Salivate guys! I know you want to! Haha!

    And your split jeans adventure reminded me of the time I had gone out to lunch in my 20s wearing this really cute “vinyl leather”—ha!—skirt with my favorite white blouse with the shoulder pads that made me look like Dan Marino! lol I’m not sure when and where it happened, but on my way home, I decided to stop at the store. I got out of my car and my ass felt strangely cool and refreshed! I looked back and saw that the entire back of my skirt was shredded. The vinyl had completely shredded off and was dangling like fringe with only the sheer backing left to cover me. I’ll never know how long I was walking around like that, but I meekly slid back into my car, went home and threw my cheap skirt n the trash. Hell, I can’t even remember what underwear I had on, but I do know that back in those days, I used to do the lacy undies, garter belt and stockings thing. So I may have put on quite the peep show!

  14. Marianne says:

    You wore your teddy AS underwear? Like, under your clothes? I just wore them as prelude to sex…they made no sense whatsoever under the clothes. I never really “got” them anyway. Also? Baby-doll nightgowns. THOSE I flat-out refused. Lingerie based on little girl clothes, but whored out? WTF was wrong with people?

  15. Susan says:

    Well, I’m a granny seven times over, so pretty much any underwear that I wear are granny panties. But, hell yeah, those are the most comfortable kind. Can’t stand cotton ones though, the jeans don’t slide over them very well. My daughter wears nothing but thongs. I don’t get it. She has some really cute ones, but I still wouldn’t wear them even if I had the body to do it.

  16. Marianne says:

    Hey, any idea why I’m just a silhouette? How do I get my google profile pic to show?

  17. Jolene says:

    I just laughed out loud after reading about your “little” mishap….my husband gave me that side glance.
    “Michelle cracks me up ! Her underwear post is hilarious ”
    …..I got the “my wife is loosing it” look. Hahaha

    I soooooo understand and can relate to every word you wrote. I’m not sure why thongs were invented. …they serve no purpose except to irritate the F* out of you.

  18. samara says:

    I have one word for you – commando.

    It’s sexy without trying to be, because ain’t nobody got time for that. It lets my lady bits air out. Laundry becomes a non issue.

    You’re a bad ass, no matter WHAT covers is. I fucking love you. That is all.

  19. Ha. I can relate to this, Michelle. I’ve graduated to granny panties although I like to keep my options open so I still have a variety of bloomers. I like to have my ass covered.

  20. CARLA says:


  21. I can speak from experience about how uncomfortable teddies are. I can tell a guy designed them because he never thought a guy would wear one and therefore felt no need to make them comfortable. The same is true of thongs.

    Also the night I spent in a train station wearing a garter belt under my jeans I discovered how uncomfortably those things can chafe as well. But they were holding up my fishnet stockings, which were surprisingly comfortable and kept my legs warm (the jeans probably helped).

    If I say “Rocky Horror Picture Show” this will probably make a lot more sense, but the important thing is what I learned from that. It’s not so much about what you wear as how you wear it.

  22. This got me thinking about my own underwear changes over the last 24 years. I have to agree as long as it’s clean and comfortable I don’t really give a shit what it looks like anymore. Hell, I’ve been known to wear his boxers sometimes, especially if he’s pissed me off and I was on my period. Nothing like the fear in their eyes when they look in their shorts and see blood stains hahahahahaha! I don’t know how I’ve managed to stay married all of these years!

  23. Jana says:

    I am SO vanilla! I’ve only worn bikinis, hipsters, and granny panties — nothing else. Bikinis are a no-go anymore — because they are so low that my tummy pooch hangs over the top of them — it’s weight slowly rolling the top down, and down, until my panties have turned into some sort of micro-bikini in the front. The granny panties were a fine choice — when I was still married and not getting any action — if no one is looking (or cares when they do look), then function wins out over form every time! Now, I’m back into hipsters — best described as old lady bikinis. High enough that the tummy pooch is contained within, but low enough that they do not peer out over the tops of my jeans when I bend over. Plus — they are not unattractive. Certainly not Victoria’s Secret caliber, but if a man saw me in them, I wouldn’t be embarrassed (unless they were the pair with holes in the ass).

  24. stef says:

    Oh my gosh, I actually laughed out loud at your split-pants story!!

    I have such a range of underwear in my drawer. I went through the matching VS bra/panties sets like it was a complete fetish in the 90s. EVERY SINGLE SET had to match EVERY DAY. WTF, “younger me”?? Why did that matter?

    I still have most of the bras, because VS bras refuse to die, ever (which justifies their like $80 price tag I *guess*), but they no longer have matching panties. Now they pair nicely with Walmart thongs that are so old that they look like wild dogs have been at them. And some (ok, yes, VS) granny panties for regular days or days when I work outside and I can not even begin to bear an all-day wedgie while bending over working in the yard. Just, no.

    I even still have a matching set of PINK VELVET bra/panties with bedazzled VS emblems on them that were super cute, but unfortunately they only had the one size left (meaning: the size slightly too small for even “younger-me” to wear), but I bought them anyway, and spent like $90 on the pair. (again..why??) So there they sit, never worn, still in my out-of-season-clothes bin…waiting for my ass to be size 4 again. HAHAHAHAHAHA yeahright

    And I have several of those stupid teddies still hanging in the closet. I can’t imagine wearing them anywhere but in the bedroom, though. Were we supposed to wear them to work?? uh-oh… *fail* lol

    Thanks for the laugh! I needed this 😀

  25. Bev says:

    Smiling and honestly laughing out loud. As this oldest, gray haired admirer, I have seen all the stages you mention and just maybe more. Feeling a bit out of touch, several stories come to mind. Most of my work clothes have been medical uniforms, starting with all white which meant all under garments where of the same. Felt dressed up” even with a nude color and maybe a satin panty of course that being a full coverage. Then the work placed changed and other medical workers (island) would comment about “always matching”. Yikes I was feeling very home spun. So even at this senior stage it was time to change. Hell, it is easier to go without! I have all the choices in the drawer…….what did they say about men’s being more comfortable? Maybe I could buy some new men’s “Y-fronts, because I am not going to wear any with skid stains, no it doesn’t matter if they are black…..the skids are still there. You have those jean/leggings….go out there, get the matching sets, full coverage or floss. When I am gone and they get my things ready for the dump, someone will get a laugh and they will wonder if I really wore these or were they nicely folded in the color wheel to admire.