Friday, March 16, 2012

Things that Make Me Go Argh: Underwear with Bows

by Susan McBride

I'm still on deadline for my latest book (currently being called The Truth About Love and Lightning), and I'm frantically trying to get it done by next week. So when I reached in my Idea Bag for a blog topic, I realized I hadn't refilled the darned thing in a while. Which made me go, "A-ha! Why don't I write about something that makes me crazy? I could even explore another real-life irritant during the next frantic deadline, too!" Perfect. So today's rant involves, yes, underwear with bows.

As a pregnant lady with an ever-growing middle, I've had to go shopping for bigger sizes in just about everything lately. So the other day, I found a nice pack of maternity underwear that I was hoping wouldn't cut off the circulation in my thighs. They were good colors, too: standard white, gray stripes, and even a saucy leopard print. But when I opened the package, I realized the danged things had bows on the front. Those silly little bows that have appeared on my bras and panties since--oh, gosh--my whole life.

Yes, I probably appreciated them when I was eight or nine, maybe even eleven. But as I got older, I began to wonder what the point was of putting bows on the front of grown-up women's underthings. Does anyone really like them? Are they supposed to make us think back on our youth and feel like girls again? If so, it isn't working. It just irritates me, having to find my nail scissors to carefully cut them off.

And I mean "carefully." It's like a surgical operation getting those effing bows off bras and underwear without making a hole in the front and unraveling things. I think they sew them on with their super-industrial machines, certain that women everywhere would be destroyed if they ever fell off.

Back to my maternity panties with the bows. Seriously? I am in my sixth month of pregnancy. I have already gained 25 pounds and weigh more than my skinny husband. My a** now qualifies as booty and/or junk in the trunk. The increased size of said a** is not a gift to me (although I won't vouch for Ed). So I would prefer not to put a bow on it.

Okay, I feel better now. Whew! Thanks for letting me vent. But if you'll excuse me, I have surgery to perform on three pairs of new maternity underpants.

13 comments:

  1. Maternity underwear is so comfortable that I think I will go back to wearing it even though my youngest is almost 13. Pregnancy comes with a whole host of indignities, underwear being the least of them. Wait until the nursing bra stage Ah, good times. Maggie

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  2. And Maggie, let's not forget the stretch pants that were sooooo comfortable we kept 'em around for, I don't know, years after the pregnancy was over? Wait. Was that just me?

    Susan, save all those bows for Emily. She'll love them! :)

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  3. Wait! My youngest has her own apartment and I'm still wearing pants with elastic waists. Only me?

    One thing that pregnancy taught me is comfort above all else -- a rule I continue to follow :-)

    Thanks for the memories and laughs, Susan.

    Marian

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  4. Thanks for saying this out loud. I thought I was the only one that thought the bows were frou-frou, too much, and annoying. Great post.

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  5. Gail, frou-frou is precisely the word for it! Maybe I'll start a write-in campaign to keep bows off grown-up women's underwear. I'm thinking that would save millions of, um, trees that grow polyester from which they fashion those dopey bows! Hee hee. ;-)

    Maggie, Laura, and Marian...it will be interesting to see how long I'm still wearing my pregnancy pants after the baby! I'll have to write about that this fall. :-)

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  6. Doesn't it feel great to know that you soeak for so-o-o many women? Thanks for voicing what I've thought since...well..at least 12.

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  7. Wouldn't bows sort of work against that whole "smooth line" that is supposedly the goal of so many undergarments? For comfort, look into Decent Exposures -- they sew to order for perfect fit, and make mine latex-free -- no bows in sight.
    I hope your authors' event last night was splendid! Another meeting (and weariness and storms) kept me in St. Peters, but I am nearly finished with hat(s) for Emily (no bows) so let me know when I can see you . .

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  8. Yellowrose, it was my pleasure. ;-))

    Mary, yes, exactly! We don't want little lumps under our shirts and pants, which is exactly what the bows create. So goofy. I wonder how many women cut them off (as I do) and how many leave them on. Would make an interesting survey!

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  9. The bows are a reminder to us that we're female. Like being pregnant or having to wear a bra wasn't a big enough clue. Do men have ties or toy trains on their underwear?

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  10. Lynn, I was thinking the same thing! What would be the equivalent for men's underwear? Definitely choo-choo trains. I'd love to see how a grown man would feel if all his tidy-whities or boxers or undershirts came with tiny trains sewn to the front!

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  11. Frankly, I like granny pants. (After all, I am a granny.)

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  12. Do they actually leave the dumb bows off granny pants, Marilyn? If so, I can see the allure. ;-)

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  13. I am super late to this conversation, but actually, the bow is a holdover from over 600 years of corsetry. The first corsets had busks of wood down the front to maintain a straight silhouette. The busk was tied in with a ribbon. That ribbon was the most intimate gift a woman could give to a man as a symbol of her favor. It survives today as the bow on the bra. For oanties, it coukd be a holdover from the time of drawstring knickers. Now, for men...... the best example of a similar holdover is either the tie, which is a remnant of when shirts actually tied closed at the neck, or, the little bow you will find inside a man's hat, which denotes the back of the hat. This is a remainder from the first gathered berets in 1300s france, where you would tighten your hat with a drawstring.

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