Old Lady Underwear

In this post, I made reference to my grandmother’s old lady underwear. I was thinking about this yesterday and by my calculations, in 1961, Grandma was 2 years younger than I am right now. I should explain about the underwear on the clothes line I suppose. We lived in a small town, on a street that was about evenly divided between families like ours, with children and older people like our grandparents. Our backyards all bordered one another so that you could move freely from one to the next. As you can imagine, this fact was not always pleasing to some of the older folks in the neighborhood and you would have to count my grandparents among that group.

They were a tidy people, my mother’s family. Far, far tidier than us or any other family on our street. Far tidier than anyone I have encountered in my entire life actually. The untidiness of all these children was the bane of their existence. There were 5 of us grandkids living next door on one side of their house, and on the other side, a family with 6 boys. The next two houses had 4 kids each. There were bunches of other kids all around the surrounding blocks. They were encompassed, besieged and beleaguered.

I should interject that I loved my grandparents. They had their ways about them that through the years I could have done without, but don’t we all? They did love us and we spent hours at their house, helping Grandma bake, eating endless rivers of snickerdoodles, drinking from Grandma’s evaporated milk soaked coffee and watching Mannix while we ate club crackers topped with sliced cheddar cheese accompanied by glasses of ginger ale. And all that tidiness meant their house smelled good. I still don’t know what it was, but somehow their house always smelled so clean. If I close my eyes, I can still conjure it up.

And we were terrible children. We were dirty and loud. We fought with each other. We threw things. We trampled flower beds. We yelled and screamed and laughed way too much. And there were so freaking many of us. We drove them nuts and our untidy kid-ness distressed them, but they loved us anyway.

You would think that such tidy people would not have their underwear out on the clothesline all the time, but you would be mistaken about that. Now personally, it would not have bothered me at all if it weren’t for the notice other kids in our neighborhood took of it. And they were worth noticing, my grandmother’s underwear. So white, it nearly hurt your eyes to look at them. And they had legs. This was the odd part to me really. In my experience, men’s underwear, like my Dad’s, had legs. Women’s underwear, though not quite the fashion statement in 1961 that they may be today, did not have legs. But Grandma’s did. They were quintessential old lady underwear.

Their appearance on the clothesline a couple times each week caused, I am sure you can imagine, a great deal of merriment and jocularity around the neighborhood. This was only made worse by the fact that the majority of other kids in our neighborhood were boys. They could not make fun of Grandma because their parents would tan their little hides if they did that. Nooooooooooooooooo – they made fun of me. These boys were for the most part, my friends too. As girls often do, I got tall younger than they did and I was stronger than a lot of them too, at least until we all hit our teens. And I liked to play baseball and basketball. They were nice to me so I would be on their team in the pickup neighborhood games, so they could win. And we had a lot of fun together, but the old lady underwear was just too good to let go by without comment. Comment and running jokes and hand-drawn comics. Little jerks.

But Grandma was 50, maybe 55 at the time of these memories. She and Grandpa moved to a house they built outside of town when I was 12 so I know at the most she was 56. Which means, at best, I have 4 years until I get mine issued to me. Or so I thought.

**disclaimer** I am now going to talk about my own underwear, so if that will bother you, avert your eyes or come back tomorrow or something. **end of disclaimer**

I do not wear old lady underwear. I wear what you could call a sort of medium kind of underwear. Not little bikinis, not thongs, not underwear with legs. Mine are french cut or high thigh, depending on the brand you buy. A couple weeks ago I purchased some at Wal*Mart that said on the package – Buy 6 pairs, Get one pair free! Well that seems like a good deal doesn’t it? So I get them home, take them out of the package and throw them in the laundry. They get washed and when I am folding that load of clothes, I find this pair of………..my pair, apparently of ………….. I just wasn’t expecting this so soon ……………………… grannie panties. They are even a size bigger than my regular size! It is like the cosmos has worked through Wal*Mart [that part does make sense to me at least, because if I were the cosmos, I would use Wal*Mart to send this kind of message] to let me know that my time has come. I am a Grandma now after all. “Here you go – you won’t buy them, so we have to use whatever means necessary to get them to you.”

Why, would Hanes, a company that wants my business, put a completely different style and size of underwear in a package as a premium? If I wanted granny panty style underwear in a size larger than that I usually wear, would I not just make the decision to buy them myself? And, not having made that particular decision, why do they think I would be happy to get them just because they are free? This is a question of such intense interest to me, that I have written an email to the Hanes company about the matter. I will certainly let you know what they say. Unless it is that whole “the cosmos thinks it is time for your granny panties” thing.
If that is the case, you will not hear about it from me.

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8 Responses to Old Lady Underwear

  1. Ness says:

    Thanks for the smile and trip down Memory Lane today concerning being at your grandparent’s. Being at Grandma’s during August canning time ranks up near the top of my great memories. I’m glad I grew up in the 60’s. I finally bit the bullet and started a blog at Blogger called DachshundStrong. One day I might figure out how to link it when I reply to someone’s blog! lol

  2. dlyn says:

    Thanks Ness – and you do have sort of a link – it takes one to your profile, and there is a link there for your blog. To link it directly, just put the address of your blog in the website field when you are comenting. Go ahead – give it a try!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I told you that when I discovered your blog this week it would be a great source for cheap entertainment, but I had no idea it would stoop to this. ; )

    Thanks for the memories. You’re a great story teller! Anyone else reading this …. I can vouch …. it’s a true story! (The Grandma part! I knew precious little about Dlyn’s underwear …… that was until today.)

    The thing I remember about Grandma’s underwear was the little hooks in the girdle that held up the hose. I would imagine that would have made little circle dents in one’s legs and be very uncomfortable. And you know, if those things were around today they would be recalled as a safety hazard to small children. If one of those snapped……… it wouldn’t be pretty.

    Thanks again for the (sentimental) entertainment.

    Cousin Mark

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh Ye of L:ittle Faith. I believe that God is sovereign. So, obviously, He put the Grandma undies in the package. He speaks to us in so many different ways. But we are so deaf to Him.



  5. Anonymous says:

    Fun as always. I am dying to hear what Hanes has to say for themselves. They will probably send you free underpants and those will be granny panties too. IT IS THE COSMOS!!!

  6. Wonderful World of Weiners says:

    I intend to wear my thongs until I die – I will be the only Granny in the retirement community in FL to have dental floss riding high! At 37 years old, I see nothing wrong with my plan. I bet I’ll be the most popular blue haired lady around!!


  7. pam says:

    Ha. Knowing how these things work they’ll probably just send you a complementary package of the same granny panties and not even read your note!

  8. Pingback: In the words of my Grandmothers… – dlyn

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