Every culture has rites of passage from the carefree days of childhood into adult responsibility and privilege, and into old age. In the church, there’s baptism, first communion, bat and bar mitzvahs. Social rites of passage might include dating, engagement, marriage, and having children. We have economic rites, too, like getting your first savings account, or credit card, or closing on your first home purchase.
And then there are the underwear rites. No, I’m not kidding.
The first stages are obvious: diapers, training pants, and finally – big kid underwear. Big kid underwear is cute, and fun, and purchased by your mother.
Girls toss in an additional milestone with the purchase of the first training bra. (Training? I must have failed the training program.)
When you start buying your own underwear (for many men in our society, this phase may never occur) you enter a period of experimentation, trying out new styles and colors. This phase generally correlates with coming into sexual maturity. Suddenly, the idea that someone you want to impress will actually SEE your underwear makes it very important that your unmentionables are making the right statement about you.
Pregnancy and childbirth bring along a host of new underwear rituals. There’s the graduation from regular person panties to maternity underwear to “shapewear.” Some women never look back. There’s something comforting about stuffing yourself into a sausage skin and knowing your belly, which now has the capacity to change at least two dress sizes on any given day, is firmly tucked into an envelope of spandex.
You know what? Grown up underwear are boring.
Yes, even the ones that look suspiciously like two pieces of dental floss tied to a Kleenex. Or the ones with holes where holes should not be. Even the lacy little tap pants and silky chemise, and the overpriced matching bra and panty set are boring.
Boring, I tell you!
Why? Because they’re predictable! It’s high time we restored fun underwear to adults. After all, if anyone needs to have fun, it’s the people paying the mortgage!
- Have a nerve-wracking presentation ahead? Slip on your Wonder Woman or Superman underwear and fly to the office!
- Battling depression? Pull out those Muppet undies. It’s hard to be depressed with Animal on your hiney.
- Want to renew the intimacy in your relationship? Lose the embarrassing lingerie. How about a matched set of Shrek and Fiona underwear, instead?
- Feeling a bit forgetful? Pick up a set of those seven-days-in-a-week panties. At least you’ll be able to remember what day it is.
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