Indiana Jane by Jane Suter aka Plain JaneAs the weather warms, I am pulled by an uncontrollable force to spring clean my home. Along with this Febreezing, I am also obliged to switch out my family’s clothes. Goodbye turtlenecks and sweaters, hello shorts and tees. It’s a full day of soul-sucking decision-making: Do I keep this? Will I really lose 10 pounds by next year? Definitely going to Goodwill . . . and so on. But this year, I’ve decided to clean out a neglected section of my wardrobe: my underwear drawer. Yeah, that’s right—it’s time to mention the unmentionables.

Root through anyone’s skivvy receptacle and you will discover more about them in five minutes than you would in a lifetime of lengthy conversations. But please, don’t let them catch you browsing through their briefs or you will certainly be arrested, de-friended, or broken up with. People are super secretive about their underwear. So, to demystify these garments, I raid my own tomb of tighty-whiteys. Call me Indiana Jane.

The Crusade Begins

Like an ancient pyramid yielding long-forgotten treasure, the last 10 years of my life could be cataloged here. It’s truly an archeological dig into the past: the farther back in the drawer, the further back in time. So I began my crusade at the front of the drawer, a.k.a. present day or the Mom Ages.

Here I find plain panties. There are no prints, and they are predominantly white. Some are even tattered with the elastic exposed; earmarks of a person who is either entirely too busy to shop for basics, or a hopeless miser. (I’m busy, ok?) Anyway, this first section, based on the heap of 100 percent cotton briefs, told me I was a BVD bore. With head held low, I dug further back, to the neglected middle of the drawer: the Baby Boom Age.

What I unearthed here was jarring. Obviously this person came from a sleep-deprived, freakishly rotund civilization that existed for about nine months. Layer upon layer of elephant-sized, preggo undies were unfurled, along with two pairs of Spanxx and one old, ugly nursing bra. All white, all from Wal-Mart. It’s no wonder this lady is now extinct—she was womb-raided! So I plundered quickly, hoping not to be cursed by the hideousness. With my eyes closed, translucent demons flew around the room as I dumped these garments into the trash. Thank goodness I found the strength to press on, because when I finally opened my eyes again, I was stunned at what lay before me. At the very back of the temple was the long-forgotten Golden Age of Intimate Wear. I had reached the fabled yee-haw years of pre-children.

What Happened?

This was a virtual Sodom and Gomorrah of panty porn. There were leopard-striped bikinis, thongs, and some strange stringy things. Baum chika’ baw wow! I found articles in lace, silk, and one relic with the word “love” spelled out in rhinestones. Like a giant boulder, the memories rolled in. Look, the camisole I thought I lost! And here’s the bustier I wore on my wedding day! Yet these artifacts left me with a few puzzling questions. Like: who was this Victoria and why was she so secretive? More importantly, what happened to the free-spirited vixen who once wore these contraptions? I can only surmise, based on the evidence, that she was overthrown by invading moguls. Poor thing. In her memory, I’ll save a few of these items—for historical purposes, of course. The rest I will toss. I mean, let’s face it, I will never again be a size 4. Ever.

The dig complete, I closed the sarcophagus. There was no denying the harsh reality that I had gone from fun and flirty to boring and blah in a decade. I guess I better go shopping. I’ll lasso myself up some fancy underwear and reclaim that long-buried side of myself. After all, I’m not a fossil.

So the next time you see me, I may have a little sparkle in my eye. But don’t ask me about it:  it may just be—unmentionable.

Jane Suter is one funny mom. Write to Jane to share some of your own parenting experiences. Illustration by Colleen Johnson.