Thanks for Covering My Ass
by Ashley Ashbee
My friends call them "granny panties", these torn, flower printed, cotton panties I'm wearing. I call them undies – short for underwear, which, to me, implies that because they are UNDER my clothes, I shouldn’t care about what they look like. And neither should anyone else. My mom gave these undies and some Lego sets to me for my twelfth birthday. My sister got a training bra and Puff Daddy cd, which were apparently the cool things to get for your twelfth birthday. But I didn't care. I didn't have boobs and I hated Puff Daddy.
For me, the rite of passage to my pre-teen years was to graduate to the bags of these undies from the "big kids" section at Zellers, undies my mom wouldn't buy earlier because she said they wouldn't fit. But then I turned twelve. So long Snoopy underwear. Even when it occurred to me that these undies weren’t as cool as I had previously thought, I continued to wear them because they were just so damn comfortable.
I actually wore a pair of these undies to my elementary school graduation, even though my dress had one dangerously high cut slit on each leg. I folded the elastic of each leg of the panties and hoped that it would never show. Unfortunately, one picture from that night reveals pink elastic. I hoped that nobody noticed my underwear, but I didn’t think that anyone would have expected me to wear a thong anyways.
But as I found out when I entered high school, a lot of girls my age wore thongs, hiking them up, and pulling down their low-cut jeans. I, on the other hand, didn’t want anything to do with any kind of underwear you’d find in the Women’s section. So I folded my underwear down and pulled my bulky sweatpants up, a half-assed effort to conceal my ill-fitting, flower-printed, cotton secret. I sometimes think I should have purposely made my undies visible – a sort of protest against the pressure to grow up and show off your ass already. A signal to other girls that it’s okay be comfortable and not care about how firm your ass looks. If my butt could thank me for the loose protection and proper air circulation that only these undies I’m wearing can offer, I’m sure it would. No rashes or infections for me. Just the occasional elastic imprint around my belly.
The years went on and I stopped caring about whether people knew I still wore children’s underwear. It no longer mattered to me if some of the cotton flowers peeked out of my pants. Now, in university, students would probably make fun of anyone who hikes up a thong for the whole world to see. Lately, I have noticed quite a few cotton flowers peeking out of the pants of other students who enjoy complete ass coverage.
Most of the elastic in these undies I’m wearing is gone and there are holes everywhere in the stretched-out fabric. Maybe this is a sign that I have disregarded fashion for long enough. Loose and saggy after nine years of wear, these undies have finally started to fall apart. I know it's time to move on to tightier, skimpier undies, but I just can't seem to throw my favourite "granny panties" away. I refuse to sacrifice the extreme comfort that only my ripped undies can offer in exchange for a seamless bottom and a major wedgie.
Note: I have since purchased new underwear, but I can't say if it's more flattering.