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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Honey, That’s What the Panty is For

My mother worked for Haines for years. 

And as I’m sure you’re aware, nothing beats a great pair of L’Eggs.

I grew up with a plethora of free pantyhose.  Not that this mattered to me, of course.  Pantyhose?  Who wore those, anyway?  Well, I do.  Now.  But then?  You might as well have offered me unlimited prune juice.

My mother is the knower of all things hose-related.  How to put them on without twisting one leg into a tourniquet (the toe is the key), how to pull them up over the ribs to avoid waist-line-dig, how to wash them and clean your nails at the same time...



It is spring again, and we are sitting around the table.  The sliding glass door leading out to the deck is open.  Too early for bugs, too late for frostbite, the air comes into the room like a welcomed visitor, someone coming in with coffee cake or a funny friend.

My mother has given one of her nieces, a teenager several years older than me, several pair of nylons.  Surprisingly, she is happy about this.

“You know how to put these on correctly, right?”

Teresa nods.  “My mom told me.”

My mother nods, approving. 

Teresa looks thoughtful.  “Aunt Midge, can I ask you something?”

My mother looks at her, cocks her head to one side.  I’m listening.

Teresa blushes softly.  “Do you wear underwear under nylons?”

My mother smiles.  She loves these questions.  “They used to just be stockings, you know.  You had to wear garters to hold them up.  But now they’re pantyhose, have a cotton crotch and everything.  So no, you don’t have to wear underwear.  That’s what the panty in the hose is for.” 

Teresa looks both incredulous and embarrassed. 

My mother leans across the table, puts her hand over her niece’s.

“Honey,” she says, “you don’t want to wear too many layers down there.”  She leans back, satisfied with her answer.


She rises, heads toward the fridge for the cheese tray.  “Yep,” she says, over her shoulder.  “You gotta let that stuff breathe.”

55 comments:

sage said...

It is so good to see you back in my blog roll, Pearl. And I love your funny takes on life and things I've never had to worry about. I am glad men are expected to wear panty hose, and I don't particularly like them on women, except for the real sexy type like with a line running up the back of the leg... but keeping all that straight would be too much :)

carolyn said...

So glad to see you back. Words to live by, you gotta let that stuff breathe. You are the best.

Eileen B said...

Yes. Welcome back!!!! And, yes. Old school here. I still wear pantyhose when I wear a nice skirt and heels. But then, I don't spent $50 on a pedicure so I don't feel the need to show off my toes although they look pretty good thanks to yoga. HEY EVERYBODY! Pearl is back!

Sioux said...

Pearl--I saw your post pop up on my sidebar and said, "HFFF--Holy Flying F*** Fish!" It's so good to see you're back.

And L'eggs. What memories those bring back.

I hope you're well and happy.

ThreeOldKeys said...

oh rats, i was doing it wrong. all those years wearing undies too.

miss pearl, it is a treat to read you today. i'm trying to cut down on exclamation points but this deserves at least three.

Anonymous said...

On Pearl I have missed your humour. This cracked me up and that is a very good thing. You know I was thinking and wondering how and where you were my friend. Hugs hugs B

Geo. said...

Delightful post. Delightful Pearl. You return and my education resumes.

haphazardlife said...

You're back!! I'm so happy.

I hate pantyhose. HATE them with a vengeance. I once told a guy who couldn't understand why I'd have a problem with them to imagine wearing a condom - from waist to toe. All. Day. Long.

He suddenly understood the discomfort.

Silliyak said...

Welcome back, much missed.

Joanne Noragon said...

Woo hoo, Pearl's back.
I used to wear French tap pants over my panty hose. I wonder if you can still buy them.

fishducky said...

Welcome back, funny lady!!

fmcgmccllc said...

L'Eggs and letting that stuff breathe. Words of wisdom.

Glad to see you back.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Been thinking it was time... and your timing is (as always) just so..
Welcome back darling Pearl... hugs YAM xx

Jacquelineand.... said...

The pantyhose primer, and Pearl!

My day is complete.

Marion Bulmer said...

Glad you are back with us, typing gems. I have missed you, but also understood your need to withdraw and concentrate on life for a while.

joeh said...

Oops! I seem to have accidently wandered into the ladies room...sorry.

Glad to see you back.

Daisy said...

Breathing is a good thing. :-) So nice to see you back, Pearl.

Elephant's Child said...

Add me to the chorus of welcome backs.
Mind you, IF I still wore pantyhose I would continue to wear knickers with them. Pantyhose are too synthetic for comfortable breathing.

Gigi said...

Oh sweetness! You've been on my mind and I've wanted to email you; but didn't want to intrude. Glad you are back.

Pantyhose. I despise them. You have no idea how elated I was once bare legs became the norm. But that might be because I didn't know about the toe trick. Or the pull them up past your rib cage trick. Doesn't matter; I've gone so long without pantyhose that I can't go back.

ellen abbott said...

I know, right! I tell my grandkids that and they are shocked. welcome back Pearl.

Vicus Scurra said...

Oh how we have missed you. I am glad no one has been so coarse as to mention artificial respiration.

Delores said...


Welcome back Pearlie Girl...you've been missed big time.
Wise woman, your mother.

Should Fish More said...

Ha! Good fade in.....next thing to a non-sequitur. In your absence I've decided to go for as few comments possible......you know, socialist ideas, hating guns etc.
See ya.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

You were missed, Pearl.

jenny_o said...

Oh, Pearl ... I'm glad you're back.

I wore pantyhose for years. Don't know how I did it.

Robbie Grey said...

Happy to see you're still about.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I have always been a wearer of pantyhose but I do wear undies with them my daughter do not wear them though but I can't imagine not wearing them, I also wear a pair of bike shorts with them as I have fat thighs and don't like them rubbing together

River said...

I'm so glad to see you back Pearl.
I always wore undies under pantyhose, because the first ones here in Australia didn't have the cotton crotch. For years all we got was the seamed nylon, a little uncomfortable without knickers. By the time the cotton gusset ones were available I'd given up on pantyhose altogether.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

That was really funny!

Launna said...

Nice to see you back Pearl... I'm a lover of tights but I'll have to start wearing panty hose again, now that it is Summer... as your mother says we need to let it breathe ... :-) xox

jeanie said...

I used to work on a hosiery account back in the bad-old-days of advertising.

The grey-haired moustachioed men around the meeting tables never gave me such advice...

Thanks Pearl, a public service announcement AND a laugh!

(BTW - I wear trousers - have a few unworn pairs in the top drawer "just in case" but as River says, we don't get cotton gusset here...

vanilla said...

When I saw the new title I actually exclaimed aloud, "Oh, my gosh. Pearl is back! Surely missed you, relieved and gratified to find you back and in fine fettle. Even if I am blushing a bit as I conclude reading.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

HA! That's such a liberated attitude! My mother even made us wear underpants beneath leotards and tights at dance class--we looked pretty padded. She was a huge prude.

Cheryl said...

Oh, Pearl, I hope you feel as if you've just walked into a roomful of friends and gotten lots of hugs. Seeing your post and knowing my grandbaby will be here soon makes it a special day. You've brought much cheer to a bunch of folks!

Ian Lidster said...

I so like your mom's attitude. Let it breathe indeed

Glen said...

:-) just like cheese - you gotta let it breathe -- I feel like I probably shouldn't be commenting on lady stuff and bits but hey ho - I have vague memories of my mother wearing undies below AND above tights - two pairs + Nylon - I think she felt that some things were best kept airtight

Catalyst said...

I can still see Joe Namath doing that commercial for Mani-Hose. Thanks for bringing back a bad memory, Pearl, but I'm glad you're back.

Linda O'Connell said...

PEARL! You're back. You have been missed. Yep, the doctor agreed with your mom. My worst panty hose experience was when I tugged the waist band and realized all the snug had left the fabric. It was a disaster...at a Christmas program.

Jocelyn said...

HOLY JEEBUS! "That's what the panty in the hose is for."

That one sentence sums up everything about my mom that didn't work for me. She never told me such stuff. She never would have NOT worn the panties beneath. She never would have let me feel I could ask.

I want Aunt Midge. NOW.

xxxo on you

Jocelyn said...

HOLY JEEBUS! "That's what the panty in the hose is for."

Your mom was everything mine wasn't and isn't. Open. Sweetly clarifying in practical ways.

I want Aunt Midge.

xxo on you.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

So glad to have you back, Pearlie! I've missed your writing so much - it felt like a little light had been turned off in my world.

Jono said...

Letting that stuff breathe sounds like a good idea. But I wouldn't know about that. Always up for learning, though.

Anonymous said...

Did your mother know mine?
At almost 94 she still gives me "handy hints"
I used to roll my eyes and shrug, now I listen to every word!
Thanks for the giggle.

Your new 72 yr old pal--sierra sue

Anonymous said...

I'm SO glad you're back!!

Rosemary Nickerson said...

can't help it....I still wear under pants with panty hose......

Jocelyn said...

I swear to high holy hell I left a comment here last week. Damn. Anyhow, obviously I think of you enough to have returned and sussed out my lack of calling card.

We, your readers, love you so heartily.
We, your readers, have missed you. Worried about you.
We, your readers, take this a post as a sign that you're righting yourself.
I, a reader, hope you'll give me a shout if you're ever not feeling right.

Rose Blackthorn said...

I could have used your mum's advise years ago.

I've been doing it all wrong, all these years.

*sigh*

the walking man said...

Well Mother always knows best. Too much layering could be a very time consuming task in a number of variable situations that come to mind.

Sarah said...

Pantyhose in general is not a healthy product, but I have to say L'egg's Silken Mist is the best if you have to wear one. I have ditched the hose years ago and go bare-legged even when wearing a skirt. Such a liberating feeling!

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Saya sangat bersyukur atas rahmat yg diberikan kepada saya dibulan ini karna alhamdulillah melalui MBAH RAWAIRE saya sekaran sudah bisa sukses atas nomor yg diberikan kepada saya dan saya yg dulunya cuma seorang TKW dari singapur yg gajinya tidak pernah mencukupi kebutuhan keluarga saya dikampun dan alhamdulillah berkat bantuan MBAH RAWAIRE kini saya sudah bisa pulang kampun,saya bersama keluarga dikampun sudah punya usaha sendiri dan saya tidak pernah menyanka kalau saya bisah seperti ini,jika anda ingin seperti saya silahkan hubungi MBAH RAWAIRE di nomor 085-316-106-111...karna alhamdulillah saya menan nomor togel dari MBAH dan kalau uang indonesia 750 juta,,ini bukan rekayasa dari saya dari IBU RISKA.untuk lebih lenkapnya silahkan buka SITUS MBAH RAWAIRE

injaynesworld said...

I soooo remember panty hose. But I always wore panties with them. Clearly, I did not get the memo. Now the only ones I wear are attached to Spanx. And yes. I still wear panties.

Chickens Consigliere said...

My college room mate did not wear underwear under her hose. I thought she was crazy but I guess I'm the crazy one!

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Pearl, I had forgotten your sign-off and so came looking for you. I was glad to find this post and hope there will be more. But take the time you need. All the best.

Watson said...

Was just thinking of you Pearl, and wondering how you are. so I checked your blog and was so glad to see your post. I wonder if I ever met your mother at Haines! I remember shopping there. And I remember when L'Eggs first came out.
Sending hugs and good wishes from Barbara and Watson

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Pearlie, pearlie, where are you? We miss you so much. Our lives are dull without your great stories. I do hope you and the cats are doing well.