Spring Cleaning Week is forcing me to confront my hoarding tendencies. I know that hoarding is a serious mental illness that causes severe problem for many people. I don’t mean to use the term with any disrespect. I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination. But let’s just put it this way: I can barely close my underwear drawer anymore. It’s getting to be a problem. I’m really good at buying new underwear, but not so much at throwing the old pairs away. Like, for instance, I still have a pair of paisley-printed, ’70s style briefs that my mother gave me in HIGH SCHOOL (I graduated from high school in 1996). They don’t fit anymore on account of the fact that they’ve been washed so many times that they no longer contain any elastic. They just fall right off my body. Yet, I can’t seem to bring myself to put them in the garbage can. They’re just so unique.
I attribute my out-of-control underwear collection to having moved across the country a number of times and having been forced to get rid of so much of my stuff. I think because underwear don’t take up that much space, and I couldn’t donate them to Goodwill where I knew they would find a good home, I justified keeping all of them. That, and I was instilled with the value that you should never throw anything away that you can still use. But I can no longer use undies that slide right off my body. It’s no longer acceptable to be wearing the same underwear at 34 that I did at 14. For assistance in cleaning out my underwear drawer (and maybe yours), I’ve made a list of which pairs to keep and which to toss. It’s happening…
1. The sexy, lacy thong. Because you still wear them all the time. Well, not really, only when you go on hot dates. But that counts.
2. The nude pair that goes under your white dress. Obviously.
3. Cotton thongs for the gym. As I have publicly stated, I wear cotton thongs when I do yoga or go to the gym. However, I’m tossing the ones that have lost their elastic.
4. The boy shorts that you sometimes wear to bed. When I need to do laundry and have run out of summer PJ bottoms, I wear these.
5. That really trashy pair that you break out on special occasions. No comment necessary.
6. Your unstained period undies. I have about four pairs of period undies that haven’t been ruined by my period. They are all red. Go figure. Anyhow, I’m keeping them.
7. The pair that fits you perfectly and makes you feel instantly confident and sexy. Patterend cotton from American Eagle!
8. The high-waisted shaping panties that are the only reason you can fit into that little black dress. I searched everywhere for the pair that would work under my party dress and never ever shall I dispose of them.
9. The thong you randomly bought at a rock concert 10 years ago. Amelia has a thong she bought at a Poison concert on their reunion tour that say “Poison Partied Here” on the crotch. She is not ALLOWED to get rid of those if you ask me.
10. The 100 percent unsexy, 100 percent comfortable classic cotton granny panties–sometimes they’re the only undies that feel right. After a long day I deserve to wear them. We all do.
1. The pair with the unravelling waist band. Let’s get really embarrassing here. I still have the pair that unravelled at my ex-boyfriend’s parent’s house. I felt too weird to throw them away and then I put them in my suitcase and brought them back home and kept them. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
2. The period undies with hideous stains. It’s gross and I know it.
3. The stretched out paisley pair that your mom gave you from the ’70s that you keep for sentimental value. See above. They have no elastic and fall right off my ass.
4. The underwear you were wearing when your last boyfriend dumped you. I call these “memory panties.” I have a lot of them. Goodbye.
5. The days of the week undies you bought in college because you thought they were cute. I can only find Wednesday and Friday. The rest of the week seems to have mysteriously disappeared. I think that’s a good thing because I’m too old to be wearing them.
6. The pair that your friend gave you as a joke for your 23rd birthday. They have a little cheerleader on them with the thoughts bubble “I’m 23!” I’m not 23 anymore. I’m not even 33 anymore. Depressing.
7. The pair you borrowed from your friend that one time you spent the night at her house. She definitely doesn’t want them back and they never fit you right anyway.
8. The pair that has never fit right. They were an impulse purchase from Victoria’s Secret in the early-2000s. They still have the tags on.
9. The too-small pair that you’re hoping to fit into someday. Self-flagellation does not need to exist in my underwear drawer.
10. The pair that guy you were dating bought you that you keep to feel good about yourself. He thought you were a size XS, which always makes you laugh your size M ass off. And on fat days, they boost your ego. You don’t need that ego boost anymore.