Thursday, October 11, 2012

Rinsing out a few things...

One of the things I detested more than anything growing up was ironing clothes.  My dad was an Operating Engineer who drove heavy equipment to build roads.  He wore Khaki pants and shirts and in those days, the fabric was stiff and hard to iron. On the weekends, he donned cotton chambray shirts which were equally difficult to remove wrinkles. Also on my list of dreaded chores was hanging out wet clothes on the line. There were 5 kids in our family, so naturally this task was a daily grind. Hanging sheets was easy...they were big and didn't need many clothes pins.  However, socks and underwear were a different story, not to mention actually "touching" your brothers' shorts was creepy for a 10 year old.

me, before I could reach the clothesline...

Most of us like to keep our underwear to ourselves.  Men don't really have a thing for underwear, other than choosing the right "style", i.e. boxers, tidy whiteys, etc.  Women, on the other hand, are expected to own pretty underthings.  We spend billions of dollars every year on pretty lace bras and panties that never see the light of day. Some of us only bring out the man catchers for special occasions, opting for the sturdy, full body cotton comfort briefs for everyday.

I had a whole drawer of those cotton granny panties a few years back, but in a hysterical fit of ugly underwear enlightenment one morning I threw them all in the trash and promptly went shopping. $250 later, I had a whole drawer full of pretty little nothings.  Men, on the other hand, don't give a rip if the elastic band is only attached by a few threads or that they sport a few just isn't a big deal.

One of the interesting things I learned while traveling In Europe is that people don't seem to care who sees there underwear.  They hang them proudly on clotheslines over their windows, over their balcony rails, and even high above the narrow streets. Clothes dryers are a luxury in many families. Either that or their underthings are so expensive that air drying on the line is preferable.

This must be a man's house...

On one occasion during our travels, Dave and I sat leisurely drinking our wine in the Cinque Terra, gazing at the view of the surrounding city. The gentle breeze was a welcome escape after the 100 billion steps we climbed to get to the town itself.  Across the rooftops we caught a glimpse of undies drying on a second story apartment terrace.  Right at that very moment, the wind caught a pair of panties, ripping them off the rail.  They floated through the air for a second then landed precisely on the door jam of the apartment below.  And there they hung. Maybe it was the wine, but we were laughing so hard just thinking of the moment the neighbors decided to go outside!

(Bottom of the photo) They look like big white granny panties to me....

Not to be prudish, but if my undies were floating above the neighbor's door, I'd be horrified. But I'm thinking, we Americans may be way too hung up about our underwear. When you look at some of the young women today with their bras hanging out and their thongs creeping up above their low ride jeans, you may disagree. But all in all, you don't see a lot of clothes hanging out in the yards of suburbia. And truthfully, even though I love my LG dryer, I do rather miss the fresh smell of clothes dried in the country breeze...just have nowhere to put it.

Laurel. City dweller with Downey.

Sharing today with

Jenny Matlock
U is for underwear


  1. Oh, funny! I remember having to hang out the clothes when I was a kid-- we hung the undies on the inside of the umbrella type line to hide them from the neighbors!!

  2. Ironing is too, a unloved chore. You are so right about us Americans being 'hung up' on showing/not showing our underwear. Just when you think you have seen it "all", there is another way to display it, unappropriate manner, to my taste.

  3. What a great story. I would have been laughing hard too!
    "city dweller with downey"....Great line. :)

  4. Great story ....very amusing / loved it : )

  5. Great post! I don't really iron clothes. Just hang them up and hope for the best ;-)

  6. I love your story! I can just imagine the panties floating in the wind!

  7. My dad used to hang our bra's out on the front porch if we left them in the bathroom. It was his way of embarrassing us for not taking care of our stuff.

  8. I am seriously campaigning for a clothesline right now...I detest paying power to run the dryer. Love the pictures.

  9. I'm a grandma undies wearer and nightgowns. And I've done it since I was 25 . . . PROUDLY!!

  10. oh i love this post. it made me laugh to remember being a 14 year old girl who lived in the apartment across from the boy i had a mad crush on.
    my mother hung out laundry one day, including a pair of red bikini underpant with black polkadots that belonged to me. this was when bikini underwear first came out. i was mortified to look out the window and see him standing in his yard looking up at my underpants!!!

  11. Some people have no trouble airing their dirty laundry.

  12. Your post put a smile on my face, and I actually smiled out loud! Great U post!

  13. i have to say i'm definitely in the 'embarassed' camp... unfortunately my mother is not and i have yet to break her of the habit of hanging mine outside.
    thank you for the post, i laughed :D


  14. That story is wonderful and entertaining, Laurel. Have a blessed weekend :)

  15. I believe we Americans are hung up about many things in comparison to the Europeans. Love these shots. xo

  16. hahaha...reminds me of that song by Barenaked Ladies... "I made you say underwear" is in the always makes me laugh...the song, that is! :)

  17. I am firmly against punative underwear, opting for pretty, but sensible panties and bras. Actually, I wish that ALL panties and bras were made in one color--gray! They turn that color eventually, anyway!!

  18. I love this post!

    And I love that you threw everything out and bought 'pretties'.

    Sometimes I buy matching but then end up wearing unmatched!

    And I've never been shy about hanging them out on the line!

    Thanks for a fUn link to the letter U.



Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate all those who share and leave their comments very much. Laurel

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