2007.05.31 How do I love thee? Underwear's not on list

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I e-mailed a friend recently that instead of popping over for a visit, I had to start chipping away at my mental to do list. I elaborated:  “Sometimes I don't write stuff down; I just keep on keeping on, doing the next thing. What doesn’t get done probably wasn't too high on my mental list so I don't even notice.

“When I write out a list I always end up doing lots of other stuff not on the list. Often, I write it on the list just so I have something to cross off. Other times I write out a list and then don't look at it until I should have done everything. That's the most interesting way to deal with lists. It's always funny (or puke-inducing) to see what you forgot to do.

“I have one of those lists going on right now. It's kind of a dangerous practice, especially because this is the list of things I need to do before leaving for Kentucky. It's kind of like not looking at your horoscope until the next day to see how accurate it was. I have to admit that this practice usually happens when I just plain lose the list.”

I never did find the list before leaving for Kentucky to attend Rozee’s boyfriend Taylor’s graduation from Berea College. But I did remember to do something that I think was on the bottom of the list, things to do in Berea, the arts and craft capitol of Kentucky: buy a present for a niece’s upcoming wedding.

I bought it at Taylor’s mother’s boyfriend’s store, one of the coolest in Berea, where Taylor’s mother Jackie was working. We perused the store, chatted with Jackie, paid for the gift, and then just as we were getting ready to say goodbye, I looked down and noticed my underpants were showing. I mumbled something, tucked myself in and hugged Jackie goodbye. As we walked to the car, I asked David and my daughters, “So, was my underwear showing the whole time we were in the shop and nobody told me?

“I thought it was a tanktop,” Rozee said regarding the exposure of my undergarment. “I didn’t think underwear could be that high.”

I have long suffered complaints from my husband about how high up my underwear go. And Maddie’s dislike for the size of my underwear is legendary. She’s the child who had a fit when it hung on the clothesline to dry, and didn’t see the humor in the truly gigantic pair of underwear Kym and Ali Ries secretly hung on the line as a joke after my column appeared about Maddie’s embarrassment.

I’m probably going to have to reconsider my choice of clothing. Either bigger pants or longer shirts or maybe prettier colors or patterns so the stark white cotton isn’t so noticeable—anything to keep from generating comments about my underwear. On the trip back to Michigan, as I was getting out of the car at a rest area, I leaned away from David, exposing my backside.

“Hey, your underwear are big,” David noted.

“You’re not supposed to say that!” I admonished him. “You’re supposed to say they’re showing.”

“They’re big,” he explained, I guess trying to dig himself out of a hole. “They cover a lot of area.”

I had problems with him and Maddie all the way home.

I get ornery when I don’t eat, but David and Maddie don’t want to stop for food. I start feeling sick and claustrophobic and mean and I tell them I’m not going to travel with them anymore. David is driving but he holds out his hand for me to shake on it. That makes me laugh, but I don’t feel much better. I want to stop at a restaurant. They want to eat what’s in the car.

”We have lots of food,” David says.

But I know we don’t. I’m the one who packed the food. I remembered it at the last minute. If I hadn’t lost my list I’m sure I would have remembered to pack good stuff. I probably would have remembered to make muffins or cookies for the journey. Instead, at the last minute, I threw into a grocery bag whatever was at hand: raisins, prunes, corn chips, Ak-Mak crackers, oatmeal for David’s breakfast, a jar of peanut butter, but no knife.

They won’t relent so I put in a request for prunes, which aren’t quickly forthcoming from the back seat.

“Did you find the prunes?” I ask Maddie.

She offers up the bag of raisins.

“Those are raisins,” I say. “I want the prunes.”

“They’re the same thing,” she says impatiently. “They’re just littler.

Kind of like how my underwear should be.

    –May 31, 2007 
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