As sometimes happens when you play fast and loose with laundry, I recently found myself in the ineluctable position of needing to take my dog for a walk but having no clean underwear. I debated either fishing them from the dryer and making do with soggy drawers or trying to rectify the situation by blowing one pair dry with a hair dryer — which is how you achieve lush, voluminous underwear. In the end, I vetoed both those ideas as far too uncomfortable and time-consuming. Instead, I did what I think any hero in my position would do: pulled on jeans and headed for the door.
What I discovered, which is the same discovery I made the last time this happened, is that I felt free, unencumbered and as if could have walked endlessly for miles without tiring. Is underwear fatigue a thing? Is that what I’ve experienced every other underwear-wearing day of my life? Because what I thought felt normal no longer feels normal, and I long to be free of these society-mandated undershackles. I have experienced freedom and bliss in the nether regions and don’t want to go back.
I know what you’re thinking — you’re thinking that perhaps my underwear doesn’t fit right and that’s why I am so much more comfortable without it. I can’t say whether you’re right or wrong (you’re wrong) but does anything fit quite so well as nothing? Extensive scientific research — and by that I mean my own experience of going without underwear one and a half times – has led me to think perhaps the human body was not meant to wear a smaller pair of pants under our pants.
Would you wear a glove under a glove? A hat under a hat? A sock under a sock? Whither our undergloves, underhats and undersocks? Now an argument could be made that a sock is actually an undershoe, but look at the sandal. Or the pump. Or any of Don Johnson‘s shoes in the ’80s. There are plenty of sockless shoes and far too few underpantsless pants.
As I say this, I can feel your judgment. Ladies are meant to wear underwear, you are thinking. And what’s more, you would probably say, I’m lucky to live in a time when underwear is slight and negligible as opposed to the days of yore when underwear was the size of a tablecloth and required those same people who brush your teeth with a stick to help you into and out of it.
I’m not sure about the brushing your teeth with a stick thing but I saw it in a wonderful documentary called “Shakespeare in Love,” so I’m pretty sure it’s true.
But back in the days of hoop skirts, crinoline, bloomers and stick-based dental hygiene, ladies didn’t really do anything other than fan themselves and occasionally fall onto fainting couches. Also they sat for portraits and giggled. Again, I’m no historian but I’ve seen the paintings. Ridiculously uncomfortable undergarments are fine when your entire to do list involves reclining. Today’s modern woman has a busy schedule of walking the dog, doing laundry, checking Twitter, fishing dog toys out from under the couch, arguing with her fiance about potential baby names (I’m not pregnant yet, but I am getting a head start on this one as apparently it’s going to take a lot of ironing out), ironing, driving, working, heating things up in the microwave and having the same conversation repeatedly about the opening credits of “Homeland“:
Him: Does Louis Armstrong have something to do with terrorism? What’s he doing in here?
Me: I think it’s that Carrie likes jazz.
Which is to say there’s a lot of movement and bending over and leaning and reaching. And movement is when underwear likes to strike. “Now! Go now! Climb up her butt; there’s no time to waste!” the underwear ringleader says.
This is why I encourage you to try going without underwear for just an hour and see if it isn’t both life-changing and life-affirming.