My Week 260: Wardrobe Malfunctions

On Wednesday, I decided to do some laundry. When I went to take the clothes out of the dryer, it turned out I was missing a pair of underwear. This may sound like a First World problem, but it was my FAVOURITE pair of underwear (see Week 239 for more details), so it’s more akin to having my donkey go lame or having my crops ruined by drought. And it also begs the question: what the hell happened to my underwear? I’m pretty sure it went INTO the dryer, so what happened to it? Is there really an alternate universe where a strange little man says “Ooh, that’s just lovely. Feel that fabric! I MUST have this special underwear which is most certainly somebody’s favourite!” and then you never see it again?

Notice those gaping maws…

I checked the washing machine AND the dryer at least twice more and there was no sign of it. Then I searched my closet—same thing. Then I backtracked and followed my path from the laundry room up to the bedroom (I may or may not have stopped in the kitchen for some liquid refreshment to comfort myself over the loss). But now I’m worried that maybe it’s hiding in a pair of pants or a sweater or something, and that it will re-appear at an embarrassing moment. And while this may seem like a long-shot, believe me it’s not—I’ve had it happen before…

October, 1991: Ken and I had moved to Thunder Bay so that he could go to teacher’s college. I couldn’t find a paying job—there were 3 rounds of interviews just to be a waitress—so I started volunteering at a local public school. I went there every morning to help students in the “Literacy Centre”, which was, in reality, a small room with one computer. On the way to school that fateful morning, I was on the sidewalk in front of the building when I looked down and realized that the toe of a pair of pantyhose was peeking out from my pant leg. I stopped. The best way to remove it seemed to be to just pull on it. This was, of course, easier said than done, and I stood there for several minutes, bent over, tugging, hopping, and wriggling around until the offending piece of laundry was finally extricated from my trousers. I shoved it in my pocket, and went into the school. When I got into the “Literacy Centre”, the teacher I was volunteering with asked me, “Um…what were you doing outside?”

I explained that I had an issue with a misplaced pair of pantyhose, and asked, “Why? Could you see me?”
“Yes,” she replied, “Yes, we could.”

We?! Who the f*ck was WE?! Well, it turned out that she had been in the grade 2 classroom next door, and she, along with 25 seven-year-olds, watched out the windows in gleeful fascination at my bizarre behaviour. Of course, they couldn’t see the pantyhose from that far away–all they could see was me doing an insane dance on the sidewalk. Thankfully, I was able to produce the nylons from my pocket to prove that I wasn’t drunk, or hallucinating about being attacked by a swarm of bees. But that’s not the only time I’ve had problems with underwear and sidewalks…

March 1998: I was about 5 months pregnant, and was getting very uncomfortable with a variety of articles of clothing. I’d resorted to wearing flannel shirts and sweat pants a lot, but I had to give a workshop in Dundas. I found the only dressy clothes that still fit me and put them on in an attempt to look professional. Ken offered to drive me, since I had no idea how to get to Dundas, and this was long before the days of GPS. On the way home, I was feeling all twisty and itchy, and I said to Ken that I really wanted to take off my bra. He said, “Go ahead. NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW.” (When you read that last line, pretend that it was said very ominously, and that it was accompanied by a roll of thunder or an echo or something.) Taking his advice, I wriggled out of the bra and tossed it aside. A while later, we were going through the small town 5 minutes down the road from where we lived, and we decided to stop at the local video store. “I can’t go in,” I said. “I’m not wearing a bra.”

“Just put on your raincoat,” said Ken. “NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW.” (This time, pretend that he laughed maniacally and that everything went red and flame-y for a second.)

Again, taking his advice, I put on my raincoat, and in we went to peruse the shelves of VHS tapes. Suddenly, the door opened, and this huge guy wearing a red lumberjack jacket and work boots stomped in. And he was TWIRLING MY BRA AROUND HIS FINGER.

“Hey, Darlene,” he laughed, as he addressed the video store clerk. “Is this yours? I found it on the sidewalk outside the store.”

“Not mine!” answered the clerk. “And it wasn’t there when I went out for a smoke a few minutes ago!”

And then, like a slow motion nightmare, they both turned and looked directly at me. In that moment, I had a choice—I could lie, and everyone would know I was lying, or I could salvage what dignity I had left. So I stalked over to the guy, grabbed my bra out of his grubby hands, and walked out of the store. Well, it was an expensive bra. Ken and I tried to piece the whole mystery together, and all we could figure is that, when I tossed the bra aside twenty minutes earlier, it must have landed on the floor of the car, and it caught on my heel when I got out, leaving Joe Lumberjack to retrieve it. Needless to say, we never went back to that store again.

In conclusion, I need to find my underwear before it finds me.

Also, I recently had a humorous article featured in Women Writers, Women(s) Books on “Questions You Should Never Ask A Writer”. It’s light-hearted and you can read it here.


64 thoughts on “My Week 260: Wardrobe Malfunctions

  1. I’m a little disappointed you walked out before Lumberjack Joe could say “I thought the bra was one of mine but it’s not my size. It’s very nice, though. Is it Bali?”
    And I like it that you had an interesting, If unintentional, introduction to the classroom where you were volunteering. Those kids have probably never forgotten you.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. First off I want to come right out and say that I have never accidentally lost my bra outside a video store. Not once. Now that that’s on the record…

    Second, you have a great set! LG makes a spectacular washer and dryer, though they are prone to casting random articles of clothing into alternate universes and into the hands of strange little men. They are always men, always strange, and always little. To get your stuff into the hands of a 15th-century dragon buy a Whirlpool.

    Next, your walk back through time walked me back through time and you made the 90s sound like the middle ages. No GPS? Video store? That was only TWENTY YEARS AGO! How has the world changed so much in so little time and why haven’t we, like, freaked the fuck out?!

    Sorry, talking Tom down…

    But, seriously, what in the world will the world look like 20 years from now? What other ubiquitous (Paul would be so proud I used that word!) things we take for granted will be gone? Computers? They will be in our eyelids or contacts or something. Washers and Dryers? Maybe everything will be single wear in 2039. Underwear?! I mean, there is only a finite number of those and they could ALL be in the hands of strange little men in alternate universes by then!

    Irregardless (Dylan would be so mad I used that word!), you created another masterpiece that made me laugh and think and like and respond (twice!). But I’ll leave you with this one last thought:

    Those kids are 25 35-year olds now. 🤯

    Where does the time go…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I lost the perfect lavender colored thong in the fall of 2007. It was eventually found in July of 2008. Sadly there was an “accident” and Violet (as she was affectionately known) got stuck underneath the agitator of the washing machine. Sometimes we just have to move forward knowing things will never be what they once were, deepest condolences on your loss.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So sorry about your underwear! I hope you find it soon. Maybe, just maybe, in some weird strange way a wild wind whipped through your washer/dryer ducts somehow and sent just your underpants to the roof? Just trying to think outside of the box:)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh dear, I have those kinds of laundry snafus all the time. Once I gave fresh sheets to my inlaws which had panties static-clinging to their insides. I blame Sean, but do not forgive the laundry gnomes either.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is brilliant, and yes, you need to find them fast!
    She won’t thank me for sharing but the only story I have to share remotely close to this is my Mum’s, whilst we were on holiday. Whilst paying for some souvenirs at a small (but busy) store, my mum reached inside her bag for her purse, and managed to pull it out with a sanitary towel attached! It was hilarious at the time, to me at least!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve had the underwear sticking out the bottom of the pant leg thing happen. Thank god nobody was around. I loved the image of the pantyhose so much, I could totally picture it, like a clown pulling the neverending handkerchief from his pocket!

    Really loved your writer Q&A piece, too! The money thing always cracks me up. How much money do I make from writing? Let me buy you a dinner out at Applebee’s and we can discuss…wait. That’s actually just how much money I’ve made this year from writing. Enough to take someone to Applebee’s! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am convinced there’s a black hole that sucks random pieces of clothing from our possessions. Somewhere in the galaxy or maybe beyond, is an amazing planet containing a vast variety of underwear, socks and poorly knitted scarfs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I awoke in bed one morning completely naked from the waist down; after frantically searching for my pajama pants, I discovered they were wrapped around my neck like a scarf! Not sure what went on that night, but I’m sorry I missed it!

    Liked by 1 person

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