I am going to go out on a limb here and assume that I am not the only one who had a mom who said, "You need to wear clean underwear in case you get in a car accident."
As a young girl, I never understood this. Anytime my mom would say this to me, I would be struck with the vision of me bloodied and slashed from a wreck, lying on an operating table as a nurse cuts off my clothes to prep me for surgery. The nurse would remove my pretty pink skivvies and shout in horror to the surgery team, "Cari does not wear clean underwear!" At which point, the doctors would refuse treatment for such an unsanitary little girl.
I would also be stricken with silent fear when riding in a vehicle and having a "near miss" accident. My chest would tighten and fear would race through me anytime my Mom slammed on the brakes and I realized I was wearing underwear that said "Monday" on the butt when it was actually Wednesday. Would I get the chance to explain to the doctors that I just grabbed whatever pair was at the top of the pile? Would anyone know that I did in fact have on clean underwear before I died in a fiery crash?
I had a very active imagination as a child. And even now as a big child.
Needless to say, my mom's advice on underwear was one of the biggest sources of stress in my life until I hit junior high and had to worry about dating and boys (Little did I know that years down the road the issue of presentable underwear and boys would come together as a big child stress.)
I never forgot my mom's advice and now work hard to keep a nice stock of underwear. If there are small holes, fraying fabric, shot elastic or any other flaw that makes them less than lovely, I throw them out. The last thing I want is to be in an accident with underwear that could be deemed as unclean (Same standards applies to being at happy hour.)
A little over a week ago, I was gifted with a rare Sunday off. I decided to make the most of it by walking around town, hitting up specialty grocers and making a great meal. It was a beautiful August day so I wore my favorite summer casual black sundress. As I am walking up Halsted street in Boystown with my bags loaded with groceries, I look up at the sky at the Blue Angels soaring as a part of the annual Air & Water Show.
Suddenly, I have that terror stricken realization of, "This is how I die!" as I see the pavement racing towards my face as I walked off the curb in my distraction.
I lay on the ground for the quick moment as a nice couple scramble to grab my renegade produce rolling away. I feel a draft as I realize my dress is up above my hips and my ass is on total display for everyone walking and driving by. Fortunately, I listen to my mom and felt little shame over flashing my black skivvies with cupcakes on them and the word "SUGAR" written in glitter letters across the rump. I did, however, feel a lot of shame of the scratches and blood on my left side, so I got up, grabbed my bags and walked home as quickly as I could, embarrassed from taking a fall but proud of the fact I listened to my mom and had clean underwear on.
The real downside to my trip was where it happened. Hundreds of streets in Chicago, and I had to flash my ass in the one community that is loaded with men that could not give a shit about seeing a half-naked woman in the street. Next time, I need to coordinate my fall in a neighborhood with more straight men...
But not before I get a pair of skivvies with my phone number screen printed across the bottom.