Buying underwear is probably a simple process for most people. For me it becomes an ordeal of biblical proportions; I am incompetent at buying underwear.
I don't spend a lot of time thinking about underwear, or at least, not my underwear. I go commando style most of the time, so my need to buy underwear is infrequent. My last purchase was three or four years ago. Recently, however, some my underwear was eaten by the dryer, and some seems to have vanished into the void. This means it's time for new ones.
In order to buy underwear, I had to find out what size I needed. There are two possible ways to do this: I could either go to the store and try on a bunch of underwear, or I could ask someone who knows. I am far too lazy to try on a lot of underwear if I don't have to, so I called Susannah. Sus is my size and is more knowledgeable about these things than I am. I spent a couple of days trying to call without success, although my failure to leave messages probably didn't help. For some reason, I felt kind of lame leaving a message that said "hi, I need to know what size underwear I wear, and I wanted to hear about your honeymoon and stuff" but it's only mildly lame to say it when I got her on the phone, and it stopped being lame at all when I found out that she didn't know offhand. She dug through her underwear until she found some that had the size in them: 6 or medium, she told me, unless you're buying thongs, and then you want to buy them small so they don't ride up and cut into you. I'm not buying thongs, I said. One of the reasons I go commando all the time is because I don't want my underwear creeping up on me.
Next I call Amber and Andy's place. I figure that one or both of them will go with me to Target, and that neither of them will make fun of me for not knowing how to buy underwear, especially since I drive them around some. Amber and I go to Target. We get a cart. We head into the various underwear sections. What kind do you want? She asks me. I want ones with cartoon characters or rocketships or cool stuff on them, I reply. We go to the boys' section and find out that there's nothing big enough for me, and most of the underwear is lame. Then we go to the girls' section, and find that there is not only Hello Kitty underwear, but also Powerpuff underwear. None of it comes in my size, so we head to women's, which is called lingerie, which is a french word meaning that it's supposed to make you feel sexy or something.
There are no cartoon characters in the women's section. Apparently they are not sexy enough. There aren't even any Wonder Woman panties, and nothing with rocketships. After some looking, we found stuff in my size. 6 was the smallest size they had for prepackaged stuff, which means that there's nothing between the largest kids' size and an adult medium. I don't know what you do if you fall into this particular gap, which is not inconsiderable. Fortunately, I've gained weight since the last time I bought underwear, so I'm not in this gap anymore. Unfortunately, my troubles were still not over. Women's underwear comes in a variety of styles, which I mostly don't know the names for but will describe. For basic underwear like I was getting, you have a couple of basic options on a couple of basic things. You have to decide if you want your underwear to come to your hips or your waist, and if you want the leg holes to come to your hips or your waist. I opted for the hips on both of these, which is called bikini, apparently. Amber did not seem as weirded out by all of this as I was, which probably means that she's normal, or that she was making fun of me quietly. Probably she's normal, since she's not real shy about making fun of my lame ass.
Then I looked at the sizing on the packages, and found out that women's underwear is sized in a totally crazy way. Apparently they use the measurement from the widest part of the hips. Amber says this is so people can be sure they can get them on. I said who the hell knows how big around they are at the widest point of the hips? Finally women's clothing uses a measurement, and it's for something I had no idea anyone measured.
Next I had to pick colors, which is no small task since I wanted to get the 3 or 4 to a pack kind in colors that didn't suck. There were no cartoon characters, rocket ships, or even green ones available. There were none that said "you must be this tall to ride this ride", not that I was expecting ones like this but I keep hoping. My options were mostly white, pink, white with flowers, grey, and blue or light red, usually to match the flowers. I don't like flowers or white. Then I saw some packages that had red, black, and leopard print. Then I saw that they weren't my size. Then I saw some that were my size that had red, black, and what was probably supposed to be tiger striped in my size. Whatever. It was acceptable, not flowered, and not expensive.