Column: Mentioning the umentionables

This is a brief column

My husband wasn’t keen on me writing about this one but I’m going to do it anyway. Like Pulitzer Prize winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said, “well-behaved women seldom make history.”

Sorry dear. Here goes.

If you’re a woman, and according to Statistics Canada, about half of you in Cowichan are, you’ve got a ton of underwear. Like a lot.

I’m not judging you men if you do, too. Sorry if you feel left out. But us females, boy do we have underwear for every occasion, am I right? From the classic briefs to bikinis, from boyshorts to thongs, and special drawers for special nights (I’m talking Spanx here ladies) to lingerie for the other kind of special nights, there’s something for every situation.

There’s the buy two-get-one from the likes of La Senza and the novelty ones you only wear under that one outfit. There’s the ones that seemed like a good idea at the time and realized later they were most certainly not a good idea, then there are the more practical ones you wear every day. There are the ones you’ve had so long the elastics are shot and there may or may not be holes in them. We all know what we use those ones for.

(And no doubt sometimes you skip wearing underwear entirely but hey, that’s your business, not mine.)

This is a story about one particular type of underpants, however, and it’s not on the aforementioned list.

A while back, my mom came to visit for a few days and much like every other visit, she brought a ton of stuff from the mainland from my sister: the usual hand-me-down toys and books and clothes for my kids that her kids have outgrown and some new stickers and whatnot. But this time there was something for me.

My sister had recently had cause to buy new underwear and picked up a three-pack of the “Hey, I’m just living my life here” plain old cotton type. I guess she over-estimated the size of her posterior because they were too big and because she likes to remind me how much larger my five-foot frame is than her four-foot-10 one, she sent them over to me. Nice of her right? Sort of.

I opened them up to find they were not at all my size either. Like so big I wondered what she was thinking when she bought them and if she was actually trying to prank me.

But they ended up in with the laundry.

Then in my drawer.

Then on me.

They’re so big it’s like wearing nothing at all. They bunch up like men’s boxers do above the waist of their jeans.

But somehow they got into my rotation and for some reason I can’t seem to get them out of the rotation.

I swear these giant things could fit an entire other person in them along with me. (Now there’s an idea!)

I admit to having a number of sweatpants and hoodies I can’t part with. They’re close to 20 years old and I just can’t let go, however ill-fitting they’ve become. But these granny panties have got to go.

Why am I even telling you this? To make you smile. Because they make me laugh every single time I pull them out. And I think that just might be the reason I can’t seem to let go.


Sarah Simpson is a reporter with the Cowichan Valley Citizen. She can be contacted at Sarah.Simpson@

Cowichan Valley Citizen