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And while the future's there for anyone to change, still you know it seems it would be easier to change the past

by anna at 06:41 PM on February 23, 2004

Along about the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, I make my annual trek downtown (well actually, the local mall) to visit Victoria’s Secret. To avoid the crowds I usually do so well in advance. But this year I procrastinated. On February 14 at 10 AM, the store opened its gates. A swarm of guys, myself included, were waiting outside. You all know how comfortable I am in the company of men. It’s only worse when they’ve got skimpy lingerie on their minds.

I watch them paw tacky black or red teddies and bodices. I know their SOs will deeply resent these gifts. Really, these are gifts for themselves. And forget those pushup bras when your gal is in her forties. The implication is awful. So I steer clear of more risque stuff in favor of a more conservative set of pajamas. There’s a long, impatient line to check out. Guys are holding these frilly garments as if they were slathered in radioactive waste. They’re thinking about how convenient that crotch snap will be. They are deluding themselves. Their wives and girlfriends will wear the revealing negligees right after they parade into a maximum security prison clad only in stiletto heels.

Now Vicky’s garb comes in hideous boxes emblazoned with pink stripes only Trysta the former Bachelorette could love. They top this presentation off with a black bow. Usually I ask the clerk to tie it for me. But with the line that long and surly, I didn’t feel I could. I am driving home with this sinking angst over the prospect of having to tie a bow.

Back when it was still acceptable to say derogatory things about other people, I was branded as “uncoordinated.” This term lies somewhere between the highfalutin English word “ungainly” and the more common “oafish.” My sister drilled this idea into my head. “You’re a guy. How can you be so damn uncoordinated,” she’d ask.

I’m particu1arly bad when it comes to tying knots and such. Boy Scouts for me was a living hell. To this day I can’t tie a clover hitch or whatever it is it’s called. (My son inherited this aversion to knots. He can tie his shoes but not tightly. Aside from nursing a toddler who is standing up, there is no feeling quite like tying someone’s shoes when they tower over you. Thank God for Velcro stays.)

So I’m sitting there with this rectangular, pink-striped box and the bow with an elastic string tucked inside it. The bow is too long to fit snugly wrapped once around the box, but it isn’t long enough to go around twice. Somehow, I surmise, you’re supposed to use the secret elastic string to make it work. I’m sure this involves twisting the damn thing in some deft way. I fumble with it for a full fifteen frustrating minutes. If I hadn’t broken the string, I’d probably still be languishing in bow hell. Imagine my humiliation when I presented my wife with her conservative pajamas in the hideous box with a mangled bow hanging limply around it. To say nothing of the exposed secret string. Bah!

When I was working on the acid-gobbling paint crew, one of my assigned tasks was to lash down the ladders. After work we were out on the Beltway, inching along one of the most crowded roads this side of Tokyo. Picture the chaos when a 45-foot extension ladders comes careening off the truck into oncoming traffic. Or the reaction when three tripping painters come bounding onto a six lane highway to retrieve it.

My painting career had come to a screeching halt. But my wife sure did love her conservative pajamas. She even wore them to bed once. Or maybe that was me.

comments (11)

Good call, Anna. Lingerie is best bought by the person who's going to wear it. And who can argue with overpriced pajamas from Victoria's Secret (or anywhere else)? Somehow the extra bucks make the flannel feel fuzzier, I swear.

A week before Valentine's Day I did underwear shopping at Victoria's Secret. I got really boring cotton underwear at a great price, 5 for $20. Even so, they asked me if I wanted a gift box. I was like, no thanks, it would be pretty sad of me to gift box my own granny panties.

by jean at February 24, 2004 3:19 AM

I guess in theory you might have been buying them for a sister, gal pal or lesbian lover. And yeah, at $58, they'd better be nice, comfy PJs. Yet the cashier asked me if I wanted a gift receipt. I always find that a little insulting.

by anna at February 24, 2004 7:45 AM

That's pretty funny about the tripping paint crew. I had a similar experience with my buddy Shawn when we were about twenty. We worked for a landscaping company and both of us were foremen. We were bored one day and decided to trip at work due to the dullness. Well, we got pretty thirsty and went to the store for some refreshments. We had a load of trees on the back of the truck but didn't think twice about it. We were going up a busy avenue when the load shifted. A couple of trees fell over the side but the balls kept them from falling completely out. Here we are tripping balls and the trees are smacking signs on the side of the road as we drove. All you could hear was a loud "CLANG" every time we went by a sign. The funny thing is that Shawn never stopped. I almost threw up I was laughing so hard. Well we made it to the store with no serious mishaps and secured the trees. Those were the days.

by Ezy at February 24, 2004 10:39 AM


I got a bunch of naughty lingerie for Vday & I liked it... two of the 5 items had buttterflies, and... oh forget it. But then, I'm not really your typical woman. I thought I was being selfish for essentially telling him I wanted lingerie.

DAMN! Yet another crazy Anna story, thrown in there like nothin! So none of the cars hit the ladder??

by Linz at February 24, 2004 3:13 PM

Great story Ezy. It's amazing that anyone would decide to trip @ work. It's funny Linz but I kind of predicted you'd say that. Cuz, as you said, you're not real typical. A couple cars did run over the ladder and it also struck one car before it hit the pavement. The foreman was Pissed. He was like, "what are y'all laughing about?" If he only knew.

Here's another horrific story: In HS my girlfriend was hanging out of a car window somewhat like Ezy's trees, only in the passenger compartment. To avoid an object in the road the driver swerved too close to the curb and she struck her head on a telephone pole.

by anna at February 24, 2004 6:26 PM

What happened to her?!

by jean at February 25, 2004 2:26 AM

Amazingly she survived. I only mentioned it because, with the advent of pre-spring here, I saw a kid doing just that yesterday. As with the drug discussion on Blank's post, I wanted to scream @ him.

by anna at February 25, 2004 8:00 AM

Doesn't it constantly amaze you the stupid things kids will do-- and live through? It's insane that she survived. She's blessed by/with something...

The discussion going on at Blank's post is definitely interesting. But I try to never lower my estimation of someone because of something she'd/he'd done in the past. Doing that makes you liable to be surprised by something they do tomorrow.

Although, I suppose, if I were hard-headed about it, I shouldn't be allowed to raise my estimation, either. That part is sad but probably true.

by jean at February 26, 2004 3:03 AM

"She's/he's", I mean. For Eviltom, wherever he is.

by jean at February 26, 2004 3:05 AM

In response to the title of your article:

"It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow."

Ella http://www.serge-lingerie.com/fine-lingerie/index.html

by Lingerie Girl at May 6, 2004 2:26 PM

but how the fuck do you tie the damn bow?!

by Cory at October 9, 2004 7:59 PM

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