I remember seeing my mother as she would get dressed, and noticing that her underwear had holes in it. My mother, who also had five children. I remember even asking her once why she didn't just get new underwear? (Which I now realize means that I was following her around in her closet, the bathroom, her bedroom. She probably just wanted to get dressed for the day in peace, and here I am, being a little @$$hole, asking her a question that only further solidifies her annoyance at the situation. Trapped by small humans.) She kind of laughed, one of those, "ha, you don't have the time for me to explain nor the capacity to understand, and it's all basically because of you, but thanks for asking" kind of laughs, and abbreviated the response to the frequent parent default of: "because." I didn't get it. Underwear isn't overly expensive. I knew we had the money. I'd seen it in a lot of stores. It really seemed affordable and readily available, so why is she still in tattered old undies!?
I get it now. Boy, do I. Get. It.
I am down to my final 2 bras. If you can even call them that. The
elastic is shot. The wires completely warped, and totally threatening to
poke through at any given moment. This is not for lack of trying. I
have purchased 4 bras in the past couple months. 2 simply don't fit
right, and the other 2 broke in some way, shape or form, during the
first or second wear. I'm not altogether sure those ones fit either, anyway. I hate all my underwear, and am probably throwing a pair away weekly, because I decided I would never wear underwear with holes. Half of it doesn't fit either. So...any day now, I will either be going commando or doing my own laundry daily. We can ALL guess which one of those is more likely...
Why would I purchase a bra or underwear that doesn't fit, you might ask?
Because, 5 kids.
I'll start with the obvious. Having 5 kids, means 5 pregnancies. Means 5 times breastfeeding. Means 5 times, during which my size has shifted significantly in less than a year. So, yeah, I have no *$%#ing clue what size I am. To this day, I don't even know. And I may never know, because I'm still losing weight (hopefully). In all honesty, I'm not real confident that I even HAVE a "size". And if I DID, let's say, actually have a size, how on earth would I go about finding that out? With 5 kids? Because I know your thoughts here: Hey, Erin, you can actually "find out" your "size" by going into a store that sells these type of items and trying THEM ON. Done. Right?
Absolutely, wrong. There is no way, on God's green earth, I am inviting ANY one of those children into a teeny, tiny dressing room, while I try on bras or underwear. Not happening. This would be disastrous and mentally scarring for ALL those involved. Not to mention that 4/5's of my brood are boys. So, any bra purchasing, shopping or trying on, must be done alone. Can anyone venture a guess as to how frequently I get out shopping? ALONE!? It happens. A few times a week, for 20-30 minutes while I dash to Target over lunch to buy my son a basketball for his first practice tonight. While I buy items for the homeless for their school stewardship's. While I get food so they can have a lunch, or breakfast because this morning when the nanny walked in and opened the fridge to get them breakfast, she jokingly (but for reals) said, "pickin's are slim". Some weekends, I might even get a couple hours. But in those 2 hours, I visit 5 stores gathering the many needs for my family of 7, and items much higher on the priority list than an undergarment that no one sees, except for me. Well, and my kids, you know, when they won't leave me alone while I am try to get dressed in peace. And, maybe my husband, but, well...TMI.
I have so much to do on these alone-shopping miracles that the thought of wasting 30 minutes to pick out some under garments, get in a dressing room, undress completely and try them on is absolutely THE LAST thing I feel like doing. So, what do I do? I find a bra, I guess my size. I stand in the isle stretching it over my shirt on my chest to see if the cup size seems right, and I say, meh, this should work. I take it home. I wear it for a day. It hurts. It breaks.
I'm back to square one.
Perhaps, one of these days, I will make it a priority. Until then, everyday, when I'm putting on my pathetic bra, and my extremely worn underwear, I'll continue to think of my mother. And how I know now EXACTLY why she wore underwear with holes in it.
Because, 5 kids.