100 Pairs of Panties

Sep 25 2012

My kid owns more than 100 pairs of panties.

More than.

Like, 109 or 120 or 2,300 or something.

We sorted clothes for the start of school, an annual chore I mentally schedule for July and accomplish no later than oh-crap-it’s-September, when I noticed one kid’s panty pile growing to mountainous proportions. Curious, I started counting pairs, tossing them one at a time into an old, broken Ivar’s clam chowder box.

I stopped counting at 100 because the chowder box was full.

At one hundred.

One hundred pairs of panties, folks. For just the one little tush.

I decorated my front porch with a few dozen this morning because I’m too cheap to decorate with pumpkins while the prices are still high, and also so, you know, you could witness a bit of the insanity.

Honestly, with that many unders, if my kid changed them every day she could go 3 months without needing to do laundry.

Three months. Probably longer.

Every once in a while, the ridiculousness of managing clothing for a family of seven smacks me in the face with a giant chowder box of panties, and I wonder how did this happen?

Of course I know.

My kid has a big sister. The big sister has friends. And they all hand their clothes down to the littler kid.  As they should. (And whew!) Fortunately for our family of trillions, we live in the Pacific Northwest where repurposed everything, rabid frugality and the extra-sanitary cycle on my energy-efficient washer are considered heroically green rather than grody.

But the chowder box is making me wonder. What does the Western world do with all its leftover, wearable underwear? I mean, other than the thousands of people who give them to me. You can’t give unders to Goodwill, can you? Can you? And if not, then what? Make a quilt? Window sconces? Oven mitts?

Friends, I need somebody to let me in on your undie-management secret. STAT. ‘Cause I’m beginning to seriously consider opening a handmade scrunchy business on Etsy. I’ve got supplies that’ll last years. 


P.S. A mom friend from SoCal who has, you know, standards recently asked me what I thought: “Hand-me-down shoes, yes or no?”

I didn’t understand the question.

What is this “or no?” I thought. This should read as a statement: “Hand-me-down shoes: YES.”

It took me a few minutes.

So. You see why I need your help, yes or no? (You see why I need your help: YES.)