Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The tale of the good son who bought his mother new panties.
Now that Mother Cookie is out of the hospital and in a physical therapy center, I can unburden myself of the tale of having to buy my mother underwear.
You see, Mother Cookie was so besides herself and in shock from hearing the world “cancer” that all she packed for the hospital stay was a puzzle book, pen, toothbrush, toothpaste, lipstick and her FDS. The FDS reminded me of the last time we went through a cancer scare about ten years ago: on that occasion she got her Alberto VO5 confused with the FDS. Mother's hair smelled springtime fresh, but her nether regions went all crispy on her.
This left her literally only with the clothes on her back and one set of undergarments. And this time the scare wasn't a near miss, but the real thing and treally bad. This meant a protracted hospital stay.
On day two of her stay, she announced that she “need clean pants” she said.
But, I pointed out, you have the hospital gown. Out of head from the morphine and all the other pain killers, she hoisted the sheet, and showed her pantiless self. (A note to any of you who may design hospitals: you really need to add a wet bar with good liquor – for medicinal purposes only, of course – to each patient room.) After recovering my composure, I was forced into action and went shopping for underwear for my mother.
Men, if you have never gone shopping for granny panties, you have no idea what it is like.
First of all, its not women’s underwear; its “lingerie”. Secondly, like all women’s departments, the lingerie section is just one big mess. There is no rhyme or reason as to how it is laid out. Different vendors may have their racks, but it’s every man for himself, so to speak.
So I found the oldest woman working in the undergarment section and we played twenty questions:
How’s your mother shaped?
Is she hippy? Large bottom?
I never really noticed?
Does she like a European cut?
Are you sure?
I think so.
"She could be a 5 or a 6. You know once you buy these there is no returning them," she advised me.
So we found granny panties, in white cotton and told my helper this would do. She frowned.
“Look,” she says, “All women, even your mother like to ‘feel pretty’. You don’t feel pretty in white panties. Buy her something with a little color. Hot Pink, pastels, but not the white unless it’s got some lace. It’ll make her feel better. Trust me.”
I almost gagged. The idea of buying my mother underwear was creepy, the act of buying her leopard lingerie made my flesh turn cold and clammy.
“Suit yourself.,” says my helper.
So I take the article home and we wash them, fold them and take them to my mother. I hand her the bag.
“What’s this?” she asks. “White? Didn’t they have any with flowers? Didn’t they have any red or hot pink?” She looked at me. “I’m not dead…yet.”
She may not be dead yet, but during that underwear expedition I died of embarrassment a thousand times over.
So when we were able to go to her house and get her real clothing, I raided her underwear drawer with great abandon, stuffed as many of the items as I could into her bag, which I presented to her feeling a great victory wash over me.
Mother held up the reddest pair in the lot and gleefully shuffled off to the bathroom to change into them.
This leaves me with a question – when did I become the old fuddy duddy, and my 86 year old mother the young kid?