Skip to content

Post Traumatic Panty Syndrome

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a bona fide fiancé, must be in want of a shower. Or ten.

Not sure how your weekend went, but unless you had panties hanging from your curtain-rods, mine is the clear winner.

One of my nieces threw a lingerie shower for another one of my nieces and as my daughters’ generation moves inevitably onward with the business of growing up, I am lucky to still be considered cool enough to play hostess to some touchstone moments.

An awful lot of time goes by when you blink.

This shower being only one in a series of events which must be marked with squeals, sighs, and rolling of eyes, was an opportunity to set a precedent for myself.

Whoopsie. Was that out loud?

It was a real crisis.

“Exactly, specifically, how naughty can I be for this?” I texted my daughter.

I wandered the store, drifting through piles of pink and lace and puffs and perfume.

Considering I carry thirty-ish years of boudoir under my belt, it was a bit anti-climactic.

“She likes baby-doll styles,” came the reply.

My daughter knows with whom she is texting and in her wisdom, tried to mitigate the estrogen war within her mother.

I couldn’t decide which generation I was allowed to represent. I was torn between Queen Victoria’s bloomers and Madonna’s cone bra.

Between minding my own business or sharing it at the party.

The reality is that, while everyone agrees that a bridal shower is about rallying around the bride’s bedroom, no one is willing to enter it with her.

Not while your mom is watching.

Or – dear Lord – when your kid is watching.

I was pouting in the general direction of the garterbelts and suddenly had a flash-back to 1988…

I’m a 19 year old bride, and my tribe throws me a shower.

There is no internet, there is no registry, and purchasing anything naughtier than a thong requires ID and shadowy, shifty stores with neon lights in the windows.

Considering sex ed was something you picked up reading bathroom stalls or from magazines found under your friend’s parent’s mattress (because everyone knows that your own parents do NOT have marital relations…they adopted you, and that is why your mother doesn’t understand you), it’s no surprise that my bridal shower was traumatizing.

Not because I missed the thorough education that my wild single girlfriends went on to acquire, but because my grandmother was hosting, and my mother and aunts and all their generation were mingling with them in the room.

Keep in mind, everything was pastels in the 80s. Peach, padded lingerie hangers, a crystal makeup brush, a little yellow lace teddy and a satiny rose kimono. It all made me blush.

Dusty blue, dusty rose, dusty sage…I’m surprised I didn’t receive an ostrich-feather duster. My grandmother was a neat freak (big shock) but had she gifted me with one, she would have given me the only risqué thing at the party.

Everyone, regardless of age, nodded vaguely in the direction of the rumpus-room, but no one stood up and reached for the doorknob.

And so, this weekend, we gathered around and squealed over tiny packages of little jammies, potpourri and wine, flowers and folderols, and maintained our delicacy.

I am still calling a win on account of the panty-lined curtain-rods and three teapots that were dispensing happiness.

In honor of my blushing bride memories, I gave her a generation-proof gift card.

‘Cause girls just wanna have fun…just not while their aunt is watching.

Disclaimer: the shower was last month, the wedding is next weekend, and I apologize for going postless so often. I will be more faithful this month!

Published inFamily FolliesMarriage


  1. Emm

    Gotta go the safest route… mumu and scrunchies!!! Ha. Good times. And… I’m laughing as I never thought about your shower at your grandma’s house! Ha… good times them too. Xo

  2. Cindy

    Again you provocated good and ackward memories and brought a smile in the afternoon. Good cup of tea my friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *