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!

In Sync

It’s finally happened.

You know why the sultan never, ever, enters the harem tent?

Because once a month every single female in it cycles simultaneously, but he never knows when.

So he will die.

Even if he brought chocolate.

Have sons, oh ye females of the maternal instinct. Have sons.

They will punch each other and spit and wipe paint on the sofa, but they will never lock themselves in the bathroom sobbing hysterically over the color of nail polish.

Almost never.

Daughters will play sweetly with dollies and their tiny kitchen until they hit the twilight tweenage years.

Then they will morph into Gollum, mulling over this new ring of power.

They will follow you with their eyes, waiting to pounce, tail twitching, nostrils slightly flared, wondering if you shrank their favorite shirt in the laundry this time. Again.

Or if you spent the day preparing a big batch of chicken enchiladas and she can’t believe you made those again because you know I don’t like enchiladas….ever!

“Good morning!” you will say, sauntering into the kitchen for tea.

Dark and brooding silence will greet you and if you have any brains at all, you’d better saunter quickly out the other door without making eye contact.

The tea can wait.

Their brothers went through the basic stages of training, the stuff you learn growing up in a house with females in it:

  1. You’re too new to the territory, so you pretend your sisters are just having “a bad day” and go along with whatever they want. If they tell you to bring them the TV remote, the hot water bottle, a box of tissues and a Coke, you do.
  2. You’ve wised up a bit, so you decide to not go along with anything the ladies demand. Enter: WWIII. Sometimes you leave a manly presence in the bathroom, just to reestablish your right to exist, and they firmly elucidate otherwise. Everyone else abandons the building.
  3. You’ve finally wised up enough, so you do the only realistic right thing: take up fishing.

Hey, I’m not saying I’m any more rational.

I have been known, on occasion, to lose my cool over socks left in the middle of a room.

But as I continually chant to anyone who will listen to me (aka nobody), “I’m the mom! I get paid to nag over socks!!”

Lately though, I’ve been looking sideways at those socks like maybe they’re from Mordor, and not at all during the right times of month.

And here I was, thinking my mother was finally right about something.

She has been waiting for years for me to go into menopause. Even just a little bit. She went early and insists that, in all genetic fairness, so should her daughters.

My body is still prepared to conceive triplets if necessary on any given month.

Too much information later, I couldn’t figure out why Aunt Flo was getting capricious on me.

Until I began to notice the looks on my daughters faces around the same times.

And that they were all twitchy-eyed over the laundry. And the weather. And the look of my face.

Oh, I’m suddenly all kinds of on track again, but it’s not my track anymore.

I’ve been shanghaied by the Hormone Express.

And I want off.