"What?!" I said with authentic confusion upon seeing the face my friend made when I told her that I still wear underwear from high school. "What's wrong with that?"
"What's wrong with that?!" she retorted with a bewildered look on her face. "Ariana, we are going shopping tomorrow."
Until this exchange happened I had never really considered the fact that wearing underwear I'd owned for 10-plus years might be weird. The possibility that my beloved 2007-era cheetah granny panties would ever be a topic worthy of heated discussion (much less of an entire article) had literally never crossed my mind. So when I started living with my aforementioned friend and walking around in my admittedly tattered, holey, washed out, and otherwise well-loved skivvies, I was doing so in an ignorant state of bliss. I thought wearing such underwear was commonplace — after all, no one but you or your best friends or your significant other really sees them, so who really puts that much thought into what theirs look like? Evidently, most people, and the cheetah underwear is where my friend had to draw the line for me.
To be clear, I only wear my high school underwear to bed. I refuse to sleep in a thong or naked, and instead prefer grannie panties and boy shorts as big and comfy as they come. I have since I was 15 or 16, and since my size hasn't changed a ton since then, my post-9 p.m. underwear collection hasn't, either. If I hookup with someone they typically see the underwear I wore that day or out that night, for which cases I opt for thongs 100 percent of the time. In other words, my hookups don't see my special collection of decade-old underwear so it's not like my many pairs of them are hurting my game. (I can handle doing that all on my own, thankyouverymuch.) No, my torn cheetah pair, period blood-stained lace pair, and embroidered "Saturday" pair missing their waistband are for my — and my lucky roommate's — eyes only. And yet she insists this is unacceptable.
"You're a grown woman, treat yourself to some new underwear," she says. And you know what, she might be right. Why have I really kept my underwear for so long? Is it honestly because it's comfy AF? Because I'm positive there are at least 15 underwear brands whose main selling point revolves around their comfort. They're seamless, they're soft, and they're also sexy. Mine don't hold a candle. Maybe it's a nostalgia thing? Nah — high school was fine, but certainly nothing I want to commemorate via undergarments. Is it thriftiness? The whole, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," kind of a thing? They're broke, but they still work.
Honestly, it's not about any of that. I think I'm just lazy and genuinely don't care what my pajamundies look like and had never considered that others might.
Am I alone in this? Am I gross and weird and in need of being immediately dragged to the underwear department by my friend in order to act like a grown-*ss woman by buying a pack of fresh Hanes? Or am I simply shamelessly pondering the meaning of my ratty underwear via a story that thousands of other women will read after having just woken up in their ancient undies, too?