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My legacy. The meaning of life according to my mother's etiquette and lingerie.

Updated on November 17, 2010

"If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?" ~anonymous quote~

What happened to those younger years? What happened to all those years when you could wear pretty lingerie, those lacey pretty garments, in all different types and colors.

What happened to all those younger years when I could FEEL pretty? Something sure happened. I am just not sure what. I think it has to do with my legacy.

I remember back to those days with a longing sigh. I remember back to those days when frilly was in, and pretty was its partner. I remember getting dressed for a special occasion and your bra and panties matched your outfit, in pretty display. Lace, satin, silk, pretty hi-cuts, low-cuts, bikinis, thongs, hipsters, boy-cuts, and now I wear granny panties. Yes, those HUGE tent size granny panties.

You know what I am talking about, those GREAT big panties that come in a variety of colors, that you pull up to your neck, all the while thinking to yourself, “Forget about panty lines, I just hope they don’t peek out over the neckline of my shirt!”

Sure, they come in a variety of colors and fabrics, but my point being, is they are still going to have to be pulled up so high that you can use them as a dickey!

They may come in pretty colors, and pretty fabrics, but they have SO much material, you could make a tent with them, and still have enough material left over to make the awning.

And I am asking you why, why oh why do they have to come in CUTE little prints? They look like something you would put on a toddler! Not the size of course, just those cute little prints. I used to think granny panties were for women over 60 and now I am going to protest, I am not there yet!

I remember wearing pretty panties and now I am stuck with granny panties. Anything else is less than comfortable now. I think I will leave my collection to my daughters because if I hear one more time, “MOM, your underpants look like five people can fit in those!” I am going to scream.

But then I remember when I used to say the same about my mother.

My legacy.

And bras! Egad! That is another subject all together! I remember when I was young and my mother took me for my first bra. I thought she was out of her mind, I had nothing, and therefore I needed to wear nothing to cover it up. Why in the world did she have to take me to the local dress shop, (We didn’t have Wal-Mart back then), and have me fitted for a bra. We had to go into this fitting room and then the saleslady would come in with her measuring tape and talk about embarrassing! I wondered what she was measuring! It sure couldn’t have been me, I had nothing to measure!

But lo and behold, I was fitted for my first training bra. I was mortified and shell shocked, and I think that traumatized me for the rest of my life. I would try everything to get out of wearing a bra. Over the years it changed from bra to bra, colors, padded bra, non-padded bra, training bra, demi-cup bra, maternity bra, strapless bra, under wire bra, sport bra, front closure bra, back closure bra, push-up bra, shelf-bra, water bra, built-in bra, the list goes on and on. Materials, fabrics, different kind of straps! Yikes! And I still did not need one! All through the years, I bought them; yes I did, why, because my mother told me to! You couldn’t leave the house unless you had a bra and clean underpants on!

I did not need a bra, not then. I actually did not need a bra until I reached my 50’s and that was only because I was a late bloomer, (Thyroid condition) and I still rebelled! I wanted no part of those things I had to wear years and years and years! I opted for tank tops. They are comfortable, I can get them in all materials and comfort, and they hide the granny panties.

Until this past week, I have to go to my cousin’s daughters wedding, and my dress needs a bra. Well not my dress, me. I cannot help it, it is ingrained into me, that proper ladies MUST have proper attire. I had to dig one out of my dresser, and tried it on, and thought to myself, “I have to endure this for HOW many hours?” Suck it up buttercup. Your mother would have a fit if she caught you without one.

And you ask how would she ever know? She will ask. I know, I am 52 years old and she will ask if I have dressed according to my upbringing.

My legacy.

Oh and we mustn’t forget slips. Here we go again. Slips, yes when wearing a dress of a skirt, I had to wear a slip. And when I mentioned this to my daughter of the ripe age of 20, she actually asked me what a slip was. I told her to go and ask her grandmother.

I don’t even own one now. It would be like putting a sausage in a casing. Not really, but it would sure feel that way. I used to own half-slips and full-slips. In many colors and many fabrics. I never had a clue what they were for, or why they existed. I merely wore one because my mother told me to.

So I researched it, they are worn as an undergarment to help the dress or skirt to hang properly. They are worn to help prevent the fabric of the dress or skirt to chafe your skin. They are worn to help keep you warm. They are worn to keep perspiration off fine fabrics.

I wore one because I was told to. And don’t even try to find one now, unless you are looking at vintage clothing! Not sure they make them anymore!

My legacy.

I know that they make pretty lingerie for ladies my age. There is a plethora of choices, we have corsets, camisoles, body shapers, garters & stockings, and the list goes on and on and on. And I guess I should be thankful I wasn’t born in the era of girdles or full-length petticoats.

I guess I will just be satisfied with my granny panties being my only undergarment; after all they serve multi-purpose uses. They can be used as camisoles, and panties all in one. They sure go up far enough!

My legacy.

Gee, thanks mom.


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    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      What fun! You have 3 daughters! Wow. My daughter has 5 daughters! The oldest is 34 and the youngest is 11! The eldest has two teenagers, a 16 year-old son and a soon-to-be 14 year-old daughter. She is he only grand DAUGHTER my daughter has, but she has two younger grandsons.

      I just noticed - I got my mother's birth year wrong. 1890 was my father's birth year. Mother's was 1892.

      Thank you for the lovely words!

    • LaurieDawn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you Nellieanna! Thank you for sharing the memories with me! Some of the younger generation, (meaning my daughters) have no idea at times what I am talking about! And yes I remember the Merry Widows! I love vintage lingerie and have one from the past. Even tho now I am not sure I could place all myself into it, it is still a beautiful thing to behold! I always loved corsets and the beauty of them, just not how they would take your breath away.

      Having three daughters of my own, I was blessed or should I say cursed to have had the pleasure of taking them all to be fitted for their very first bras! What experiences! Thankfully they are grown now and that they will all remember their own experiences with laughter and fun in the years to come.

      Thank you for stopping by and it is a true pleasure to have you here.



    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      Thank you - I haven't laughed so hard in days!!! That was soooo hilarious and your account of it is simply incredible. Well, my mother was born in 1890. She liberated herself some time before she bore me when she was 40. Those boned corsets of her youth just didn't suit her activities, sitting on a stool before an easel paining or helping Dad on the ranch or riding fences on a horse.

      But she'd already produced my three elder siblings; and the eldest - a sister born in 1918 was so proper it hurt and she always assigned herself the task of upgrading me. That's a long story in itself, but she was the legacy who tried to overshadow my individuality. LOL She did get me to stop going topless when she told me about becoming a woman, which was almost upon me! I thank her for that!!

      As for granny panties - NO! I wouldn't be caught dead in those things. uh uh.

      But the imagery of excess fabric making them peek out at the neckline or serving as dickeys is too funny (wonder how many folks know what a dickey is?) OH - just read your comment about lining garbage cans with 'em. They could perform that service!!

      As for bras, well eldest sister was busty - more than I - but she made her own and they were miraculous for her. I've always sought out the unpadded, unwired, unglorified good, simple ones, though some Olga all-in-one undergarments were nice - no lines to show through. But those hooks and eyes in the crotch - ugh. lol

      Remember Merry Widows? - Probably before your time. When waistlines tried to mimic Scarlett O'Hara's - those were the thing. I had a naturally small one (easier when you can shove any excess down below into then super-full skirts! Now I shove it into the legs of my jeans! My daughter loved that one when I mentioned it to her. She's about your age.) - But as a Bridal Consultant who sold every bride a Warner's Merry Widow, I had to try one. lol

      Slips. ugh. I still have a drawer full of those monstrosities. And frankly I suspect their main reason for being was to keep the sunshine from outlining the legs through a skirt! I had long ones, short ones (yes - I went through mini-skirts), half ones, whole ones - even some Olga all-in-ones' which proceeded into a slip bottom rather than the pantie part with the hook and eyes. Slips were simply taken for granted. I really had more angst giving up a slip than giving up hose and sometimes, bras. I didn't wear one with my first wedding gown; unheard of in 1954! But the neckline would have revealed the straps and I didn't bother to buy a strapless one. I just eliminated the problem! hehe The cumberbund of the design (my own design) helped with enough uplift. heh heh

      Anyway - your picture of how it really was is soooo clever and vivid and FUNNY! I had fun reading it and truly laughed loud out loud!

      Thanks for the memories!!

    • LaurieDawn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you my friend! So true, I came from that same age, and still had a mother who insisted I wear one! I am SO glad I don't now! And as far as granny panties, I should start a business, for us older girls! I get so tired of the boring granny panties they sell! Some of them I wouldn't line my garbage can with!



    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      OMG this is so true and funny, I come from a hippy age and never wore a bra, for that matter I never wore panties and I NEVER wore a slip. Now at my old age, the only thing left is granny panties; I dislike them yes I now must wear panties...I still don't wear a bra, and the old folks all think I am wierd...Oh my, this would be a great business for you to start, sexy older clothes for us. Love this excellent and fun hub, and yes it true. Thumbs up my friend it is awesome and rate up


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