Toward the end of each lesson, Laura The Tennis Pro splits the four of us into two teams. This is a highly scientific process based on purely objective factors: V-Necks vs. Scoop-Necks, Skirts vs. Pants; Colors vs. Monochromes. We’ve been divided by Glasses, Earrings, brand of Racquet, brand of Tennis Shoe, Hair Style, Hair Color and the initial phonetic sounds of our given names.
The only criterion that seems not to work is Style of Underwear. Because only one of us will wear a thong.
It’s unclear how we got on this topic in the first place. We can be a bawdy bunch, so it’s no surprise. But the subject of thongs emerged and one of us declared, “That’s the only way I roll!” The rest of us watched her bound around the court, an unrestrained, Lycra-clad fireball, as we winced and shook our heads.
I have tried to wear a thong. I even tried again this morning before I wrote this, just to make sure I still felt the same way (and I do) which is: I prefer not to have anything lodged within the derriere.
A few years ago I asked a friend to take me clothing shopping, inept as I am at that particular chore. We made some progress with outerwear – skirts and dresses and things – but she sent me off on my own after lecturing me about proper undergarments. Thongs. Spanx. ”There are just some outfits that call for a very specific base coat,” she said.
I went to my local lingerie store and explained my mission to the shopkeeper. I told her how I felt about thongs and she showed me something she described as “non-invasive.” A Starter Thong, if you will.
“Women who are ambivalent about thongs love this style,” she said. I bought it in two colors. I wore one of them once, the week I got it, and then again this morning. The other still has the tags on it. They’re too pretty to throw away but they have no business in my house. Except perhaps to remind me that I will never roll that way.
It occurs to me that women under a certain age may never even understand my preference. The security one feels with that oh-so-necessary layer of material between one’s cellulite and one’s slim cut slacks. I don’t care about panty lines. I don’t care if the whole world knows I wear French-Cut Combed Cotton Jockeys For Her. I like old-fashioned cover-your-tush underwear. So sue me.
Fortunately, Laura never seems to run out of dividing possibilities. On Monday we split a new way. I ended up on the Those Who Have Finally Seen Zoolander side.