*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
As a kid, I was pretty particular about my underwear. I only wanted the ones with the days of the week embroidered on them. I thought they were pretty cool.
My mom would wash them on Monday and I would only wear them on the day that corresponded with the day of the week. So, if it was Wednesday, I would only wear my Wednesday underwear. On Tuesdays, I would wear my Tuesday underwear and so on. I enjoyed feeling like I had my own special underwear for each day of the week. It made me feel grown up. Of course, now that I’m an adult, I don’t need to worry about which day it is when I choose my underwear.
It wasn't until recently I learned my mother had owned the same type of underwear as a young teen, but she wasn't able to wear hers on the correct days. So I consider myself lucky.
My grandmother loved to buy day-of-the-week underwear for her teen daughters. According to my mother, everything went according to plan on the first week wearing a new package of underwear. She and her two sisters stuck to the schedule set by their undergarments Sunday through Saturday.
By the second week, all bets were off. By that second week, if the word on their undergarments matched the actual day of the week, it was a sheer coincidence.
My grandmother didn't read or write English. So she didn't know what the words on the underwear meant. Sure, she knew they bore the names of the days of the week, but once the package was open and the panties were out of order, she didn't know which was which.
According to my mother, my grandmother seemed pleased with herself whenever she accidentally handed out a pair of correct underwear.
Why didn't my mother and her two sisters, who could all read and write English, simply select their own underwear from their underwear drawer? After all, it would solve the problem of wearing the wrong underwear on the wrong day.
Unfortunately for the girls, my grandmother didn't allow anyone to open drawers in her house. She was the only one permitted to go into the dresser drawers in the single bedroom her three daughters shared.
My mother and her two sisters knew better than to interfere with their mother's system. So every day, my grandmother would pull out three pairs of underwear and hand them out to her daughters. Sometimes, she would even go through those dresser drawers when the girls were trying to sleep.
"She didn't care if we were sleeping or not," my mother told me.
"If the urge to go through our dresser drawers struck her, then she'd clomp into our room and make herself at home no matter how much noise the drawers made squeaking open or creaking closed with a bang. That's just the way it was in our house. We never knew anything different," my mother continued.
"She used one of the dresser drawers in our bedroom to store a pair of scissors, a spool of thread, and a single sewing needle. The drawer was nearly empty. She could have given it to us to store our day-of-the-week underwear instead, but that would have been too simple, and my mother didn't like to keep things simple," she concluded.
Do you remember days-of-the-week underwear? Comments are welcome.
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