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In which I mention unmentionables

Lately I’ve been amazed by how small my underwear is getting, and not because of any laundry room catastrophes. I know that all my clothes, from my T-shirts and jeans, are smaller now too, but the change in scale in my underwear seems to be the most obvious to me.

Whenever I shopped in the lingerie department or caught a glimpse of a roommate’s suitcase on a band trip or saw that scene in “Sixteen Candles” where Anthony Michael Hall holds up Molly Ringwald’s underwear for a crowd in the boy’s room, I’d be a bit surprised that panties were so tiny. I think you could barely make a handkerchief out of the same amount of fabric used for some women’s undergarments. Like that much fabric is actually going to fit over your ass? But evidently it does. (By the way, does anyone use handkerchiefs anymore? Is a fondness for monogramming really worth carrying around a rag full of snot, especially when tissues are so readily available?)

Which is not to say my undies are tiny. I’m sure a career model would faint in shock at the size of them or confuse them for some avant-garde hat. But I do find myself holding them up in the morning and thinking, “Wow, underwear can be this tiny for people who don’t live in the North Pole and work for Santa Claus?” It makes me think I must be able to fit at least 20%-30% more clothes in my suitcase these days as apposed to when I weighed my highest.

I find this particularly fulfilling because of the movie “Road Trip” that came out years ago. I never bothered seeing the film because it looked like a dumb boy movie and starred the perennially unfunny comedian, Tom Green. Also, there was one scene in an ad that I found thoroughly embarrassing, so of course it was shown about 10 times a day on the TV. They probably sandwiched it right between the erectile dysfunction and yeast infection ads just to make me miserable. In this scene, after losing his virginity to a fat girl, the scrawny little guy character holds up a huge pair of leopard print underwear in the car to show his buddies. Then one of these teenage jokers says something like “What did you do? Skin a leopard?”

The worst thing about his ad – I owned those panties. Just My Size, size 13. I’m not usually into animal prints, but they came in the three pack, so I couldn’t get picky. When you’re that size you usually just take what you can find in terms of undergarments, or any clothes for that matter. I could just envision the propmaster running down to the local Target and selecting the biggest pair of panties she could find when she could have just raided my dresser drawer instead. I didn’t love them, but at the very least it’s always good to have a pair for that time of the month. But seeing my underwear mocked on national television on a daily basis was almost enough to make me give up TV.

But no more! My butt has gotten smaller and so have my underpants. But you still can’t make me watch a Tom Green movie.

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Marla • August 29, 2006 at 6:49 pm

Once I saw a program, maybe Dr. Phi1, about this overweight, drug-addicted, transvestite teenage male prostitute (really!) and while it was very sad, the thing that KILLED ME is that while hooking, this guy was wearing the exact same blouse I had bought at fat girl land in W-Mart and wore to work for important meetings.

Needless to say, I don’t wear it anymore (I still have it though!).


JJ • August 29, 2006 at 7:22 pm

My mother always said I had an underwear fetish. No, it’s not a sicko thing, I just feel that you can never have too many pairs of underwear! I even carry an extra pair with me (I vacuum sealed them with my Foodsaver) in case of an unforeseen emergency. (Which coincides with the “I will never use a public bathroom” phobia, btw.)

Anyway, I have 2 full dresser drawers full of, well, drawers. Let’s just say that if a major catastrophe happens, and I can’t use the washer for more than 45 days, I’m covered. Literally.

Oh, and both my daughters are the same way. Except the vacuum sealed panties in their purse. They don’t have a purse. And even if they did, they wouldn’t carry them around.

And Tom Green…he is so not funny. In any way. I can’t stand him. If he’s on anything, I don’t care how good everything else is, I won’t watch it.


dpalmer • August 29, 2006 at 7:22 pm

I think that some shows are real bad at making fun of fatwowmen. On those underwarethey have to use something. So they pick on big girls. They dont realizethat it does hurt and makes you feel bad. You never see them pick on a slim person. I dont agree with doing that that, we are all equel.Some of the talk shows would make not to wear some of those outfits.But it gives us a thought to lose weight. so that we can wear those tiny pants. IT will let us to watch want we do with your body.


Lisa • August 29, 2006 at 8:32 pm

My burning question is why do they call a single piece of underwear a pair? That drives me crazy!

I’ve noticed the same thing about the shrinking underwear. I can’t bring myself to toss out the old ones yet because they still sort of fit. I don’t know why that is – I’ve tossed everything else that doesn’t fit.

As for Tom Green, eeewww. He skeeves me out!


Greta • August 29, 2006 at 11:43 pm

That commercial you described made me wince when I read about it. Fat people are the last target that everyone somehow considers fair. It’s not “right” to target people of a particular ethnicity, but somehow it’s OK to mock the obese. Yikes! What kind of a world do we live in? Where is the compassion for fellowmen?

Congratulations on the smaller underwear!


K • August 30, 2006 at 4:36 am

Apparently my bum is the last thing on me to shrink, because I have not yet been able to buy new undies. All of mine are identical plain white or black midis, because there has never been a time when I could imagine I’d look attractive with just my (under)pants on, so why not go for practicality? Sad but true.

The only thing I own that I’ve ever spotted in a film is the alarm clock that wakes Hugh Grant up at the beginning of Four Weddings and a Funeral.

My other half uses handkerchiefs, because his family do. He claims paper tissues are too rough on his nose. I think this is a bit ridiculous, but I seem to have capitulated because I iron them for him.


Kimberly • August 30, 2006 at 5:39 am

Good to hear :)

Something to look forward to at the least.


Susan • August 30, 2006 at 9:04 am

I am a teacher, and I have this thing where right before school starts I clean out the underwear drawer. I thought to myself, I certainly have a lot of panties- so I decided to count. I had 80 pairs. So, having recently shed almost 50 (with many 50 left to go) decided to throw out some- I discarded 2 pair. I love your blog and read it daily.


Sandi • August 30, 2006 at 9:11 am

That’s so funny! Sometimes when I so to do the laundry and I pull out a pair of my undies (all white – BTW) I think it’s one of Hub’s T-shirts and then, much to my dismay, I realize, no, it’s a pair of my underwear!!!

I read your blog EVERY day!!! I find your writing so very interesting!!! Love it!!!!

Sandi :)


christie • August 30, 2006 at 11:08 am

Oy. My undies drawer has 3 different sizes of underwear in it. The first time I lost lots of weight I threw away the biggest size… but I learned my lesson so now I keep them. LOL.

What I don’t understand is right now I”m in the middle of the weigh I bounce around between, yet I’m still wearing the biggest size. THe smaller ones aren’t comfortable. And I’m very mad about it :-P


Mel Green • August 30, 2006 at 2:23 pm

“(By the way, does anyone use handkerchiefs anymore? Is a fondness for monogramming really worth carrying around a rag full of snot, especially when tissues are so readily available?)”

Yes I use handkerchiefs. I don’t monogram them, & I don’t have problems especially with “a rag full of snot” as I have lots of them & launder them regularly. I prefer them because #1 they don’t fall apart in my pockets like tissues do & #2 they don’t require the killing of trees just so I have something to blow my nose on. (I haven’t quite solved that problem re: toilet paper, unfortunately.)


DKN • August 30, 2006 at 5:19 pm

Re: Tom Green

The man sucked a cow udder on national tv…several times. what can I say? We are udderly superior. :)

And I got a sick satifaction out of watching Drew Barrymore turn down his marriage proposal on Saturday Night Live. Smart move, Red.


DKN • August 30, 2006 at 5:21 pm

Re: Tom Green

The man sucked a cow udder on national tv…several times. what can I say? We are udderly superior. :)

And I got a sick satifaction out of watching Drew Barrymore turn down his marriage proposal on Saturday Night Live. Smart move, Red.


Mary Jo • August 31, 2006 at 1:49 am

I same exact way when I saw Shallow Hal. I mean in the movie they have her throw her panties at him and they are these HUGE things. I just thought, c’mon now they aren’t that huge in real life! I mean my undies are BIG, but those were GIANT and she was smaller then I am. I hate the misconceptions about heavy women, and people only make it worse doing things like that.


Mary Jo • August 31, 2006 at 1:50 am

I *FELT THE* same… sorry, I really do speak and type in english! :)


Heather • August 31, 2006 at 12:49 pm

I think watching a Tom Green movie is worth for your health than being that big…

Of course, this might be true just for me since I would attempt suicide if I were forced to watch that man.

Shallow Hal pissed me off– I saw it with my boyfriend of the time and his brothers— his brothers thought it fine and dandy to make overweight jokes (not directed at me) after watching it— and I was like, wow, you totally missed the point of that movie.


...jus me • September 1, 2006 at 12:48 am

I think they make fun of overweight people because they believe the falicy that we are all “jolly”, and a jolly person wouldn’t get upset about it, right? It sucks, at the very least, how little people actually think about our feelings.


Vicky • September 1, 2006 at 5:51 am

WOW I just found this blog and you look amazing!!!! ANd you lost all this weight from the south beath diet that terrific. I had gastric bypass surgery in 2001 and went from 330 to 170 but have gain about 35lbs since then after my 2nd pregnancy so now Im trying to get back down Im at 215 now! Congrats to you!!!!


Kat • September 16, 2008 at 8:57 pm

My step-dad uses handkerchiefs all the time. He’s got, like, 10. I always thought it was the coolest thing and asked for one as a gift once, until I realised that you couldn’t just dispose of your snot and had to carry it around in your pocket. I didn’t use it very much after that first cold.

Anyway, he’s Dutch (like, born and raised in Amsterdam) so it makes sense that he’d be into all that stuff. Those Europeans and their topless bathing, handkerchiefs and what.


Lauren • April 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Back in olden times (like when people couldn’t bathe regularly), handkerchiefs weren’t actually used for snot disposal. Well, maybe that was a secondary use, but anyway the main use was actually that they were scented so that the owner could hold it up to their face and breathe in public places without the overwhelming stench of human body odor and excrement. It was a lot less rude than telling the dude you’re talking to that he has a massive case of halitosis and to please stop exhaling in your general direction.

The more you know (cue rainbow).


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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