Originally posted March 25, 2011
It all started when I went out to have coffee at the Second Cup. Typical winter day in Toronto; snow flurries, wind whip, bad attitude. It seemed innocent enough. . . .
I waddled into the shop in my winter duds looking like I was wearing one of those Sumo Wrestler suits. I couldn’t lower my arms below shoulder level, but the greater fear was a slip-and-fall on the ice. If I hit the ground, it would be a soft landing but I’d have to lay there like a turtle on it’s back until a group of good Samaritans could hoist me up with a pulley.
I made it safely to the counter and, having thought ahead, was carrying my money in my gloved fist. I handed Eleanor $5 for my Grande Non-Fat No-Whip Mocha, reaching slightly forward and almost face planting in a plate of red velvet cupcake samples. I swiped my sleeve thru the icing marveling at my good luck at having snagged a sugar treat for later.
Shuffling toward the lair of the other parade balloons, I cautiously entered the den spotting a comfortable and unprotected resting place. I declared squatter’s rites when I claimed the seat with no challenge from the other zeppelins and began peeling the onion. Hat, ear muffs, gloves, scarf, coat, fleece. By the time I had shed m outer shell, my coffee was ready and had even cooled enough to drink without blistering my tongue. But nature called . . . and my coffee would have to cool a few minutes more while I saw a man about a dog.
Unprepared for what lay behind the washroom door, I flipped on the light, and then choked back a shriek that was somewhere between a laugh and a cry of horror. There in the center of the room lay a discarded pair of lovely violet lace underwear! I was a little bit scared of them but I had to go so there was no turning back. I skirted around the perimeter of the washroom, staying as far away from the threatening undies as possible and trying not to look. I had to peek every now and then while doing my business just to make sure they weren’t sneaking up on me, having noticed my vulnerable position. Once finished, I retraced my footsteps around the room, back against the wall, to get to the sink and then stealthily slipped out the door unharmed.
Back at my seat I contemplated what to do with the information. What a creepy thing to have to tell the Barista while she’s preparing coffee and slicing pound cake for customers. I practiced in my head. “Oh, by the way, someone left her dirty undies on the floor of the bathroom.” “Hey, no big deal really, but one of your customers walked right out of her panties.” “Someone dropped her drawers on the floor.” “We got a gal going commando in here somewhere.” I gave up and decided to let someone else be the fall guy. Voicing it would certainly take the thrill out of that pound cake for some unsuspecting customer.
I pulled out my computer but those underoos were weighing on my mind. Normally I’m not afraid of panties. I’ve been known to wear them on occasion, but when they aren’t on my person, I generally come in contact with them in my own lingerie drawer or brightly displayed at Bloomingdales in a burst of color like a Jelly Belly Tropical Fruit collection. They are most certainly NOT laying out in the open in a public forum like an Island Punch jelly bean left to melt and squish underfoot.
I tried to focus on the tasks at hand but between creating purchase orders, scheduling a dog sitter via text message, balancing my personal finances, checking emails, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, researching portable air conditioning units and writing a design blog, I couldn’t help but imagine the scenario that would end in panty neglect and abandonment. Maybe they were just too big and fell off unannounced when she twirled her skirt and exited. Doubtful. Maybe she had come from the gym and was changing into her work clothes. Not unreasonable. Maybe she anticipated an afternoon love match with a tall drink water with six-pack abs and wanted to change into fresh packaging. Definitely more believable. And just maybe she had enjoyed her man toy that afternoon IN the private and uber-romantic setting of the Second Cup public bathroom.
My giant brain was tired and my eyes drifted. Pile of outerwear on the chair to my right. Computer on the table surrounded by invoices, Iphone in pocket and oversized back-breaking bag on the chair to my left. And then it hit me. Hell, she wasn’t doing anything as gratifying as hooking up with a little Lady Candy in the bathroom! She was a wife! She worked, created the purchase orders, scheduled the dog sitter via text message, balanced her personal finances, checked emails, scheduled doctor’s appointments, researched portable air conditioning units and wrote a design blog all before 11:00 a.m.
She had simply lumbered into the coffee shop like the rest of the parade balloon people for a cup o’ joe and a change of work environment. Her mistake was in dashing to the washroom before peeling the onion. Rushing to shed her outer layers and thinking about all she needed to accomplish that morning, she was probably butt naked and feeling the breeze of the forced air vent in places she hadn’t expected before it dawned on her that she’d removed a few too many layers. In all the excitement, those Tropical Punch bloomers were forgotten like last year’s peasant blouse.
While it’s always fun to laugh at someone else’s faux pas, this was a little more sensitive. I would venture a guess that a lot of women are blushing right now. I’m not ashamed to admit that on occasion I have a pair to spare in my bag so that I can change before I go to a doctor appointment.
And at least once I’ve arrived home that evening without the panties I wore to work that morning.
But what really disturbs me about this misadventure is the horror of the unknown: what caliber draaawws did I leave behind as my legacy? I’m cool if it was from the A League. Maybe a sexy Hanky Panky lace thong that screams “oh, you know you wanna meet me!” If caught I might have proudly claimed ownership.
What if it was the B League? Soft cotton stretch. Designed for comfort in adorable heart print fabric that looks like what I might have worn when I was 10? That’s certainly not the worst that could happen as long as they weren’t Dora the Explorer or Sponge Bob Square Pants. Besides I’m pretty sure I got rid of those.
But what if? What IF I dropped the C League bomb?!? These unmentionables are like the CIA. We all know they exist and they serve an important purpose but we never EVER talk about them! They are not to be seen and should never go out in public without a disguise. These are the ones we wear at home under our sweat pants while eating a pint of Cherries Garcia ice cream and watching Dancing With the Stars (two more things that we never EVER talk about in public). Catching a gal in her C League skivvies is way worse than unmasking the Lone Ranger. What kind of grown up thinks an eye mask is REALLY concealing his identity anyway?
These days I have reading glasses, support hose, and practical shoes chasing me at break-neck speed and I’m sucking for air and nearly breaking my ankles in stilettos trying to stay far ahead of the pack. So I guess even exposing a pair of C Leaguers isn’t the absolute worst that could happen to a girl. But the day I drop a pair of Depends anywhere . . . . I’m pointing the finger at my mom!
What will YOUR legacy be?