Moms and the Drawer No One Talks About … Until Now

Sometimes in life, life takes over and you forget to buy underwear.

As I packed recently for our vacation to northern Minnesota, I opened my unmentionables drawer and rifled through it finding just three "usable" pairs of underwear for a seven-day trip. One at a time, I threw the rest of the shredded cotton pieces over my shoulder as I muttered, "Dust rag, dust rag, and yes, another dust rag." Suddenly, the drawer was empty and I had nothing but 65 dust rags that I had no use for since I had given up dusting for Lent. Unfortunately for my end tables, I decided on Easter Eve that I’d never been happier in my life and proclaimed in a loud voice after one too many glasses of wine during our ham dinner, "I will never dust again as long as I shall live!"

I looked back at that pile of dust rags and sighed. I gazed at the three pairs of underwear in my hand. I heard my mother’s voice in my head, "Make sure your underwear always looks good just in case you get into a car accident!" I had always tried to imagine the emergency room scene that my mother had apparently envisioned one afternoon when her soap operas were pre-empted by the Watergate trials and she was bored out of her mind.

As I supposedly lay on a gurney in an unconscious state in a hospital somewhere, mass chaos occurred around me. Yet in the midst of a dead run to start intravenous fluids and hook up heart monitors, one nurse would stop, nudge the doctor who was doing something really important like CPR and say, "My God. Look at her underwear. The elastic must be at least 10 years old. And she’s wearing the underwear that says "Wednesday" and today is Friday." They would both shake their heads in dismay as they called the other nurses to come over and take a look. What a horrifying scene … especially for the person who was supposed to be receiving the CPR.

Thankfully, I’ve never been in a car accident where I’ve had to have my pants cut off. Once though I did get stuck in an elevator while wearing a mini-skirt and I’m pretty sure the maintenance guy who had to haul me up three feet out of the elevator on to the next floor saw a bit more of my undergarments than I had planned on showing that day.

I have been a little busy lately. Somehow, somewhere, my life has taken a surprising turn and unfortunately, it hasn’t been in the direction of the sale table at Victoria’s Secret in the mall or even Aisle 5 at Wal-Mart where the yellow smiley face entertains the Fruit of the Loom guys all night long.

How had I become so distracted that I’d forgotten to re-stock the underwear drawer?

"I’m great at stocking things!" I said to myself as I took the pile of dust rags out to the trash can. Check out my linen closet. It’s packed full of toilet paper and toothpaste. Why, I have more cans of creamed corn in my pantry than my Grandma used to have in her cellar. My children have lots and lots of underwear. My husband? He could change his underwear twice a day and have enough to two weeks.

Mothers everywhere can relate to the next line. Somehow, somewhere, I’ve gotten lost in the shuffle. Between car pools, homework, activities, dinner, and yes, sleep, I’ve been too busy to shop. A girl has simple needs. Having seven pairs of underwear she can count on every morning when she opens that drawer is one of them.

Things are going to change around here. I can guarantee you that there will be a new gift from Santa undie my Christmas tree this year and it’s NOT going to be from Wal-Mart. And that sister friends, is what life is all about.

Now go dust something. 



About Vicky DeCoster

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of "From Diapers to Dorkville," "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" and "The Wacky World of Womanhood." She has been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. Vicky lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she loves to laugh every day. Visit her at
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