Sunday, August 3, 2008

Happy panties day to you too!

Published August 3, 2008
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

I’ve always been fascinated by our culture’s need to set aside a specific day in which to celebrate something completely mundane or raise awareness about issues that are equally mundane. I once wrote a column expressing my desire to be the person who gets to look at a calendar and decide which precious day out of 365 precious days gets to be Eggplant Awareness Day or Hug Your Podiatrist Day.

Browsing through a current copy of a book containing fun facts for kids, I learned the lucky holiday namer who holds the job I covet has been at it again. Everyone, your attention, please. August 8, 2008 is officially Underwear Day.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really, really excited about this. I’ve always been a fan of underwear. I wear it every day. (Shocking, I know!) I’ve long thought there should be a day set aside to celebrate the fact that under our clothes, we wear other clothes that no one else gets to see. (Except, of course, for close relatives, very close friends, and the occasional emergency room nurse whose job it is to check accident victims and make sure the underwear they’re wearing is clean.)

At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Is it me, or is there a lot of underwear on display these days? It seems I can’t turn around without seeing a thong hitched up around someone’s waist while the jeans slide down below the hips. It’s either that, or I’m looking at a bra strap with no chance of ever hiding underneath the halter top that has no prayer of covering it. And of course, we still have a near epidemic of boys and their boxers, shirts tucked in for maximum visibility.

Hmmmm…maybe Underwear Day isn’t so much about celebration as it is about raising awareness. Maybe it’s a great big, “HEY, YOU! I SEE YOUR UNDIES! COULD YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT?” to the thong-sporting/bra-revealing/boxer-tucking masses.
Somewhere, some political action group is gearing up for the Underwear Day rallies and protest marches. They’ll probably start with the official Underwear Day hymn: “I see Paris. I see France…” You know the one. The signs are being painted as I write this. “We Shall Undercome!” The chants are being composed: “Two! Four! Six! Eight! Covering up is really great!”

Unfortunately, whether it’s a day of celebration or awareness, Underwear Day will probably go the way of all holidays and become over-commercialized and impersonal. Before you know it, Calvin Klein and Hanes and Fruit of the Loom will be vying for attention and money. I’m all for people supporting the economy by spending their hard earned dollars buying panties and briefs. I just don’t want to see a perfectly good holiday ruined with commercial chaos. If or when that happen, I’ll just have to express my negative feelings through the appropriate channels.

Anyone who wants to join me in staking out a Victoria’s Secret and shouting, “IT’S ABOUT THE CHILDREN!” is more than welcome.