It’s almost 1 a.m. here and though I have a blog post on winter tights already published for today, I’m having a hard time getting to sleep. I think I’ve reached the place where I sleep better with The Boyfriend than without him…which is really new and different for me.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about some of my lingerie memories…the ones that have influenced why I think, feel, and write the way I do about lingerie. And for some reason, I keep coming back to the first time I did that whole “lingerie under the trench coat” thing. Very cliche, I know.
It was 2007/2008 and I hadn’t started blogging yet. I honestly didn’t know anything about lingerie. As a matter of fact, I was still shopping at Victoria’s Secret and wearing their uber-padded 36B bras (the size they put me in). I’ve always said that Victoria’s Secret doesn’t really sell lingerie; they sell sexy. And for some reason that weekend, I got the notion to be “sexy” for my then-boyfriend.
I bought a lace and patent leather balconette bra with coordinating garter belt, knickers, and stockings. Scandalous, skimpy, and disturbingly flimsy, this set embodied what I thought other people thought was sexy at the time. The model in the catalog certainly made it look sexy, and I bought into the promise that buying the lingerie she was wearing would make me sexy too. And wasn’t this the sort of thing guys were into anyway?
Returning home with my purchase, I spent the rest of the evening getting ready. Bath, lotion, hair, and makeup…I wanted to be immaculate from head to toe. After several hours of prep work, it was finally time to put on the lingerie. I’m sure I fumbled with the garter clasps, and I remember being terrified that my hands would rip the nylon stockings (I practiced martial arts at the time so my fingers were not delicate). I also remember feeling quite uncomfortable in the get-up and very much not like me. But it would all be worth it if the ex thought I was sexy, right? Right.
Throwing my winter coat over the ensemble and buttoning it up to the neck, I drove (carefully) over to his house, heart fluttering nervously. Even more careful steps up his driveway in my too-high heels (wouldn’t be sexy to tip over in the lawn), a quick ring of the doorbell, and I was inside and ready for the big reveal. Holding my breath in anticipation, I flung my coat open and showed him my brand new lingerie.
A moment passed.
And then another.
And then he laughed.
Not a nervous chuckle. Not a surprised giggle. I mean a full blown belly laugh followed by (between ragged gasps of air) “You look ridiculous!”
I was shocked. Ashamed. Hurt. Embarrassed. You name it; I felt it. Most of all, I felt foolish. Very, very foolish. I pulled my coat closed and dashed up the stairs to wash my face, change my clothes, and resolve to never, ever do that again. And I haven’t.
Looking back on that moment though, I can see how it became the foundation for a lot of my perspectives about lingerie today, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Here’s a quick list:
- buy lingerie for you, not for him (or her, if your partner happens to be a woman)
- in that same vein, buy what makes you feel sexy, not what other people say is sexy
- dump anyone who says you look ridiculous in lingerie. Immediately.
I told The Boyfriend about this story a few weeks ago, and his response was, (and I quote) “What an asshole.” Followed by, “So when are you going to come over in lingerie and a trench coat for me?” And you know what? Since our 2 year anniversary is coming up at the end of this month, I just might…
Photo Credit: Victoria’s Secret. This isn’t the lingerie I wore that evening, but it looks like something I would have bought at the time.