Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Little Green Panties


Me - at my best . . .
A reworked post for a busy Sabbath.
Enjoy!

I hated them.
Maybe it was the color. Yucky green.
Maybe it was the fit. Tight elastic on the legs.
Whatever.
I only wore them under duress, when there was simply nothing else in my drawer. And following a highly intellectual and diverting argument with my Mom . . .
"Put them on, Diane!"
"Mo-om!"
"Put them on!"
Sigh.
Being the semi-obedient four-year-old that I was - and because 'going commando' hadn't been invented yet - I would haul my little green panties out from under the bed where I had hidden them and . . . shudder . . . pull them on.
Quickly, I would then hide them under a pair of blue jeans and try to put them out of my mind by heading outside to play. 
They itched.
They crawled into unwanted places.
They made me sweaty.
Sighing, I ignored them and joined the group of kids on the corner.

Now a couple of points of background . . .
In 1959, as in every neighborhood in Canada, weather permitting, we local kids gathered. Play commenced. As our mothers were working busily in their homes, we kids ran up and down the street, engaged in one of a thousand different imaginative schemes. At lunchtime, we were called home. We ate as quickly as we could, then returned to the street. Our mothers cleaned up and went back to their ironing or canning or one of hundreds of other chores. We kids played until supper was announced. 
When the lunchtime scenario was again enacted.
Actual physical parental supervision was unheard of. We policed ourselves. Tattled on each other. Looked after each other. When Kenny fell and broke his arm, an army of kids ran to his house and brought his mother. When Brenda got sick on the merry-go-round, same thing. 
It was a wonderful, carefree way to grow up.
Also, at this particular time, my Dad and older brothers had put up our family's brown canvas tent in the back yard.
I know this doesn't sound like an actual part of the story, but wait for it.
Now, back to my story . . .
My best friend and next door neighbor was Laurie. A sweet-tempered, agreeable girl just a bit younger than me. 
She followed me in everything.
Not always a good idea.
By early afternoon, I had been wearing the dreaded panties for much of the day. They had been my largely unwelcome companions while running, climbing, crawling, doing gymnastics, climbing, rolling, spinning, climbing . . . okay, I did a lot of climbing, but that is another story. 
They were really starting to bug me.
But there was no way I would ever be able to sneak into the house to remove them.
And then it hit me! 
If I ducked into the tent, I could shed the dreaded panties and my Mom would never know!
It was a brilliant plan. Awe inspiring.
Completely fool proof.
I acted immediately.
"Were are we going?" Laurie was right behind me, as usual.
"Into the tent."
"What are we going to do?"
"Take off our panties."
"Okay."
Did I mention that I often got Laurie into a lot of trouble?
In a few seconds, the deed was done. I wadded my cast-offs into a little ball and stuffed them down into a hidden corner of the tent.
Laurie did the same.
Then I pulled on my jeans and headed back outside.
Laurie followed.
Hah! Mission accomplished. No one would ever know.
Our friends were sitting around in my front yard, breathing hard from yet another race up and down the street. I pranced to the middle of the circle with Laurie close behind.
"We're not wearing any panties!" I sang out.
Okay, so, secret agent material, I wasn't.
"Panties!" Laurie echoed.
And suddenly, Laurie's mom was there, grabbing her little daughter and running with her towards their house.
I watched them go, wondering at the shocked and dismayed expression on Laurie's mom's face.
What on earth was wrong with her?
Maybe I should point out here that Laurie's mom always dressed her in frilly, feminine dresses.
Short-skirted dresses.
I got a lecture. Something about modesty and being a good example.
Who listened.
Parents are so weird.

17 comments:

  1. Shoulda kept your mouth shut girl. Although something tells me it wouldn't have been long before the jig was up lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I expect Laurie's mom was just a hop ahead of the inevitable . . .

      Delete
  2. Where were those child advocates when we needed them to talk to our parents!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. Totally. Should have been locked up . . .

      Delete
  4. Too funny, why would someone dress their child in short frilly dresses to play outside anyway... I hope you finally lost those green panties;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that's what I thought! Stupid dresses! No one would have known . . . except for when I told them . . . never mind.

      Delete
  5. You know, this going commando has definitely got its drawbacks. At the wedding a year ago last July, one of the wedding party was commando and it wasn't revealed until they performed the leap of faith. I didn't catch it but that camera of mine set for stop-action did... Naughty-naughty. Teach your children to always be fully dressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Umm . . . Eeep! How much did you get for those photos???!

      Delete
    2. Hey that's a good idea! I should contact the tabloids right now. On the other hand, I've got to answer some pointed questions come January so I'd better leave them be.

      Delete
  6. I would imagine that you we're not invited to play over at Laurie's for awhile after that incident.

    ReplyDelete
  7. HeHe...dratted panties. The elastic was miserable. I wish however, the days were back when I could let my kids wander the neighborhood. I grew up the same way and appreciate it now more than ever. I'd never dare let my kids do that where we live now. Too bad some things change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We grew up in a magic time. And a magical place! I wish it was so for my grandkids. Alas, it is definitely not!!!

      Delete
  8. Haha, what would parents know!! It was always a surprise when Mum 'found out' something we were 'secretly' doing wrong!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! We thought we were being SO sneaky. My mother could have worked for Scotland Yard . . .

      Delete

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