Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Woman's Drawers

The flimsy azure blue packet is aged at the corners; squished in the drawer beneath the under-wires of various shades and designs; the cotton panties, some flowered, some plain; and funky leopard spotted attempts at sexy lingerie.

The box resided beneath a reliable, battery operated, slick and thin, friend - the friend to the woman who dared make the purchase. She slipped it into the basket beneath a more pristine item, body lotion. That’s it, a large container of lavender body lotion. She didn’t need it, but she had to take at least one other item to the cashier. As far as innocent yet appealing, commonplace yet feminine possessions go, lavender body lotion tops the charts. A quick take to the left and to the right, and there was definitely no one around in close proximity. She checked out as quickly as possible, gripping the bag tightly, strolling ever so gracefully to her car.

Back to the box: in spite of its age, the bold, white font informs all that’s relevant: Distributed by Church & Dwight; Inc. Princeton, New Jersey, 08542. Made in USA. America’s #1 Choice, Trusted for over 80 years. This begs the question: was it produced 90 years ago but simply not trusted? Wherein lay the root of such trust issues? Be it the consumer or the product? As a clinician, I can’t help but push further: Was therapy sought for these trust issues? Sorry. Back to the matter at hand: what’s in her drawers. As I was saying, or attempting to articulate with prime elegance, a woman’s dresser drawers convey her wants and needs, pleasures and repulsions. Her drawers reveal it all.

Take the married woman. She got rid of her friend before shacking up with the dude. I mean the loving, doting husband. God, she misses her friend. Deep within her drawers can be found dust-laced lingerie from the honeymoon, untouched since. Atop this are worn white cotton panties, knee high blue striped sports socks, and a copy of Dr. Phil’s Finding the Love You Want, Fixing the One You Have.

Next: the single woman. She’s grateful the cartons’ expiration dates are so far into the future. She buys them with hope and promise, courage and confidence. You never know, she fathoms with a smile. She’s prepared. As far as garb, she has many cute and sexy options. And she will use each and every one. The next date will be attractive, virile, and worthy. She persists with pep and optimism, at times slipping silently into exhaustion and despair - date after date, year after year. decade after discouraging decade...

Suppose, just for fun, the two women duke it out.

In this corner: Mrs. Mary Duh. She’s practiced and experienced. She knows how to pull the punches and dodge the blows. She’s overcome the worst of it. Though a bit haggard, Mary Duh is wise from the wear. She’s got it all down, or so she has convinced the audience.

In the other corner: Miss Sin Gal. She’s younger, more ambitious, sexy, and determined to take the title. In truth, desperate and insecure, Sin Gal hides it well. Straight from the dating scene, she’s charged with fighter’s instincts and ready to knock the Mrs. dead.

Enraged, jealous, and sexually repressed, Mary Duh thrusts the initial blow. Sick of all the dating bullshit, Sin Gal reflexively pounds back. She hammers Mary Duh, her routine fight for personal integrity and safety unfolding by the blow.

Bonked by her kids countless times, Mary Duh retaliates in style. She goes in with a left hook, fuming with desire to turn back time.

The crowd gasps in horror as Sin Gal lay flat on her back mid-ring. Everyone in the stands had a lonely cousin, a brother’s marginally alcoholic but handsome buddy, and/or a wealthy widowed neighbor to fix her up with. She can’t be dead! Each had an inspiring story, something like, “I met my husband on a 7-1/2 day cruise to Oahu. Take the same cruise, on the same cruise line, during the same time of year. Look how happy we are. See us smile. Honey, smile now."

Suddenly her body jolts. She isn’t dead. The crowd sighs with relief. But her clock is ticking. “Come on,” they shout, “Hurry up and get married! Hurry up and get Mary Duh! There’s always adoption. There are so many kids who need you. But watch out for the attachment stuff. If they’re over 24 months, they’ll never bond with you.”

Sin Gal pushes up onto her feet. Oh how she wants to get Mary Duh. The time has come. Red faced Mary Duh has had it. They wrestle each other to the ground, shout rather unfavorable and non-ladylike utterances, and finally collapse in parallel fashion with exhaustion.

It’s a tie. They get up, shake hands, offer a genteel kiss on the cheek, and go their separate ways.

First things first, each is focused on changing her drawers.

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