The Cascading Knicker Disaster

Hey, don’t blame me! I’ve been asked for this story. Repeatedly.

First of all, set the scene. Last year I went to the US to do the Dreamspinner Workshop, hang out with Rhys Ford and Jenn, and then go to Paris for the Salon Du Livre. It was awesome, I had a great time, met loads of people, and found out that–apparently–I underpack underwear.

Now, as far as I was concerned fourteen pairs of knickers was a reasonable number for a two month stay….when you have access to a washing machine! To be HONEST with you those were the entirety of my underwear drawer. I literally only OWNED fourteen pairs of knickers, and that was only because I’d bought some new ones to go away.

Thing is, though, that I went from Belfast to San Diego, and then to Florida for the workshop. I had no intention of dragging a suitcase full of two months worth of clothes with me so I’d a small suitcase for just the essentials. And just enough underwear for the duration.

Apparently SOME people (naming no names) take three times the underwear they need just in case. I was there for five days and I had five days worth of knickers.

…theoretically. In actual fact I was, like,  a day short.  So I sink-washed a pair of knickers, rolled them in a flannel, and left them to dry. Except it was a hotel room and cleaning ladies–you may not know this–come to the room and take away the flannels. I complained about this more than than was probably justifiable considering it was my own fault.

Not to official people. I’m not a monster. Just a sort of general, discontented chuntering.

This sort of thing happens. People can be sympathetic…and they are. If it’s the first time. When you are a serial underwear underestimater the sympathy dries up quiet. When you admit that, on occasion, you’ve not done your laundry, had to commando your way into work, and stop at ASDA to buy a fresh pair of underoos (I went into Primark once, but I accidentally bought Brazilian thongs and it was horrible)…sympathy is just gone.

That’s where the underwear issues started.

Oh no, I’m not finished.

At this point Rhys Ford has found out that I own 14 pairs of underwear. She thinks this is a sign of a deranged mind. She is genuinely bewildered by my lacksadasical approach to bottom coverage–especially considering she knows that I have never in my life sat on a public toilet because of my fear of the galloping never get overs (not real, you say? That might be comforting to someone not scarred by the shock and awe Irish approach to childrearing. Basically if there’s something your granny doesn’t want you to do, they skip the ‘don’t do it’ and go straight to ‘it’ll kill you’)

Fast forward a week and one load of laundry down at her house, and Rhy finds out that I buy my everyday wear knickers by the pack in ASDA. Again, I’m not a monster. I have fancy knickers. I’m not wasting them under a pair of jeans. Everyday knickers….£4 for six in Asda and you’re good to go.

Well, until you do a load of laundry at Rhys house and in some aggressive, underwear-based xenophobia your reasonably priced ASDA underwear starts to fall apart. Literally rags. I think it was the dryer. It cooked them. Underwear absolutely tattered.

Now this is where I think I lost Rhys, because I was indignant about this. These were new! I had only just shelled out £4 and they were just falling apart. So I complained it to EVERYONE I MET. Most people would apparently keep this to themselves, I don’t do that. Literally ever.

I have, like, ONE secret….and it’s going to the grave with me.

So there I am complaining to people about my knickers and showing them the sad, tattered state of them. At which point Rhys is so disgusted with my knicker situation that she BOUGHT ME MORE. I still have them. That’s why I now have 19 pairs of knickers, like a lady.

(Should note, that she’s not the only friend who has started to give me knickers. It’s a thing now).



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