I have this screwed up theory about people that sometimes their underwear drawers could be more interesting than them. Underwear drawer is historically the most neglected section in the wardrobe. A lot can be said about and found out from a person’s underwear drawer. Sometimes when I am talking to people and I stop paying attention to what they are saying, it is because I have stopped thinking about how often they do it and have started to think about how they treat their underwear drawers. I am fond of this special place that some of us assign to our delicate wears. A polythene bag, a plastic cover, an underwear drawer. I know of cousins back home who treat their delicates with so much love and affection, it’s almost enviable. They wash it with just as much care and enthusiasm as they would wash themselves.
A big bottle of Dettol is dedicated to the delicates. A special clothes-line is discovered to let them hang and dry, after which they are handled with care. Folded and pressed to perfection, they are carried to the underwear drawer and placed inside, according to categories. Everyday use, fancy, dark colored, soft colored, ones with negligible holes, ones with holes in places that would diminish the necessity of even wearing an underwear, special ones because special things happened to you the day you were wearing them so they become lucky underwears, ones with colors that nobody knows, ones that have ugly marks on them which won’t go but you still like it so you keep it.
Sometimes the contents are forced to share space with other delicates like upper body garments because your snotty sister thinks that it is arrogant and selfish of you to want two drawers just to keep ‘crap’.
So they sit there in company until they are next wanted. Sometimes they are mollycoddled into believing that they have just made their owner’s day because they have found the perfect underwear for the perfect formal pants but on most other days they are flung out of their righteous place because it wasn’t what the owner was looking for.
And then tragedies strike when they are washed along with bed sheets and curtains and all manner of colours sit on them. White becomes pink and yellow looks angry for having to share space with spots of blue. They are later put through all kinds of humiliating ordeals – small holes become big and then they are torn for better purposes. Some become wipe cloths for kitchen slabs, some continue to occupy the same pristine underwear drawer until re- found ages later and thrown again, some others are rolled back and preserved for memory’s sake.
But old underwears make for the best stories. We all have that one under wear at home that nobody owns or knows about. But it’s there and nobody throws it away because it could be that cousin’s who came visiting some 2 years ago no?