I find it's really easy for me to get into the mindset that everyone has similar thoughts and opinions to mine. I'm not talking religion, world politics, the state of the economy- on those matters I am a very open minded, even-keeled individual towards other people's opinions. More like- I love chocolate, everyone must, it's delicious. And then when I come across someone who doesn't have the same opinion I am jarred back into reality, saying ridiculous things like, “I don't even know how you can NOT like chocolate. Have you tried it lately? Seriously, I don't even know how we're friends.” (This may have been a real conversation that happened, and I may or may not have been joking when I said it.)
I had a similar, passionate reaction when I was discussing lingerie with some girls at work (it's retail, we get bored easily and start talking about sex and underwear). It was a few months back because I was talking about Christmas shopping for my husband. He is really hard to buy gifts for, so we started this tradition where I fill his stocking with lingerie and sexy underwear- for myself (gifts for him, but they're for me too, GENIUS!). So the two women I am talking to both say they can't even remember the last time they bought lingerie, never mind sexy underwear. Now, both of these women are only a few years older than me, one of them has been married for ten years, the other is a single mom. They both start listing their reasons of why they have no need for this- it's never on for more than a few minutes, he doesn't even notice anymore (married woman), no one's seeing it anyway, there's other things I need to spend my money on (single mom). This is when I turn into some sort of deranged Sexy Underwear Lobbyist (seriously, can this be a real job? I'm quite good at it). I start talking in great length about how it can be inexpensive (clearance racks, you can find cute thongs and lacey little things for $1-$3) and how it is not about the guy, I mean it helps if he's turned on, but sexy underwear makes ME feel sexy.
You might be saying, Casey, it's just not for me, I've never been one to invest in something as frivolous as sexy underthings. Well I wasn't always this way either, I have a pushy girlfriend to thank, and now I am on a lifelong quest to get other ladies to spice up their intimates drawer (I mean, not officially a lifelong quest, but that sounded very businesslike).
Looking back, I can almost laugh at how self conscious I used to be. I think ever kid, guy or girl, gets to be super self conscious about themselves when they hit puberty, but I think it took me a really long time to shake that. I pretty much sailed through middle school and high school with my nose buried in a book, perfecting the art of invisibility, drowning myself in big t-shirts, hoodies, and hole-y flannels. I did come into my own a bit in college, but I still wouldn't have described myself as sexy.
Then one fateful day, the summer after my college graduation, I am at the mall with one of my girlfriends and we stumble along some sort of mega sale at Victoria's Secret. She is sifting through racks and racks of lingerie and I am awkwardly standing off to the side trying not to make eye contact with anyone, feeling simply scandalous for even being in this store. She shoves a handful of hangers into my hands and turns me towards the fitting room. I break into a cold sweat, I am not trying these on, I do not need these, I will never wear them. My protests fall on deaf ears. I am shoved into the fitting room and told “We all need to own some sexy things, you'll thank me one day.” (This is the same friend who prophetically told me in college, as I was lamenting over still being a virgin, “You'll have sex one day, and you'll probably be doing all kinds of kinky and crazy shit. It will be amazing.” If she only knew...)
So I am alone in the dressing room, with my arms full of lingerie, what is a girl to do? I choose the one that I think will be least likely to make me look like a prostitute. It's light blue, and sheer, in a baby doll style top with a matching thong. I think blue is good, it's not black or red, which in my mind feels too sexy and dirty. I still have no hope this will even look remotely good on me. I shuck off my clothes, and slip this sheer little thing on over my head. I stand back and assess myself in the mirror. Once I get over the fact that I can totally see my nipples through the fabric (I am turning crimson, feeling completely exposed), I really take a good look at myself. I don't hate what I see, in fact I look sort of nice, maybe even sexy? No, not that, just pretty good. I envision myself putting this on for a guy (I was single at the time), could I do that? Would I have the guts to put something like this on and have someone else see it? It was hard for me to picture, but then again I still wasn't comfortable in my own skin, never mind my own nakedness or in something sheer and sexy.
I ended up buying it, probably so my girlfriend would shut up (and it was a really good sale!). I shoved it in the bottom of my underwear drawer, but would take it out occasionally and admire my boldness at having made such a purchase. I eventually did wear it, one of the first times my husband and I went away together (we were just dating then), I threw it in my bag. I don't think I was even certain I would wear it or not, but I'm glad that I did, his reaction was priceless. And do you know what? It made me feel sexy.
An addict was born, from that point on I couldn't resist perusing the intimates section every time I went shopping. It still perks up my day if I throw on a matching bra and panty set. I'm a little disappointed in myself that it took me until my mid 20's to feel comfortable with my body, but I guess I should be happy I got there at all.
I can readily admit I probably buy and own way too much lingerie, but whatever, we all have our flaws.