Real Moms Don’t Wear Thongs.

When you reach your late mid-forties, it’s easy to feel like you are nothing more than a lunch-making drop-off machine, especially when you work from home and have no reason, ever, to get dressed.

So in the Target lingerie department recently, I had an existential midlife crisis along the lines of: “I’m still a woman! I deserve pretty things!”

Ordinarily, once a year I buy a six-pack of Hanes underwear in bulk to replace the ratty pairs from the previous year. I prefer the “hipster” fit, which has nothing to do with morose, sarcastic Brooklynites and everything to do with covering one’s entire money maker. And I like my backside to be concealed, since my ass is in definite need of some landscaping.

Just then, my gaze alit upon the fancy panties. And at this point in my life, “pretty things” equals underwear sold on hangers instead of underwear sold in shrink-wrapped packages. The packs are like six bucks for the whole lot, and the pretty underwear was on sale two for ten dollars. So I bought four pairs. This was more than I had spent on underwear for the past four years combined. But whatever it takes to give the old gal some confidence, right? I grabbed an animal print, a Tiffany blue, a basic black, and a nude, for the white pants that I will never own.

When I donned the first pair, I had high hopes. Suddenly, I would be transformed into a person who deserved nice things. I’d just know, as I wrapped a box of Squinkies for a preschool birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese that, underneath it all, I was still special. Sexy, even.

But something felt funny almost instantly. Something wedged up my rear. There was a definite lack of the ass-coverage I require. And with dawning horror, I realized: These were not the hipster briefs to which I’ve become accustomed.

See, the thing that is really handy about the plastic bag underwear is that they show you a picture of a lady wearing the panties in question so you can get a visual on the fit. So if it is “bikini” it looks like this:

I’m wearing bikini fit! I look awesome!

And if it  is “briefs” it looks like granny pants:

I’m wearing granny pants. I’m, um, thrilled.

And so on.

Apparently, these underwear photos are crucial so that I don’t ACCIDENTALLY BUY THONGS.

Damn it, though, I am a Minnesotan, born and raised, and we don’t waste things. And so I WILL WEAR THESE THONGS UNTIL THEY FALL APART. And darned if these hanger-panties aren’t sturdy. They are, apparently, worth every penny I splurged on them. No amount of washing seems to ruin them so I can move on with my life.

So if you see a mom in the grocery store with a cart full of Lunchables, sporting MILF-y gray capri sweats that have a crotch hole sewn up with brown embroidery thread, her dirty hair pulled back in a scrunchie, and if you notice that she is walking like she uncomfortably needs to find a restroom stat, don’t you worry about her.

She feels pretty on the inside.


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About Cindy Reed

I hate pants.
This entry was posted in High Fashion, Inappropriate Behavior. Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to Real Moms Don’t Wear Thongs.

  1. Delilah says:

    You know, I’m going to have to drive up to Asheville and look for that woman in the grocery store. There will be pictures taken. Think of me as your own personal paparazzi. snort.

  2. ashleyinnc says:

    I would totally have to donate the unworn pairs to Goodwill. They deserve pretty things, too, I would say to justify myself.
    This made me laugh out loud!

  3. Erica M says:

    I am a huge fan of the Hanes packaged undies. The ones on a hanger, even at Target, are too confusing. I do have one pair of thong undies from 55 lbs ago. They are in my closet as a reminder of sexiness long gone the way of Stouffer’s lasagna and Tyson’s Any-tizers. Long live the Target frozen entree section and bulk underwear.

    • The Reedster says:

      Any-tizers. Mmmmmmm….

    • “55 lbs ago” – love that. I keep a pair of size 6 Gap khakis in my closet…the only day they ever fit was the day I found them on the clearance rack at the Gap…they fit perfectly that day, but before I had a chance to wear them, I gained a few lbs and they’ve been on my closet shelf since then.

  4. I buy mine at Costco, and I love that they are L7 – just like the band! It’s time for some new ones though. Mine are getting holey – and I’m not into crotchless.

  5. sleepdeprived1 says:

    Whew! When I read the title, I thought for a minute that you meant shoes–like flip flops that have a thong between your toes. I was worried. Those are the only kind of thong this mom is wearing.

  6. Nichole says:

    “Hanger-panties” made me laugh out loud.

  7. Carolyn savage says:

    For the love of God, take them off! Wearing ill fitting underwear can cause women to do unfortunate things (I swear a pair of spanx caused a minor fender bender of mine!).

  8. Forever in French cut hipsters! says:

    Life is too short to wear thongs! Nuff said!

  9. Still giggling! I love that you bought yourself some pretty undies. You deserve it. Now shove them in the back of a drawer never to be seen again like the rest of us do! Fun read!

  10. Susan Tomlinson says:

    Butt floss…can’t deal with them! Once a year I head out to Victoria’s Secret and buy 5 or 10 of their high on the hip, yet full bottom coverage kind of panties. Somehow the same sizes just change each year. I think at least if you buy from the same seller, the sizes should be uniform….yes, I know, MY size might change, but that is a different story!

  11. I still wear them because I hate panty lines. But I started in college because my friend wore them and I thought “Damn, I guess I’m supposed to be sexy now… better get those…”

  12. Oh, this is so funny! I struggle with thongs. They are so uncomfy but what do about panty lines in certain outfits? I keep buying the next “most comfortable thong” but they never are. Great post!

  13. ang says:

    OMG, I cannot decide which part of this I like best. You are hilarious and I can totally identify. 🙂 Happy Monday!

  14. Kenja says:

    I have an ENTIRE DRAWER devoted to the pretty, frilly underwear that I never wear because they are uncomfortable. That counts, right? I can still feel sexy knowing that some pervert would have a heydey if he broke into my house and found that drawer that normally never sees the light of day, right?

  15. Anita V says:

    You do know that the Hanes come in polka dots and floral prints, right? Pretty AND comfort, dammit!

  16. 50peach says:

    Ahhhh, Reedster you’ve done it again! Hilarious post!

    …I guess I’m in the minority with the thongs. Big fan, especially for working out. I know, I know, WHAT?!?! But hey, my .02 is that it’s better to just deal with wearing one rather than bothering with hipsters/briefs that spend the entire workout creeping where they don’t belong… and you spend the entire workout pretending that you AREN’T picking your wedgie.

    And you lost me. What’s a Squinkie? 😉

  17. Holly says:

    Love it. Kinda like fun, pretty bras for me. I told the saleslady at Nordstrom, when she brought me an armful of beige pre-formed breast-shaped bras that I wanted something pretty and fun. And she said, “Why?” Cause apparently I was way past the fun, pretty stage. So I also hit the “pretty” aisle at target. Except now, whenever I lean over to pick up socks, dog toys and the like, I also have to pick up and hoist my boobs back into the bra.

  18. Linnea says:

    Medical wisdom states that thongs may contribute to urinary tract infections. Therefore, you have my permission to ditch them and go back to Hanes, my favorite brand! My kids call them “granny panties” but I like to be comfortable!

  19. “She feels pretty on the inside.” Well, she’s damn funny on the outside. Awesome. Erin

  20. I would be more concerned if you were in the grocery store in just the thongs, but the sweats make it totally cool. you are a double agent – WAHM on the outside, sexy goddess on the inside!

  21. outlawmama says:

    Finally, I have been waiting for some validation that the Target lingerie department is THE PLACE for sprucing up the back side. I need those pictures too. And I love the visual of your gray pants sewn up with brown thread. So perfect.

  22. Holy hilarious! Your story is awesome, and as a Mom I can relate all too well. I love the comments too!
    I also have a whole drawer of frilly, lacy underwear and thongs that I never wear. Okay, so I wear them, but only if it’s laundry day and I’m out of my high-waisted, down to the thigh, suck it all in underwear.

    Thanks for being awesome enough to talk about your butt on the internet. 😉

  23. wcdameron says:

    I am thankful each day for the things that we men do not have to deal with.

    I will tell you, however, that I bought a pair of David Beckham underwear in the hopes that when I put them on that my body would look more like his. It did not. They were not magical underwear…

  24. christina says:

    christ on a bike who invented those damn things anyway!?

  25. mamarific says:

    Hilarious! I have had similar thoughts while passing that section of Target, but I too, cannot function on a daily basis with a thong up my butt. Don’t know how people do it. I’d rather go commando.

  26. dalrie says:

    I have granny panties…and this saddens me. I’m not even 30 yet. But they are more comfortable damnit! Hilarious post! I’m glad that floss up your butt makes you feel sexy. I would just make me pick a wedgy all the time.

  27. Funny story, girl. I smiled all the way through. Good for you for your practicality, and determining to wear them anyway. I couldn’t do it. Quite a few of my yoga mates wear thongs (the outline is visible through the pants), but I find them so uncomfortable. But dammit a little discomfort for feeling sexy is worth it, isn’t it?

  28. I can so relate. Honestly, I have been out in some underwear that were making me so crazy that I slipped into a restroom, pulled them off and crammed them into my purse. I can’t take it anymore if I’m bunched-up uncomfy down-there.

  29. Larks says:

    LOL! This is great. I never know what to do when it comes to replacing underpants. I haven’t tried the shrink wrap package kind but am afraid of a lot of the hanger underwear so I end up going through the bulk ‘Pink’ underwear drawers at Victorias Secret along with 85% of the 14 year old girls across the nation. So maybe my underwear choice means that I really like “Teen Wolf” on the inside.

  30. Tracy says:

    Hahahaha! I’ll admit it: I’m close to 40 and I still rock thongs. Panty lines blow.

  31. Gina says:

    Hate panty lines but LOVE this post!

  32. There was a time I only wore thongs and swore they were more comfortable than granny panties. Now I see why so many older women thought I was nuts back then! I can always count on you for a chuckle!

  33. I’m a thongs-with-jeans-and-boy-shorts-with-most-everything else kinda gal, but I know I’m in the minority here. Most of my girlfriends say they hate thongs.

    Hilarious post!

  34. IASoupMama says:

    I love it! And at what point did the collective mom consciousness decide that Target lingerie is it and Victoria’s Secret isn’t? “Cuz, dude, I totally think Gillian O’Malley is da bomb.

  35. sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms says:

    Laughed out loud in Starbucks. But as a PSA, please people, don’t donate your underwear. No one wants used butt floss. Carry on. Ellen

  36. Laura says:

    I’m sure you do deserve pretty things! Maybe next time you come to this realization you can splurge on a new pair of gray capri sweats!

  37. saalon says:

    Is there some way I can just comment with an audio file my laughter while reading this post? Hold on, there’s a microphone on this computer, right? Let me just…uh, click and…uh…


    Fine, just trust me. I laughed a lot.

  38. The woman on the “briefs” package looks like she’s wearing a diaper.

    Hilarious post, Reedster!

  39. Hate thongs! Love hanes bikinis. But i totally get you, occasionally i’m worth pretty panties too and so i have them – in my draw and there they seem to stay. apparently i don’t like to waste my pretty things. I’m saving them…. for…. i don’t know….. 😉

  40. raisingivy says:

    Cindy, I read this the instant you posted it on Facebook but I can’t deal with commenting from my phone, so here I am. This post is so funny and entertaining but also has a lot going on underneath the humor — it’s one of your best, in my perhaps-skewed opinion.

  41. bahahahahahaha! ( I really have nothing else to say, but wanted to leave a comment because this is HILARIOUS!)

  42. Mayor Gia says:

    Hahahhaha thongs. Bleh.

  43. peskypippi says:

    I love this post. And was cracking up! Ha, I said crack. I just bought another couple of packs of Hanes cotton bikinis (wowza, hey hottie Pippi…upgrading from briefs to bikinis…I know, right?) I loved your description of the gray pants sewn up at the crotch. What is UP with the crotch splitting. I mean, shouldn’t that part be reinforced because of all the bending and moving we do?

    You made me smile and think of my own sewn-up-in-the-crotch pants and Hanes. 🙂

  44. hahaha. I just splurged for my first post-pregnancy pack of hanes (1.5 years later…) and wondered to myself, passing the pretty panties, who buys an inch of fabric for $10 a piece when you can get a pack of 6 for half the price? And that, boys and girls, is reason #156 why I was 16 and never been kissed and reason #759 why I don’t fit in to society.

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  49. modmomelleroy says:

    This is a stellar post! Funny and so well written. And if loving it is thong, I don’t wanna be right.

  50. In my entire adult life, I have only bought underwear not from Target one single time. I was curious about the Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale, so I went in, and was instantly amazed. THE COLORS! THE STYLES! I NEED THEM ALL! I bought 6 pairs because cute = comfortable right? Wrong. I have never spent so many hours trying to discreetly pick a wedgie than I did on the 6 days I wore those 6 new pairs of underwear. I never, ever put any of them on again. They now live in the back of my underwear drawer, and I ran straight back to the Target lingerie aisle, where I belong.

  51. Cynthia Litwer says:

    There is a special place in hell for the designers of stilettos at ungodly prices and all the other clothes supposedly designed to make women feel special and sexy. They will have to wear their own creations for eternity. We are sexy, beautiful, and worthwhile if we decide we are. Who gives a shit about panty lines?

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  53. Darcy Perdu says:

    Great story! Very funny! Reminds me of the time I opened a new package of pantyhose and realized I bought stockings instead — the kind that require the clippy things to stay up. Usually not a big deal to make a mistake like that but I was in Hong Kong on business at the time and this was the only thing I had packed to wear with my suit for a business meeting! I tried TAPE to keep those suckers up and finally had to abandon them in the trash, thus exposing my pale hairy legs to the freezing January cold! So embarrassing! I’ve never tried thong undies — and after your funny story, I think I will stay clear!

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  55. mandyfish says:

    As I recall, you have to build up a tolerance for thongs. Like, your asshule needs to grow numb to it again over time. I can’t wear them any more either. Mama ain’t got time for that.

  56. Carrie says:


    I swear I think I just pee’d a little. Or maybe a lot.

    And now I gotta go read more of your hysterical stuff!

  57. Kristina says:

    LOL great post! I’m a SAHM and ALL I wear are thongs. The only ones I wear are Hanky Panky. They are a life changer and I swear are more comfortable than regular underwear or any underwear for that matter.

  58. You are so right. One cannot possibly perform the duties of a mom while having a one-inch ribbon chafing her innermost parts. We deserve to have nice things – that’s why chocolate was invented.

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