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It all began on a camping trip a few years back with my friend Cynthia. In our planning the trip to the Lake of the Ozarks, we joked that we would dance around our campfire in granny-panties and polka-dotted socks like good little Pagans. By the time we got to our destination, I had all but forgotten about this – but Cynthia had not.  We finished our hot dogs and a bottle of wine. Then she surprised me with socks and underwear for us both. We put them on and began our fire dance.


The day we left the Ozarks, I had run out of clean underwear, so I had to wear the granny-panties. The elastic band hung at least a full four inches above the waistband of my jeans, but on the drive back I could not stop commenting on how comfortable they were.

And thus began my guilty pleasure.

When I had surgery recently, my sister presented me with upside-down heart-shaped balloons wearing granny-panties. This was the greatest get-well-soon gift I could have imagined. My most recent acquisition (because I never actually buy these on my own, mind you) was from my mom, a pair of eight silky, lace-trimmed, extra-high Hanes Her Ways. I packed them for Italy and slept in them, hidden under my fuzzy pajama pants each night.

Yep. I took a picture of them when I got them.

As I repacked for my flight home from Bologna, I stuffed all of my unmentionables into one of the exterior side-pockets of my orange-trimmed suitcase. Checked my bag and boarded the giant airplane with what must have been hundreds of French high school students for our flight to New York City.

Upon my arrival at JFK Airport, I was one of the first to get through the customs line.  In no hurry, I went to the luggage carousel to wait for my bag.  I stood at the end of the oval-shaped apparatus along with the couple dozen folks who were lucky enough to get in line in front of the horde of French teenagers.  From a distance, I saw my suitcase tumble onto the line, resting upside-down and half on top of another bag. I acknowledged it but decided to just wait for it to come to me.

My gaze came back directly in front of me to the suitcases passing by and I saw a pile of pink silk and lace displayed between two bags. My heart stopped and I felt a hot blush move up my neck. I involuntarily began to take a step forward to retrieve my granny-panties before anyone else saw they were there – but I halted. No one knows they’re yours, Potter, I thought to myself. Act cool and no one will ever know your secret.

My pillowy puff of panties continued on its way around the corner and out of sight. I bit my lip to keep from laughing and decided it would probably be better to not pull out my camera and chase them down to even just take a picture for a blog’s sake.

Then my stomach dropped again. My suitcase was upside down when it was spit out onto the conveyor belt. Oh dear lord, what if it had busted open and there was a strand of granny-panties hanging from the side-pocket like a string of silky, over-sized prayer flags? Then what?  Do I act like it is all not mine and watch all of the teenage French kids to laugh and point and take pictures for their Le Facebooks and wait until everyone has left so I can pick up my panties and save an ounce of my dignity?

Thank God that was not the case, because my suitcase was fully in tact when it rolled up to me moments later. I pulled my hat down lower on my face and snuggled my chin further into my pile of scarves in an effort to hide how hard I was laughing.  I had been exposed, even if no one else knew it. I walked away from my underwear before the gaggle of teenagers made it through customs and left the fate of my pink granny-panties up to them.

A few days later, I finally emptied out my suitcase to do laundry. I cautiously unzipped the side-pocket and began to sort my unmentionables into color-coded piles.  I pulled out five, six, seven… eight pairs of granny-panties, the last being a pair of pale pink.

I realized with a start that all of mine were accounted for. I didn’t lose a pair after all, and that pair on the conveyor belt had not been mine.  I was silently grateful that I did not pick up the pair but simultaneously realized that someone else had the same guilty pleasure as me. It made me smile to think that I had felt exposed and a little vulnerable in that moment yet decided to choose to find humor in the whole situation.  And in the end, it was my life’s reflection in someone else’s… um, underwear.

Well, you know what I mean.

Don’t be ashamed of the things you truly love, the things that bring you so much joy. It may very well be that you are not the only one.
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