My Mother’s High-cut Briefs


I know – gasp, horror, applause – two posts in two days! Don’t get used to it, it’s just that I don’t trust the kids to sleep long enough to give me a good chance at shut-eye, so I’ve chosen to write instead. About a momentous occasion.

I have a clear memory from my youth… I have a few actually, and most of them are in my memoir, Wobbles – An Olympic Story (cracking read, check it out, etc.). This clear memory of my mother getting dressed after her morning swim does not appear in Wobbles (really, a cracking read, check it out, buy one, etc… ok, it’s getting lame), and I don’t exactly dwell on it, but it came to me the other night after my bed-time shower – bed-time is the only time when I can shower without the threat of kiddie invasion, in case you were wondering.

Mum used to pull her high-cut briefs right up over her belly button and I always wondered about that particular manoeuver. I could only imagine how uncomfortable it must be to have your underwear riding around your pits. Surely she was just asking for an atomic wedgie, or worse, a wedgie of the front bum kind. I never did ask about it – I figured choices relating to underwear were pretty personal and I knew how annoying it was to hear her thoughts on my Anal Floss. So, the discussion of the High-Cut Brief was never had.

The other night, after my invasion-free shower, I allowed myself the displeasure of a Naked Once Over in the mirror. This is a ritual I only ever indulge in when I am feeling particularly secure on all other fronts. I by-passed the back fat and the breasts that are beginning to invade what once was a waist-line (the absence of a waist-line was duly noted). As I scanned down, turning this way and that to inspect the hail damage and wondering whether insurance would pay for it to be repaired, it occurred to me that the sagging, overhanging, post-baby-belly skin – ok, ok, so there may be a bit of fat in it, but that’s beside the point – IT IS NEVER GOING AWAY!

Never. Ever.

The finality shocked me. Until now I have been living in the fantasy that when I am finished having children, I will shape up and be bikini gorgeous in no time, just like everyone else! But there it sagged, mocking my delusions. I tensed my stomach muscles and the sag was only accentuated. I sucked my stomach in and the sag grew an inch. The baby pouch, the spare tyre, the wobbly-bulbous-stretchy-sack-of-motherhood remained like a bouncing badge of honour.

It was an epiphanous moment (if that is even a word). I took hold of my undies and hoisted them skyward until they rested atop the baby paunch and squished it just a little. It turned the obvious ridge into a tapered surface. Not exactly washboard, but no longer pendulous. Granted, I looked hideous with my dacks jacked up to my midriff, but at least the high-cut brief was not an admission of defeat like the full brief is. Yes, I was slightly disgusted to have to look at my hips in all the lumpy-padded glory which has hitherto been disguised by my hipster boy-legs, but jeans can put those bumps into their place, so I got over it.

Hideous or not, I have decided to give my mother’s high-cuts a go. I mean, it’s not as though I’m trying to impress anybody with my clothes off anymore. These days it’s more about culinary prowess than va-va-voom anyway, and the very thought of wearing the Anal Floss of my youth is enough to send me into convulsions. So, if the high-cut holds me in without slipping into my atomic chasm, I will gladly admit that mother was right. We’ll just have to wait and see.


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