Never thought I’d be explaining thongs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When a mother gives birth to a beautiful baby girl, she never imagines the day when she will have to explain thong underwear or why some boys wear eyeliner.

Why you wash your face, how you can never go wrong with a good set of pearls and the like – well, that stuff is easy to explain. But thongs?

Saturday was the annual movie birthday trip for the oldest girl – the big 13.

We started with a lunch at the Ranch House in Florala, then it was on to Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. The movie du jour, of course considering I was traveling with three teenagers, was the new Twilight flick.

My mother also tagged along for giggles, which incidentally, turned out to be more for her than for me – considering the last stop on the trip was Victoria’s Secret. Granted, the store is no place really for teenagers; however, those sneaky marketing people know how to draw the customers in. On Saturday, the gimmick of the day was a shiny stuffed dog for those who spent $10. By goodness, two of them had to have one of those dogs.

The store wasn’t terribly busy. The only other person perusing the rack was a young girl, probably 13. Her father was doing a good job of holding up the wall, a good 10 feet away. His face said he’d rather be any other place in the world than shopping in the Pink store.

In front of the group was large squared section of white enameled racks, stacked high with styles of every shape and color. And wouldn’t you know it, the first selection pulled was two scraps of fabric and three strings of elastic.

“What’s this?” the more outspoken of the group asked, holding it up by one of the sides. She stretched out straight, examined it and said, “This don’t look right.”

“A thong, and that’s the front,” I said.

“How do you wear it?” she asked before answering herself in her head. “Oh, no.”

“Oh, yes,” I said.

“That’s gross,” she said.

And what did I say?

“It is what it is.”

“That’s stupid,” she said. “They put the tag on the wrong side. Everybody knows it goes in the back.”

“Sometimes, honey,” I said. “We women pay the ultimate price to be pretty.”

A glance over my shoulder revealed my mother, her hand over her mouth to muffle the laugh, and the most relieved looking dad I’d ever seen, thankful, I’m sure, he didn’t have to give that lesson.

Afterward, one of my friends said I should have told them the style was for people who couldn’t afford real underwear. Like all great advice, it came too late to do any real good.

I guess now I need to ask her how to explain boys who wear eyeliner, because thankfully, they missed that one as he waited at the Piercing Pagoda kiosk.