Thursday, August 14, 2008

Underoos: Fabulous Stories For Every Style

Audrey was a spunky superstar, a sparkling belle of the forgotten borough. She was that serendipitous moment that brought people together, a real life school yard merry-go-round that seemed to always be spinning in slow-motion until it was your turn to ride. She painted her toes the color of bubblegum and hummed the lyrics to Sweet Jane during the previews of movies. She crowd surfed at jazz shows and knew that good lip gloss, when applied properly, could solve any problem. After glorious nights, she would wake her lover by playing the ukulele in bed - slowly he would rise, eyes still fuzzy from the warm kisses of his dreams, and find her propped up next to him sitting criss-cross applesauce, wearing nothing but a string of pearls and her favorite bikini underwear.

Emma was born of pale blue blood, at an early age her family moving permanently into a five-star Parisian hotel. Even into her early teens she would dash up and down the stairs, racing the century-old elevators that wheezed like sleepy old men, and blow bubbles from the balcony at starstruck tourists below. But every Sunday morning she would put on her best gingham dress, tuck her room key away safely in her pocket and climb down the stairs into the lobby. Peeking out from behind frosty marble pillars, she found herself fascinated by the English high tea that took place there every weekend, and sooner or later she began to eavesdrop on the pretty Parisian women, taking down notes on her Hello Kitty notepad. In her best script, she wrote the tiny things she learned like "never be completely bare in the company of others" and "always know the proper fork to use at dinner", socialite essentials that she willed herself to follow. At the age of nineteen when she finally broke free from that glorious hotel and ran away into the real world, she found herself quickly falling in love with a quiet boy who worked at a nearby neon gelateria. They chatted, courted, and when she was finally pulled to bed she found there to be quite a bit of controversy over her choice of underwear. Despite the pages of formality whirling around inside of her, shouting to follow all those flowering rules and be that perfect lady, she pulled herself out of bed, strapped on her Mary Janes, and strolled out of his flat, strutting home in nothing but a cashmere sweater and her best pair of briefs.

Georgia was a daydreamer who worked in a sleepy tea shop during the day, serving steaming pots of mint-soaked tea and bite-sized treats to artists and authors. She dreamed of writing pocket novellas about modern-day mermaids and boys who turned into wolves with a single kiss, but for some reason could never find the right words. She pondered why the words wouldn't come over teacups the size of a baby's palm and eventually came to the conclusion that before she could find the right words, she would have to find herself. But where did she begin? She wasn't even sure when she had lost herself in the first place. It was only when a street-side fortune teller read her palm on her way home from work, whispering in lush, hushed tones that the real her lay underneath, that she discovered what needed to be done. The next day she parked her bike in front of that dreamy tea shop, pulled off her coat, and strolled inside in just a camisole and a pair of boyshorts. And the real her really was underneath...

Lily didn't believe in marriage. In a cruel, upside-down world where boys in love with boys and girls in love with girls couldn't be wed, she decided that she too would never marry until those weeping couples were given the right to. She told herself this while lying on her back in bed, carefully scrutinizing the sleeping boy sprawled out next to her, but really even then she probably wouldn't marry. Lily was a mustang of the plains, an all-night wild child who got tipsy off of Shirley Temples and always danced in the arms of strangers. Looking at her curly tangle of hair and big baby blue eyes she wondered, was marriage really meant for girls like her? Instead, she promised herself that she would become a tousled yogini, doing sun salutations on the roof of her flat, usually in the nude. She would loiter around the "sex & relationships" section of bookstores, staring intently at the watercolor illustrations that accompanied every pose and posture, and go out dancing in her best pink leather pumps at least once a week - she would shine, all shaken up like a Christmas snowglobe, and mystify those hazy lovers around her. Maybe she would kiss the necks of all kinds of boys, surfer boys and rocker boys and poet boys and painter boys, but at the end of the night she would keep that promise she made, crawling out of their beds in her high heels and underwear, and fall in love only with herself.

Penelope ♥


Anonymous said...

Dear Penelope,
I have been reading your blog for a little while (having discovered it through the fabulous Gala, but have yet to comment...until now... are a beautifully kind soul! I love your writing, thoughts...just everything about you is so inspiring, uplifting, and full of joy! I send you all my love and best wishes always!!
Thank you for sharing your kind soul with the world!

All my love, Always-
Kendra Jacklyn

p.s.-in comment to this particular blog...I'm not much for thongs, but Lily sure does have the idea...fall in love with YOURSELF (what I am struggling to do right this very moment)...You write so beautifully, Penelope, and I don't think I will ever look at a thong quite the same way again :)

Penny Lane said...

I adore this post! Underoos are a simply amazing piece of clothing and i am glad you did them justice!

My Stifled Laughter said...

I love this particular post, especially Emma for some reason. Great idea, and lovely descriptions!