When I was seven years old and my sister was four, my mom was hospitalized after she was diagnosed with leukemia. That meant Dad had to take over many aspects of raising us that he'd never been a part of; number one: morning routine. He'd never helped us brush our hair and style it or help us pick out our outfits. All the bows and barrettes must have freaked him out, because he eventually convinced one of us to cut her hair super short, leaving only one little girl's hair to get ready in the morning. I was the loser and ended up with a puffy, frizzy afro.
Dad had bought us clothes before, but not every outfit, shoes and underwear. On one shopping trip, I convinced Dad to let me buy yellow stirrup pants--it was the eighties, thank you very much, a yellow and white striped short sleeve button down shirt, and a yellow sweater vest. This was my outfit. I thought it was cute and that I looked nice in it.
While we were at the hospital visiting my mom, I wore my super duper yellow (I might as well have been Big Bird) outfit. I bent over to pick something up and she got a full view of my tush. Not bad. Seven or eight year olds have great tushies. But my mother gasped in horror. She could see the purple flowers on my underwear through my yellow stirrup pants. She scolded me and then Dad for letting me leave the house in see-through pants.
"Who's lets a child walk around with the flowers on her underwear showing through her pants?" she asked.
Dad looked confused. Apparently, he hadn't received the memo on how visible panty anything--lines or full underwear was a no-no.