A Civil Debate About Underwear

The debate is on. Not the disheartening, soul-crushing political jockeying that turns civil people into bad-mannered kindergartners in need of cookies and a nap. No, I prefer a more reasoned debate. Boxers or briefs? Pffft, who cares. Over or under? Over it! Bullet or rabbit? Longest battery life wins. No, the Great Debate of 2016 is focused on a single word: panties.

Why? Because it’s an icky word, okay? At least to some of us. Our lexicon is teeming with words some people don’t like, and when enough traction is applied by the masses, chatter escalates exponentially across the WWW until it gets to me. So, vital question of the day: what do you call yours?

Let’s put the issue into perspective, shall we? Panties is an umbrella term for women’s lower-body undergarments. “Panties” encompasses a vast elastic array of styles and cuts including briefs, bikinis, boy-shorts, thongs, and granny panties that not even grannies admit to wearing.

If you wear thongs, like moi, they still fit under the panties umbrella, though I do not call them panties. At. All. Maybe G-strings. Do not even get me started on “butt floss.” No, I call them by their proper name: underwear.

I did a brief survey. And here’s what women I know told me they call theirs:

  • panties
  • undies
  • underwear
  • underpants
  • knickers
  • unmentionables
  • cooter covers

Okay, I might have made up that last one, but imagine if that were to catch on! Cooter covers: patches for snatches! Swatches for crotches! Yes, you can make this stuff up, but they are not any ickier than panties.

Maybe it’s just me, but panties carries a distinctly sexual connotation—as if they’re slutty and can’t be taken seriously. Panties are underpants’ less moral sister. But there’s also another connotation.

My friend Winter says, “Panties are for five-year-olds. Or my husband when he goes outside in his boxers that sort of pass for shorts but are, in the end, panties.”

This is why we are besties.

I thought maybe the panties vs. underwear (or whatever) debate could come down to generational differences, but no. While two of my Millennial daughters are happy to call them panties, a third one prefers “underwear.” I raised one of them right.

My friend Jennifer and sister-in-law Yvonne, both Baby Boomers, call them panties without even snickering; and my 90-year-old friend Hazel calls hers panties. Hazel says she’s called them that all her life, and she’s quite respectable. Her daughter Marjorie prefers underpants, but to me, that says little boy briefs all over it, and, of course, Captain Underpants ink-pressed with Superman right across the package.

The debate is apparently going to rage on through the elections. I hope by then we have not made mockeries of ourselves by using the lame-duck term panties, and instead have made America great again by selecting the eminently more qualified “underwear” to the hiney-est office in the land.

That is all.

P.S. If you’re a man calling your briefs or boxers “panties,” you need to call your mother and explain how that is not cool. Carl.

How Not to Kick the Habit

diary-968592_1920I used to blog nearly every day, and I had so much fun doing it. I was excited about candidly tapping my often-intimate scrapes through life onto the keyboard, despite that much of it was embarrassing stuff, to my family. Who doesn’t love a quaint tale about vaginas or getting thong panties in the mail? I tell ya.

Blogging, then, was an exercise in instant gratification several days a week, and I’m not sure I’ve ever amused myself more. Readers got to see the real me, although, more rightly, a caricature of the real me. But after a couple years, I moved my blog to a different URL, which made it harder for fans to find me, and that move coincided with the distraction of a new guy I quite liked. He had potential, and I fell for him as far as one can fall without dying.

Then, he informed me while we were naked in a pool that he’d told his mother about me—and my blog. Uh, I prefer to blow my only chance to make a good first impression with your mother on my own, thanks. This potential keeper of a guy had just sicced his church-going parents on me, which left me cock-blogged, and I couldn’t write much of anything for the longest time. Then, as one does, I got out of the habit, and that’s when my once high-traffic blog died the quiet, painful death of an armadillo on a Hill Country roadside.

The guy fell by the wayside as well. C’est la vie, t’was not to be, we’re now both free, of each other.

Writing regularly needs to be a habit if you’re going to call yourself a writer (which I do and I do). Anyone can write, but writing requires the commitment of time, energy, and creative space, along with the sacrifice of other consequential things, like, oh, a life. An authentic, in-your-face existence where you actually get out of the computer screen and go places with real characters. I love my lap cat, but Trudy’s frowns when I bring fur ball with me for deep-fried avocados and Mexican martinis. The theatrical screening of Deadpool didn’t quite work out either. #hashtag drive-by, claws everywhere.

I do write though. All. Day. Long. I write and edit at work, and I write and edit at night on my novels—if I’m not wrung out as a washrag. But now I’ve got several books on Amazon and many more in the queue. I’m pretty happy with that, so perhaps the sacrifice of men from my life, and one man in particular, was a blessing. Maybe a well-timed, blazing turd of disappointment is an unproductive writer’s best friend; it led me toward where I really wanted to be.

Right back here with you all.


You can also catch me over at Read Kimberly Jayne


Fragrant Liar Writes a Book

If you could teach your ex a lesson, would you?

Take-My-Husband-Please-by-Kimberly-Jayne-160x250Admit it. You would, right? I have contemplated such things in the past, even if I never followed through (that anyone is alive to tell). And when I got this big idea, I thought, if I can’t do it in real life, I can sure as hell write about it.

Helpful tip: This is why you never piss off a writer because they will just kill you or make you suffer in their next book. See how that works?

I wrote a romantic comedy employing some “kiss-off” tactics. It’s called Take My Husband, Please. Do you love the title? You’ll have to read it to see exactly how she does it and how it all shakes out in the end. Like my Fragrant Liar blog, this book is candid, somewhat a lot irreverent, sassy, and naturally hilarious. Plus, after you’ve read it, the world will look so incredibly sparkly and rapturous.

Here’s the brief scoop:

After Sophie files for divorce from Will, his unexpected financial apocalypse brings him back under her roof. Awkward! And if that’s not bad enough, Sophie’s new guy—a sexy and successful entrepreneur—is not keen on dating her without proof that Will is truly out of the picture. Sophie and her best friend concoct a brilliant bet to keep Will “occupied,” but things take a surprise turn for the crazy when Sophie gets roped into sending her ex on five blind dates!

Does that sound like fun? This is total escapism, friends. Summer’s coming. Need a beach read? I got your breezy huckleberry. The deal is smokin’ at $2.99 for the e-book on Amazon. Pre-order now and have it in your hot little hands on April 15. Talk about Tax Day awesomeness.

AND, the paperback edition will be available by April 30. Yippee! Looking for a great Mother’s Day gift? Perfect timing!

Is anybody still out there? Do you know that I am? Truth is, nobody can read your stuff if they don’t know you exist, so please check out my book and tell all your friends and your pooch. Dogs love this stuff. Cats, they prefer mysteries, especially after they’ve been gnawing on the kitty pot.

One last thing. I have a new author site called (surprise) ReadKimberly. There’s more info there on my books and what’s on tap, if you want to check it out. Thanks, peeps!

Twitter:  @readkimberlyj
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/readkimberlyjayne


A Cat in the Can Is Worth Two in the, er, Tush

So I woke up in the middle of the night, rolled out of bed, squinting through the darkness, and stumbled into the bathroom. Before I could sit down, I felt the hairy head of the newest member of my family beneath my thigh. There was a shocked expletive and a hiss that did not come from me, and then a short squatter’s skirmish for territory. With the most triumphant tush on the toilet—mine—Maybelline blinked up at me from the floor with her big yellow-gold marbles.

Maybelline, the four-legged variety of family, possesses a special talent that most of her kind do not. She’s potty trained. Literally. So whenever I hit the john, she thinks she has to hit it too. As cats go, she’s not the brightest bulb in the ballast, but she’s getting this gig down, so something in her little kitty brain is clawing its way out.

Maybelline, Early potty training days.
Potty training: The Early Days.

In the beginning, if she wasn’t ready to balance her butt over the water, I ran the faucet while pretending to pay no attention—she does appreciate her privacy. She’d get down, then jump back up and resume the seat circling, and if she gave a little cry at the same time, I knew she couldn’t hold it much longer. I said things like, “You got this, Maybelline! This is your time! You’re the prettiest pussy in the privy (present company excluded)!” And whaddaya know? Before long, she was doing the doody deed.

Naturally, there’s been trial and error. Where do the front paws go? Where do the back paws go? Oops, a little dip o’ the paw in the water and a quick shudder-shake to spread it around. She’s not the most dexterous dancer on the dais, but she’s getting the hang of it.

Then there’s me. Whenever I know she has to go, I coax her into the bathroom and wait for her to drop off the kids at the pool. I give pep talks in a soothing voice, run the sink water, and try not to make startling movements; and I smile appreciatively at the miracle that is my prodigy pooping on the pot. Then I fetch the cat treats to reward her—and oh how she loves her treats.

Hey, wait a minute. Who’s training who? I thought I was the cleverest cat in the can.


Yes, I Am Annoyingly Happy. Ask Anyone.

I’m really happy. I could shut up right there, but that would diminish this post to the diameter and circumference of an iota, and y’all know I am not gifted with the short wind. Plus, you’d be left in the dark, and it’s what’s in the light that counts most.

Truthfully, I’m one of those who wake up happy. People have always said, “You’re kinda perky, aren’t ya?” But now it’s more like, “Could you tone that shit down?” And once in a while, from those who know me well (and have therefore seen me boo-hooin’), “How are you so resilient?” Down through the ages, people have even compared me to She Who Must Not Be Named, who totally got a bad rap for being so darn glad. But don’t worry, I’m not going to speak her name and overwhelm you with gladness. Nope, I’m herewith striking her name and toning that shit down.

Instead, here are my top three happy factors, which rejuvenate me even after a personal implosion on the scale of Krakatoa:

This is not Fragrant Liar
This is not Fragrant Liar

1. Letting Go. Pretty sure it was Moses who said, “Let my shit go!” Or Moses’ wife Sephora (aka, Zippy) about whom Nefretiri talked major smack. And I sort of quote, “Your woman smells like garlic and sheep.” Jealous much, Neffy? Perhaps Zippy sat on too much of her shit, or she should have complimented Neffy’s pomegranate lip gloss. Whatever. Moses gave up girls anyway. And FYI, I have seen guys completely ignore even centerfold types when they get a tablet in front of them. Ahem. The past, just like that slight detour, holds a special place in my heart and will always be there. By itself. And look! STILL HAPPY! I will dwell in this place.

2. Leaning in to the Present. This does take practice, and I’m getting better at it, but it’s basically a willingness to enjoy the “I am that I am” thing. It helps if you’ve let go of a bunch of shit, which I mighta mentioned, and YOU are all you’re left with. Since I like me and have a good time with me—Me gets all me jokes—it’s easy, though I do like having a good time with others. I even saw my number in the Men’s room before, but that’s not important. Your takeaway is this: Be here now, in the moment—and own your shit. So let it be written.

3. Looking Forward. What’s not to love about this one? The possibilities! So much to anticipate—ugh, and so little attention span. You know I’m talking about YOU people because my capacity for sustained concentration is legendary— Hey, d’you see that? Gigantor squirrel nuts. Dude! LOL. Take a picture! Um, soooo, this happy factor is chock full of stuff, starting with my September 29th birthday (which you will want to sparkly-ink in on your calendar), such as:

  • Approved vacay requests — CHECK!
  • Plane tix with the good seats — CHECK!
  • Passport — CHECK!
  • Cool spot in the tropics for whitewater river rafting, ziplining, and the beach — CHECK and DOUBLE CHECK!

    This is Fragrant Liar
    This is Fragrant Liar

Add my other trips, like T-Day in Atlanta, and I. Am. So. Effing. Glad! And you should be glad too! And, and—oh, I can’t help it! With my last breath, I’ll break my own law and speak the name of . . . Pollyanna. Pollyanna!

There now. Even if you have zero talent for parting the sea, I say unto you, go forth and take your happy ass with you.

The Writing Geek Meter is Fired Up

As a writer, few things fire up my geek meter more than hanging out with other creatives who indulge in sometimes outrageous storytelling like I do. So for the last week, my geek needle has been pinned in the red as I tooled around Austin, San Antonio, and Canyon Lake with my buddies—from my Listen to Your Mother cast mates to the Austin Agents & Editors Conference to my good friend Marjorie Brody’s book signing.

Buy this book! It's a great Young Adult Mystery.
Buy this book! It’s a great Young Adult Mystery.

Let me introduce you to Marjorie, author of the new young adult mystery (psychological suspense), Twisted, which you can get on Amazon.com HERE, or at Barnes and Noble HERE.

Here’s the short synopsis:  Timid 14-year-old Sarah wants her controlling mother to stop prying into what happened the night of the freshman dance. Confess to the police? No way. Confide in her mother? Get real. The woman is too busy, too proud, and too jealous of Sarah to really care if her life disintegrates. Besides, her mother will say Sarah is totally to blame for what the boys did—which Sarah believes is true. So she doubly needs to shield the truth. Not just from Momma. But from everyone. Including herself.

I promise it’s a great read if you enjoy young adult mysteries (psychological suspense) or know a young adult who would. I really liked it, and I’m a young adult at heart.

Marjorie is an award-winning short story author and Pushcart Prize Nominee, who’s also a former psychotherapist. (Heh, you know I’m always on my guard, cuz she can see right through me.) She gets to write fulltime and hang out with other writers as she likes. And I’m envious. You can visit her at www.marjoriespages.com.

All the Innuendo, Half the Fact


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