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  • The Piquant Storyteller

Underwear is Private

I was in love. I was 11 years old and I was head over heels in love with a super cute boy in my class. His blond hair and blue eyes dazzled my imagination. In an effort to deal with my new emotions threatening to bubble over, I wrote myself a note. Maybe I thought I would forget. Maybe I just needed to see the truth written in graphite and white embellished with lopsided hearts. I don't know why I wrote the note. It seemed like a logical thing to do at the time. The note was for me. No one would ever see it. After all, I buried it in my sock drawer.


The next day my parents were putting laundry away. Apparently this task requires stirring through the contents of drawers before adding freshly folded items. My note was found and my life was over. My family would not shut up about it for a solid month. Somehow I managed to survive the utter humiliation of my note being discovered. Elementary school ended taking Jared to a different junior high school. We never saw each other ever again.


That sinking feeling of being found out returned. My husband and I ran some errands while our kids stayed home. When we got back I switched loads of laundry. I saw the lint trap duster hanging precariously from an upper shelf. I pushed it back in place then carried a basket of laundry into my closet to be put away. That's when I noticed a drawer wasn't shut all the way. It was a top drawer that I rarely get into. My swimsuits smiled back at me and I pushed the drawer shut. Weird. My husband went swimming with the young men at church a few days ago. Maybe he didn't remember which drawer his suits were in.


Then I saw more of my drawers slightly ajar. The cabinets and drawers in our house are soft close but not the drawers in the closet. You have to give them a little extra nudge to get them to close completely. Clearly someone had been looking through my drawers. Most of my drawers. Hmm.


I knew exactly what had happened. One of my children, and I knew exactly which one, had been on a Christmas gift scavenger hunt. My kids sat in the other room watching TV as if nothing had happened.


What bugged me more than anything was feeling violated. I also felt a strange disappointment for the sloppy job this kid did in covering tracks. It just seems if you're going to do something wrong, at least have the decency to hide it a little better! How hard is it to put things back the way you found them?


Years ago, my brother snuck into my room. I knew because I could just feel that something had been moved. At the time, I was decorating with wadded up clothes strewn everywhere. You could barely see the color of carpet. Even in that state, I knew something was wrong. I just didn't know what. A couple days later I found a ceramic dragon I had painted lying in a partially open drawer, as if it had fallen off the nearby shelf.


Everything about the situation seemed weird until about a month later when I opened the Christmas gift my brother gave me. It was a large ceramic dragon wrapped around a mountain side with a hidden door on the back. The dragon was painted to look like the other dragon I had. My brother admitted he snuck in my room to borrow my dragon so he could see how I used several colors to highlight and shade it. He didn't think I would notice the missing dragon.


I notice everything. I don't want to but I do. My husband finally decided to bring our child in question in for a little confrontation. At first he/she/it lied, but quickly abandoned the charade. A sheepish grin crossed the child's face. Unfortunately, this kid doesn't understand my reaction to having my privacy violated. We're at an impasse.


All I know is that underwear should be private. But that's the first place people look for contraband.

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