Do ugly knickers ruin your day?

USA Today has published the results of a study demonstrating that wearing ugly knickers can bring you down. Of course my mind jumped instantly to garments.

I hated wearing garments. I remember thinking that the most enormous of granny panties had nothing on these bunchy undergarments left over from an era when long johns were necessary under a corset. I obediently wore my bra over the tops, remembering the fearsome warning given to me by the temple matron about the terrible fate that awaited new brides who dared to let something come between their skin and the garment of the holy priesthood.

I made it about a week after my endowment before I started sneaking out of them at every opportunity. Lingering in workout clothing was always a good trick. Eventually I settled on just wearing the top and allowing myself to wear pretty knickers below. That way Mormons, who constantly scan for the “g-line”, would see the necessary imprint of the Salt-Lake sanctioned trim beneath my shirt and I would remain in their good graces. I remember the first time my mother hugged me and noticed that there were no garments beneath. A very awkward couple of weeks followed.

Garments are regarded by Mormons as a sort of talisman, a lucky rabbit’s foot that shields the wearer from poison ivy, knife wounds, bullets, and hot sex. I never got a special feeling from them. They just made it impossible for me to wear anything fashionable or comfortable, because even in jeans and a t-shirt they bunch up and need constant adjusting. I got odd looks at the gym unless I retreated to a toilet stall to change. I had to bypass tops that would have been flattering on me and perfectly appropriate for work, but just didn’t work with garments. The first time I stepped out into public wearing a sleeveless top and felt the wind on my shoulders I felt so . . . normal. Not peculiar. It was exhilarating.

Yes, ugly knickers ruin my day. But not any more.