So what kind of mother would send her kid to school with a piece of lingerie pinned to his shoulder? What kind of lingerie was it?
It wasn't a thong. Or a bra. Or anything recognizable. Even I would hesitate to send my child to a Catholic school with a thong dangling from his clothing, although I am sort of curious now as to just what the reaction from his teachers would be. (Would the gentle old nun even know what a thong was? I wonder.) The lingerie in question was just a slip, really, a bright red piece of silk with little straps that hold it up. Simple and classic. It was hanging in the laundry room, just off our kitchen and within easy reach, because it had been used earlier in the week for .... er, a Valentine's Day celebration and was hanging there to dry after being tenderly handwashed by Spouse. (Side note about Mr. Laundry Man: he will callously toss expensive wool ski socks into the dryer, shrinking them until they look like toe socks, but when it comes to washing lingerie, he takes great pains.)
So anyhow, appropriately pinned together, this little silk nightie thing really did look like the kind of bold red sash a pirate would wear. Well, the stereotype of a pirate, of course, and not a real one. Costumes in elementary school are almost always based on stupid stereotypes, which is why I don't take them very seriously. Anyhow, my point is that the silk nightie looked like a piece of cloth and NOTHING MORE. At least to me.
Boy-in-Black, however, is at the age when he does not want anyone to know that his Mom has ever had sex. In fact, HE HIMSELF does not want to know that his Mom has ever had sex. He prefers to think that when Dad took Tuesday morning off to stay home and do the taxes, that his parents spent the whole morning DOING TAXES. He most certainly does not want to think that doing the taxes involved any sort of lingerie or nudity. He has the theory, actually, that the only reason his parents let him drum loudly late at night is so that he will drown out the noises coming from their bedroom but he does not like that theory. He clings to the belief that they secretly think he is some kind of genius drummer with talent that needs to be nurtured.
Anyhow, thanks to Boy-in-Black's diligent efforts, With-a-Why did not go to school wearing women's lingerie but instead a folded up pillowcase. This costume change may have been a good thing because reporters came to the classroom and taped footage of all the fourth graders giving their reports. The reason for all this unexpected media attention is that nothing ever happens in this small town, and the daily news often consists of cute kid shots with a voice-over about how wonderful are the stupid standardized tests that the politicians in this state so love. I'd like to think that if the camera had zoomed in on a child wearing lingerie, the reporters would have had something interesting to say, for once.
Instead the voice-over message was almost completely unconnected to the shots of the cute children so the viewers were never told what the costumes were supposed to be. And With-a-Why, in his billowing white shirt, red pillowcase, and black hat pulled down over his eyes, didn't really look anything like a pirate but most certainly looked like he had some kind of costume on. More importantly, he looked damn cute. Which proves my point: the details of the costume don't really matter. And fifteen minutes is all any parent should have to spend on making a costume for her kid.