It's just a small rectangle of cardboard, exactly the size of a credit card. It's bright pink, usually, or sometimes black, and big letters on it scream, "Free Panty!"
Because I have a credit card to a lingerie shop, I get these little cards in the mail all the time. I don't throw them away because I think to myself, "Well, if I happen to be near the lingerie shop sometime this week, I might as well stop and get a free pair of panties." I mean, who in their right mind would turn down a free pair of panties?
But I don't go to that shop very often any more because a certain blogger taught me how I could buy lingerie of all types online – the trick is to know your size, know which brands fit you best, and not be afraid to spend money on expensive stuff. So mostly the cards end up migrating to various spots in the house, turning up on the kitchen counter, under my desk, or on the living floor. My daughter treats the cards like any other kind of junk mail, either sweeping them into the garbage or checking the expiration dates to see if she can swipe a card and claim a free pair of panties for herself. My teenage sons, however, treat the cards the way any reasonable person might treat a venomous snake that has slithered into the room.
Shaggy Hair Boy will be cleaning the living room, gathering up juice glasses and crumpled school papers and miscellaneous sneakers, and suddenly, he will stop dead in his tracks, looking at the little pink card in horror and then turning to shield his eyes. "MOM!" he'll say to me in a tone that indicates that this is a matter of great urgency, "Could you take that out of here?"
Even logical, level-headed Boy in Black will not touch one of the cards. "We don't want to see that," he'll say and then suddenly become absorbed in his laptop computer, averting his eyes from those evil words.
It's not like I leave panties strewn about the living room – my lingerie is kept upstairs in my bedroom, unless it's hanging in the laundry room to dry. But apparently just seeing the word PANTY, or perhaps the very thought of their Mom buying lingerie, or worse yet, wearing it, is enough to send teenage boys into a paralysis of horror that can only be overcome by a few hours playing computer games.