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In fifth grade I started stealing my friend’s underwear.

My mother bought me my own, of course, plain white and black and sometimes pink jockeys with a very occasional bikini cut. I hated these underwear. They sagged in the back, making any skirt look like it covered a wet diaper, and poked out of the top of my already too tight jeans mocking my attempts. Before gym class, the worst place for an almost naked preteen body, I was sure they gave off such a childish impression that the sixth grade girls would have no choice but to laugh.

I saw my friend’s underwear before gym, at sleepovers, in bags of dirty laundry in their mother’s laundry rooms. Everywhere.

They were neon. Sometimes lace, with little hearts lining the elastic or stripes -going horizontally across the butt.

My favorite pair of friend’s underwear were blue. Jenny’s. Not a terribly loud…

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