Thursday, 17 December 2009

Lingering In The Lingerie

Always check the fire-retardant
certificate when buying lingerie

It's that time of year. Mrs G likes something frilly in the ole' Christmas stocking so I pluck up my courage and head for the lingerie department. Actually, if truth be known, I think Mrs G would be quite happy with a gift box of curly-wurlies and a Harry Potter DVD, but a good marriage is built on solid foundations (snigger) and moreover there's a festive tradition to be upheld here. Where would we be without festive traditions?1,2,3

So. Up to the second floor of Debenhams (nothing but the best for Mrs G). There are literally acres of mysterious lacey elastic-y underwired overpriced lurid lurex suspending padded inflatable translucent fripperies on display, and I am immediately all at sea.

Luckily I am not alone. The undies are all on little rails, just above waist height. Every ten feet or so there is a man wandering up and down, trying to look nonchalant, and studiously avoiding eye contact with everybody else. There are a couple of assistants too, hovering and trying not to laugh. We are like giraffes in the African veldt, poking our heads above the trees, taking care to evade the lionesses. Where's David Attenborough when you need him?4

In early years I would suffer hours of this, then grab anything and throw it at the till person, only to get it home and realise it's too big, too tarty, too itchy, too thongy, too purple, and, one memorable year, too edible. I have learned from my mistakes, and I now have a strategy. I boldly head5 for the chief lioness and ask her for her advice. What would she wear?

She wants to know Mrs G's size. No problem. I'm wise to this too. I used to say 'about two inches taller than you' and then wonder why they looked annoyed. Now I have all the relevant measurements to hand; cup size, inside leg, outside leg, surface area, fuel capacity, starting temperature, viscosity, voltage, range, 0-60 times, trade-in value, etc. I simply hand over the spreadsheet.

Looking suitably impressed, she makes some suggestions. Apparently crotchless earflaps are all the rage this year. They're pretty expensive, certainly if measured by the square foot, but who am I to argue? I pick out a pair in a tasteful shade of Manchester United red6. Subtle. She'll love this. Come Christmas morning, that'll get pride of place in the big drawer, on top of last year's. And the year's before that. And so on.

1 - Happier
2 - Richer
3 - Vacationing abroad
4 - Shopping for better quality lingerie in Harrods
5 - Yes I know it's a split infinitive. If Capt Kirk can do it then so can I
6 - I am a Chelsea fan but blue is sooooo last season, dahling


  1. A great post, it had me laughing from start to finish - a familiar sight, all those men in the lingerie department looking as if they've just found themselves on the moon.
    A note for my Husband dearest if he stumbles across this site .... stick with the curlywurly and Harry Potter DVD.

  2. "I used to say 'about two inches taller than you' and then wonder why they looked annoyed." LOL! You should organize a field trip for men who want to buy lingerie for their spouses. My husband's criteria for picking out lingerie for me? It doesn't matter what it looks like as long as he can manage the snaps, or hooks or laces. If it was up to him, I am sure all sexy lingerie would be held together with velcro. - G

  3. The asking strategy is definitely the one. I was shopping for some underpants in Lewes recently. I couldn't find any. So I asked the shop assistant:

    "Are there any underpants in Lewes, or are you all going Commando round here?"

    Came the reply

    "I think we must be!"

    Saved hours of tedium, that.

  4. You men don't know how to buy us lingerie really.

  5. Yep, I prefer to buy it for myself, with his money, or course.

  6. Crotchless earflaps you say? Finally, a shopping tip I can use!

  7. I'd totally stick with the edible gifts, whether she likes them or not because - hey - at least you get to snack either way. Total win-win.

  8. PettyW ~ I wish I had!

    Georgina ~ I'm right with him. Velcro is so sensual

    Matt ~ :) Commando in Lewes eh? It's a bit breezy up there isn't it?

    Secretia ~ Any tips?

    Tammy ~ Now that sounds like a plan

    Hunter ~ Glad to oblige!

    Mooooog ~ Damn! Why didn't that occur to me? Clear thinking. We need more of it

  9. I'm a woman but the lingerie department still scares me. Weird.

  10. Well I'm so glad to hear you are supporting (snigger) the hallowed Christmas traditions.
    I hope the gift will lower the starting temperature to your satisfaction.
    P.S. Chelsea??

  11. And one year too

    I give you an A+ for effort.

    Your song was a big hit.. go look. And when I showed it to some co workers one said what is "wank"....sigh. American what can I say...

  12. Buying christmas presents for one's wife. Run that one past me again.

  13. I don't think you deserve any comments UberGrumpy. I read your song. I threw up a bit.

  14. I am desperatly trying to work the word fripperie into my vocabulary.
    I love your posts UG. Really.

    It's serendipity that I found this post as I am prurient for something to cover my callipygous ass.

    OH YEAH. I did it.

  15. I think it is great you go through the trouble, honestly.

  16. MiMi ~ You need to come shopping with me then; we can comfort each other

    KAZ ~ Chelsea. Yeah, I'm sorry. It's another tradition...

    VodkaLogic ~ I did look - impressive! That's it, I'm recording the mp3. I'll send when done.

    Vicus ~ It's not really for one's wife, it's for, er, one.

    Mini ~ Not on my new carpet I hope. And exca-yoose me but who paid for your expensive piercings this week? Remind me

    JenJen ~ Outstanding! That was one hell of a sentence. I think you need another challenge. A more challenging challenge. Hmmm

    Christie ~ Thank you. I'm sure it'll all be worth it in the long run

  17. did you READ the song??

  18. You have a spreadsheet? LOL.
    I always laugh when I see a clueless man walking around in a lingerie shop. And it get's even funnier when men approach me to ask for advice.

    "What is her bra size?"
    "I think she has your bra size."

    I have never have a curly wurly :)

  19. Forget the lingerie. She wants something that plugs in, I'm sure. ;-)

  20. You rock for knowing sizes and asking help, very ungrump-like. Hope you are duly rewarded in the way of thanks for not only upholding your intimate and charming tradition but evolving in your ability to do so.

  21. I'm a bit dense so what in the heck are earflaps?

    Happy shopping!

  22. Come Christmas morning!!! I should be so lucky. Presumably Mrs G will NOT be taking part (hence the song...). If Mrs G is reading this, this is someone else's comment. Ahem...

  23. A friend of mine had a second job selling lingerie at Victoria's Secret pre-Christmas and Valentine's Day. She was very welcoming and flirty with the clueless men who came into the shop, and they were so grateful they spent three times more than they'd planned on. She set new sales records. You'd think someone would realize the potential and train the sales people!

    Anyway, between this and your 55-word stories, I'm signing on as a follower. I already doubt that you're really all that grumpy.

  24. Reading your post was like reliving all those excruciating times I've been to the shops to buy lingerie for my wife.

    I'm impressed you have the nous to ask for help.

    I usually just stand there, sweating profusely. I become convinced that everyone just thinks I'm some perv, ogling the skimpy underwear.

    Last time I took a hip flask along to give me a bit of dutch courage.

  25. trade-in value? trade-in value??? no amount of presents can save you from that! good luck!! :)

  26. Seriously, UG? No, seriously? A spreadsheet? That is so sick and twisted. Why do I like it so?

  27. I find a spandex body suit solves all problems of fit. It's like cling film only sparklier.

    Really though, lingerie is only good for sexy time because you can't really wear it any other time without walking like you're constipated or chafing all over the wrong areas. It's better theoretically than in reality. Which brings us back to spandex body suits. Snug, tight and you can keep your change in it.

  28. Mini ~ I WROTE it you numpty

    DDG ~ You've NEVER HAD a curly-wurly? Where have you been? Holland?

    RefGeek ~ I tried that. I bought her a breadmaker last year, which dispensed nuts and everything. She didn't speak to me until Jan 18th. Or isn't that what you meant?

    magda ~ You're erudite today! Nice

    CCD ~ I don't know. I don't wear 'em, I just buy 'em. Check p. 96 of the Victoria's Secret catalogue though

    JenJen ~ Allright! I mailed you three new words.

    BP ~ Teehee. You're on form today! Saw the song eh?

    Blissed-out G ~ Welcome! I think you're on to something here

    Richard ~ Booze eh? Excellent plan

    Sarah ~ Yup, I'm in deep.

    Marla ~ Yes! With pictures! I like to leave nothing to chance

    VegeAss ~ 'cling film only sparklier'. Snigger.

  29. lol. thanks for the chuckles on a cold morning. lingerie shopping for my the end it is worth it.

  30. Impressive. I cannot imagine my boyfriend a) buying me lingerie and b) buying me lingerie and getting it right.

    Mind you, I've never asked him too.. Hmmm

  31. Love it! One Christmas I wanted a tennis racket with all my heart. My hubby cut some cardboard in the shape of a tennis racket and packed it with a negligee set...quite beautiful. I opened it expecting a tennis racket and got lingerie. I loved him for that. The tennis racket was behind the couch! I'm sure my children will always remember that morning.

  32. Oooh I used to work in the knicker dept at Harrods, was you..Ha !
    Take note..You can't go wrong with La Perla, slutty but in an expensive silk satiny sort of a way.

  33. I will see you in the lingerie department. I look at it this way. Go for something that I like. Chances are she isn't going to wear the darn thing anyway but if she does I might as well go all the way.

  34. It is the thought that The fact that most mens thoughts are on some model sporting the undies, and not their wives, is neither here nor there!Happy Christmas!!!

  35. Challenge:


    Shew this was hard. However, there is a great verisimilitude that I am quite cunctatious in showing anyone my decolletage, especially Moog. (insert French thingys where appropriate)

  36. Brian ~ Yes it is!

    Jude ~ Do him a spreadsheet. Always works for me

    JP ~ Fiendish! Great story

    Sarah ~ Harrods? Did you see David Attenborough?

    GM ~ Good thinking! See you there

    Kate ~ Hello! You're right. The thoughts do wander a bit when shopping for undies...

    JJ ~ You are unbeatable. Maybe. French thingys or no...

  37. Smart Man amongst all that grumpyness!!!

  38. Loved your post. My first time visiting, I will definitely be back. Pop over for a visit sometime.

  39. G-Man ~ Unless it's the wrong colour, which it is. Sigh

    RY ~ Hi! Been over already.

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