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January 5th, 2000
Panties for Peace

Just when I thought I had succeeded in smoothly ringing in the new era.

I guess you are all aware of my financial woes by now. If not, scroll back a few entries. It was one of my resolutions to get it all together in 2000 and find myself monetarily back on my feet. Then I go screw it all up by wearing the wrong panties.

According to the folks in Latin America, your success in the new millennium depends on the color of your underwear.

Their traditions have it that if you wear yellow knickers on New Year's Eve you'll have good fortune. If it's red you'll be lucky in love. And, I am guessing, if you're wearing none, you already have a relatively good job as an intern and don't need to worry about fortune and silly stuff like that.

With this last year being the new millennium, the search for wealth and passion provoked an even bigger rush than usual for the "right" briefs or panties.

Supposedly, you must cast away your old underwear at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31 and wear the new ones to bring you luck from the very start of the New Year. I find this unfortunate for all of those who are doing everything they can
merely to balance a quarter on their nose and bounce it into a shotglass. Sober enough to don fresh underwear on a New Year? I think not.

Apparently a few Latin Americans feel the same way and break the rules some, preferring to don their new knickers before the New Year kicks in, to avoid a mad dash to bathrooms as the clock strikes midnight.

Here's how it was according to the news.

"The millennium has definitely had a big influence. Our yellow underwear ran out almost immediately -- we've been out of them since Dec. 22. I guess everyone's hoping for money," said Eduardo Rua, men's underwear sales assistant in Liverpool department store, Mexico City. "The distributors didn't calculate correctly for the extra millennium rush," he added.

In the women's department, however, passion was the priority. Red panties had all but sold out.

"There have been a lot of desperate boyfriends running from shop to shop looking for red underwear but there's not much around. They're going to be very disappointed," said sales assistant Guadalupe Giles. I agree with Guadalupe. My husband never gets any unless I'm wearing red knickers. Ever. And I don't even own any.

In Venezuela, yellow underwear is de rigeur for both men and women for New Year. Worn inside out, they are believed to bring extra luck, but they must be new and given as a gift.

According to another Venezuelan tradition, if you go out into the streets shortly after midnight with your yellow underwear on back to front, carrying a suitcase full of clothes and run round the block, you'll travel a lot in the new year. In my neighborhood, this would just get you arrested. Unless that's the kind of traveling they had in mind. Or maybe it's when all of your neighbors band together to oust the "pantie wearing moron" from the neighborhood and you have to pack it all up and move on out?

In Colombia, whole sections of department stores are devoted to yellow underwear in the run up to New Year.

In Argentina pink is the color of choice. In Buenos Aires supermarkets, special millennium pink panties with a big "2000" inscription are selling like hot cakes.

In flamboyant Brazil, there is a whole rainbow of colors to chose from each with a different significance.

Women wear white for peace, yellow for money, red for passion and pink for love. Brazilian men simply wear white for luck.

I'm happy to say if my underwear carry any weight, and I know they do, you can expect peace in the Middle East this year. And, according to the ever expanding size of my knickers, a whole damned lot of it.

Til tomorrow, M

   

Unless otherwise specified, all material
Copyright 1999 by
Marijke Hildreth

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