Dear Sage Antlers,
Very often I find myself in a difficult situation involving panties and social insecurity: I want to do my laundry, but all the machines are full. However, there is one machine done operating with the clothes still sitting in it.
Could I just wait for an open one? Yes, but fuck that! I’m an impatient guy and I want my shit cleaned NOW. So I go to move the clothes, and quite quickly I realize I’m in over my head. Panties, thongs, bras, galore. There has to be something illegal about me rifling through some rando peeps’ undies, right? And here’s the worst part, what if they walk in, while I am elbow-deep in their pile of Victoria’s Secret merchandise? What kind of conversation do we have? I figure there are three choices:
1) The charming/comedic route: “Just thought I’d practice handling these puppies before the big night” (okay maybe more creepy than charming), but go big or go home, right?
2) The genuinely humble and apologetic one: “shit, sorry I’m touching your stuff, if you wanna move it instead that’s fine.” This seems like a solid route at first, but I’m kinda digging my own grave here by admitting I’ve done something wrong. If she’s half as confused as me about the social dynamics of moving underwear, I don’t want to sway her against me.
3) The downplaying approach: “what’s that? ohhhh these are your thongs that I’m holding? whoopsie my bad.”
When drunk, I figure option 1 is the clear favorite, but please help me Sage Antlers, how do I approach this issue?
Troubled by Thongs
Dear Troubled by Thongs,
First of all, The Golden Antlers does not endorse doing laundry while intoxicated. The Claremont Police Department recently issued a statement that it will bring criminal charges against students who are guilty of cleaning under the influence (CUI) due to an increase in washing machine attacks perpetrated by students who remembered, halfway through the rinse cycle, that they left their iPhones (or fancy gold pocket watches) in their pants pockets. Stay safe, Troubled by Thongs, and remember that the legal laundry BAC limit is .08 in California.
Legal matters aside, I commend you for bringing to light a difficult issue that many Claremont students grapple with every day. In my professional opinion, the best approach to this awkward situation is to attempt to make them feel even more uncomfortable than you do. Think about it from her perspective, she walks into the laundry room and finds a smokin’ hot guy (we assume/hope) pawing through her drawers. I recommend going with an ultra-manly approach to make her feel even more out of her league. As soon as she catches you trying to move her laundry, flex your huge muscles hulk-style, drop the contraband undies, and roar something super testosterone-y like “THESE AREN’T MY PROTEIN SHAKES!” or shake your head with confusion and explain “I’m not used to seeing these things anywhere but my bedroom floor on Thursday and Saturday nights.” Then fist bump her.
Just in case you aren’t manly enough to handle this approach, I’ve collected a few other responses to your dilemma that will terrify/confuse her into thinking she’s the weird one.
The Help – Swipe a spare uniform shirt from your friendly neighborhood housekeeping staff. When she walks in and sees you groping her good stuff, greet her “Hola! Que pasa! Part of the services, Senora!” She’ll walk away thinking her tuition is really paying off.
The Napoleon Dynamite – “I see you’re wearing a 38 DDD. Is that cuz you think you’re fat? Cause you’re not. You could be wearing a 36 DDD if you wanted to.”
The Gender Studies Dual Approach – She walks in and catches you holding her red pleather (undoubtedly porno inspired) bra and panty set. You gently put down the handful of underclothes you were holding. Walk towards her, softly put your hand on her shoulder, and whisper in her ear, “hey, I know the oppressive patriarchy has you thinking that your body is the only way you’ll ever get noticed, but I value your mind.” Gesture towards a silky pair of undies, “my uncle knows a really good chastity belt store.” Point to one of her bras, “we can burn these together.”
The Social Media Approach – Live-tweet the entire experience. “You say the cup is half empty, I say the cup is half full, Unnamed Boswell Resident’s laundry says the cup is double D. #cheetahprint.” Instagram her intimate La Perla ensembles (lo-fi filter, of course). She catches you red-handed? Who cares, it’s a public event and you’re not ashamed! Ask her if she’d mind being interviewed for your blog.
The Mrs. Doubtfire – Dress completely in drag whenever you do laundry, complete with makeup and a wig. That way, when she walks in and catches you handling her precious panties she’ll feel relieved that you’re just another one of the gals. Try to relate to her, we recommend the following key phrases: “boys are cute,” “have you seen the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy?” and “shoes are fun.”
Best of luck, Troubled by Thongs!
**Do you have a problem that only a smart (smart-ass) animal-person can solve? E-mail your issues to firstname.lastname@example.org to consult Sage Antlers.