In my post My Year of Blogging, I noted that writing personal essays involves catching yourself in the act of thinking and then exposing and exploring it on the page.

Here’s something I do every single day, and it was not until this morning that I caught it in my consciousness as something to write about.

I have a drawer stacked with undies of assorted stripes, dots and colors. More than once I’ve pondered how it would save time if all my clothes were black and even all the same, so I would never have to decide what to wear from the meager, tattered wardrobe of one who detests shopping.

I have more variety in my undies than I do in my closet, so each day, I have to figure out which underpants to wear. (Full disclosure: this photo is not me.)

When going out, I feel more attractive in black undergarments; other times, I’m after something more upbeat in a pantie.

On a regular day–during which my interaction with life on this planet consists of a game of catch with Casey, which will last for one throw, as he hasn’t yet got the hang of giving back–I give deeper thought to which underpants to wear.

My choice depends on my mood. If I’m afraid of feeling glum, I’ll wear one of my faves, such as the green striped ones my fashion-plate daughter once complimented.

The ones with light gray stripes would also cheer me up without making me feel clownish, the way the ones with little orange and green dots would. What ever possessed me to buy these dotted ones? They looked so cheery on the table at The Gap.

The thing about the light gray striped ones, though, is that I really, really like them, so I avoid them the way I avoid all my favorite things. I wear them mainly when I’m with my kids. They make me happy and they also seem cool; I remember my daughters wearing similar patterns when they were younger.

Then there are the gray underpants. Very sporty. Good for all occasions, except that if my calendar is blank with nothing special to look forward to, I wouldn’t want to wear gray, which could further promote a gray outlook. That said, if I awaken feeling a bit glum, I don’t want happy underwear, nor do I like a sunny day when I’m blue; in both cases, the contrast is too great. Those are the days to wear mood-neutral pale blue.

My writing mentor Phillip Lopate always told me “Think against yourself.” So here goes: What if I were to wear the goofy dotted unders on a dinner date? I’m not expecting to get seduced, but still.

Why do we wear attractive underwear if no one is going to see it?

The question of why I put on earrings during a day when my only plan is a game of catch with Casey is more easily answered. I wear earrings and a dab of makeup every day, because I still have to pass by a mirror and I prefer to not be aghast upon a glimpse of my reflection. I simply feel better if I think I look okay.

Maybe the whole notion of wearing happier underwear is akin to the idea that if you smile, even if you don’t feel smiley, it will help to make you feel more smiley. Or maybe I just cooked that up.

And maybe that’s the point. I cook up a notion and then I live by it and that seems to be a dandy plan.

What quirky things like pondering which underwear to wear do you do, or maybe this isn’t quirky at all? Let me know!

Heartfelt thanks to all who have read my posts in 2011. I wish you happiness and peace in the new year!

See some of my Home Goes Strong articles, which may trigger some New Year’s Resolutions:

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