Does This Phobia Have A Title?
So, I was downstairs switching my laundry from the washer into the dryer, and I thought, "Wow, tonight's asinine topic could be: Dryer Lint; Why Is It Always That Pale-Blue Color?" but then I came up with a much better one:
I'm afraid of panties. Deathly afraid of women's undergarments. I had to pull my mother's laundry out of the dryer, and interspersed among about three-dozen socks and a few nightgowns were her ... well, you get the point. Now, I have no problem with folding her socks or her nightgowns, but the underwear just gets dropped on the pile. I'm not folding her underwear; there's not enough whiskey in Ireland to make me do it.
I think all of this goes back to my parents' pressures on me to abstain from sex, pretty much forever. My mother always told me, "If you get a girl pregnant, her family had better like you, because you're out of this one." Strangely, I think that warning even extends after such a time as I get married; not that the whole marriage detail matters, seeing how I can't even get a girl to like me for more than a day or two, let alone getting her to stick around "for as long as we both shall live, or until one of us gets sick of the other."
So, I ended up taking each individual pair of underwear (you really can't call them "panties" when they belong to your mom) out of the dryer in such a way as one would pick up a piece of roadkill, using only the very ends of my thumb and forefinger to grasp them and quickly drop them when the forward-motion of the garments would be sufficient so as to propel them onto the mostly-folded laundry pile. And I realized after the second or third pair that I'm deathly afraid of women's undergarments, which explains why I've never been able to walk into a Victoria's Secret.
Well, that and because of the time I asked them if they had a thong in a child's size. ... just kidding.
I mean, it's not as though I'm afraid of women who are wearing only their undergarments. I just don't want to handle them any more than I want women seeing or handling my underwear, which is why I've always got my shirt tucked in. Of course, then again, that's like an extension of the neurosis that makes me so tremendously self-conscious that I'm uncomfortable being seen in anything less than a parka, explaining why I'm always wearing several layers of clothing. Yes, I have many, many more issues than your average heterosexual man.
Seriously, I don't think that most guys ever had these sort of mental problems, or -if they did- they somehow got over them. Maybe they had fathers who patted them on the back during a hunting trip and simply reminded them, "Son, I'm going to tell you about sex now. No glove, no love. Now let's field-strip this carcass and get out of here." At least those guys were afforded some sort of encouragement to have sex, provided it was protected sex. Me, I basically got the equivalent of, "If you're having sex, we will find out about it and then we'll kill you."
Maybe I'm reading a bit too much into that, but I think that I associate panties with sex, and I associate sex with death (or at the very least, being evicted from my rent-free existence), and so I'm absolutely terrified of panties. Especially any ones that are not white and cotton. Colors and non-cotton fabrics only serve to cause me more mental distress, because they're "fancy," and imply sex, thereby implying death, et cetera, et cetera.
So it's no wonder that I don't try harder to get myself a girlfriend. Because I'd eventually have to deal with panties. It's like going out on an adventure with Indiana Jones when you're afraid of snakes, because you just know there are going to be snakes. They just come with the territory. Women come equipped with panties. There's no way around it, short of a girl who just plain doesn't like them, and just goes commando all the time, and I'm pretty sure I'd have issues with a girl like that, too.
So, that's right. Why am I single? The answer is simple: Panties.
*author's note: I'm quite proud of how this little piece of writing held together and I think psychiatrists in the future will probably somehow get a hold of it and name a whole new series of mental disorders after me... "Doctor, look at this! He wrote over 750 words on being afraid of panties!" "My God, get the straitjacket!"*