All right, I'll admit it: I'm either the oldest woman in the world or I was the victim of the meanest family on earth.
No one seems to remember that, during WWII, little girl's panties (knickers to some of you) did not have elastic in them. At least mine didn't; they simply had a placket on the left side, with two ties that were hopefully tied into a neat bow, which could be quickly undone in an emergency. But I was a toddler who could not tie bows and children are notorious for having bad memories. I could never seem to remember that if I tied a knot, there would be hell to pay the next time there was an urgency. This led to whining, then screaming and that wild pre-potty dance and the begging of strangers in restrooms to untie the knot in my panties.
When asked what happened to elastic, Mama said that there was a war in Europe, that we all had to make sacrifices. I hope those guys over there knew that my doing without elastic in my panties put tires on their Jeeps. At least that's what Mama had me believe. Sometimes I wondered if she just spent our war rations on coffee and sugar, forgoing elasticized panties.
With the size of the tires on those Hummers in this current conflict, I shudder to think of the sacrifices we would have to make to put rubber on those babies. Perhaps that's why I find myself stockpiling panties, even though I learned young to speed tie a bow.