memories, musings, silliness

Underoos are fun to wear…

Something funny happened last night. I discovered yet again how my thinking is extremely tangental. I went from wine, to old movies, to old TV shows, to underwear in the course of a few minutes. Here’s how it happened.

I posted in my food and wine group about some Italian wine we were enjoying and a group member shared a picture of the white wine she was drinking. We were marveling about how easy it is to find good, inexpensive wines in Germany… well, really, in Europe. She finished her comment with a “Zum Wohle!”, to which I responded:

“Atta girl…” Drinkers unite!

I noted that you have to be a certain age to get the above reference, a clip from the 1980 film, 9 to 5. I was eight years old in 1980, and I saw 9 to 5 in the movie theater. The other lady was 6 in 1980, and also saw this movie in the theater. Incidentally, this was the second incident yesterday in which I commented that you have to be a certain age to get the cultural reference. Another friend made an oblique reference to an 80s era Army recruiting ad when she posted about her bagel making business. I told her I hoped she was “being all she could be”.

“Hey First Sergeant! Good morning!” Bill says that would never happen… First Sergeant would probably make that guy do 50 push ups, then bitch out the guy’s superiors. I wouldn’t know, of course. The Army isn’t my vocation. I’m just a “dependa”.

After a few comments about 9 to 5, I remarked that Mr. Hart’s mansion in 9 to 5 was also used in the old 1970s TV show, Wonder Woman. (and it was also used in Murder, She Wrote and a bunch of other shows and movies)

I wasn’t living in America, nor was I old enough to enjoy the original version of the show, which aired on ABC for a couple of years starting in 1975. The first version of the show was set in the 1940s and had Wonder Woman fighting the Nazis. In one episode, Wonder Woman ends up being “detained” (read tied up) in a mansion. It was the same one Mr. Hart “lived in” and, in fact, was also tied up in on 9 to 5. I happened to notice it last year, when for some inexplicable reason, I binge watched all the episodes of Wonder Woman, then watched 9 to 5. Gee… what a kinky mansion that was back in the day!

I didn’t get hooked on Wonder Woman until the late 70s, when the show became The New Adventures of Wonder Woman and was moved to CBS. It aired every Friday night at 8:00pm and was set in the “present day”, circa 1979. Wonder Woman’s costume changed. She traded her silver bracelets for gold ones and wore slightly different star spangled bottoms. Now that I’m older, I think I like the World War II version of the show better.

I was 6 or 7 years old and I thought Wonder Woman was the absolute shit! I liked her so much that I had a used Wonder Woman doll– it was actually pretty lame. I think I got it at a yard sale. The one pictured at the top of this post is the kind I had and, in fact, looks about as well loved as mine was. I also had a pair of Wonder Woman Underoos. I hope to God we bought those brand new. Actually, I’m pretty certain we did, since I remember the cheesy plastic packaging they came in, complete with cardboard backing.

This commercial is burned on the brain.

I remember being so excited about my Wonder Woman Underoos. Then I opened the package… and they were kind of yucky. They were made of cheap polyester and only the front was decorated, at least on the girls’ version. The back of the Underoos were white, which really kind of ruined the fantasy. I also didn’t like wearing camisoles/undershirts, especially polyester ones that were clingy and hot. I probably should have gone for the Supergirl or Batgirl versions.

Looks like the boys’ version was better. At least the backs of their t-shirts weren’t white. I bet Wonder Woman’s Underoos were the best selling of all of them. Everybody loved Wonder Woman back in the day.

While I didn’t really like the Underoos to wear under my clothes, I did like the idea of wearing a costume. I had a very fertile imagination when I was growing up, and while I did have a few neighborhood friends, my best friend was a boy. It’s funny… that’s been a recurrent theme in my life. Most of my best friends have been males! In any case, since my best friend back then was a boy, I was left to play Wonder Woman in my Underoos by myself. I’m pretty sure he had Incredible Hulk Underoos. He was a fan of the Hulk.

Anyway, one Saturday evening in 1979, I was up in my bedroom in Fairfax, Virginia. I was alone and, I guess, really bored. My parents were throwing a cocktail party for their friends and I had been relegated to my room to play. I started playing Wonder Woman and put on my Underoos, which didn’t quite transform me into the superhero. Besides being short and kind of petite as a little girl, I also had short, golden blonde hair. But I did have red knee socks, which I figured could substitute for the knee high boots I didn’t have. I also had a florescent yellow hair ribbon that I figured I could use as a “golden lasso”. I had no golden tiara or magic bracelets, so I imagined those… and I pretended the back of my Underoos were like the front.

My favorite version was season 3’s, even if the plots had really jumped the shark.

I guess I must have felt like the neighborhood could benefit from my crime stopping efforts, because for some very strange reason, I decided to run downstairs in my Underoos and introduce myself to my parents’ friends. I leapt from the stairs and twirled around. I remember my mom was mortified as I paraded in front of her guests in my polyester Underoos, pretending to be Wonder Woman.

“JENNIFER!” my mom bellowed, absolutely horrified, “For God’s sake!”

I suddenly realized I was in big trouble and instead of retreating to my room, I ran outside. I’m sure the neighbors were amused to see me practically streaking across our suburban lawn, my parents yelling at me the whole time. I don’t remember how their guests took my little interruption. They probably thought it was hilarious, especially if they were drinking… which they most assuredly were. Aw hell, it was just innocent, clean fun… Remember, I was maybe 6 or 7 years old! Maybe this incident is why I don’t have issues at German spas.

Cathy Lee Crosby’s 1974 version of Wonder Woman can’t hold a candle to Lynda Carter’s T & A version.

I don’t remember exactly what happened after I flashed everyone at my parents’ party. I have a feeling I couldn’t sit down comfortably for awhile afterwards. I look back on it now and realize it was probably quite funny to those who weren’t my parents. I don’t know why I never got involved in drama. I probably missed my calling in yet another area. That’s me… embarrassing and annoying people since 1972.

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