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21.11.12

The used pants


About a week ago a friend gave me a small bag of clothes that her daughter had outgrown. I accepted them with thanks; we are not fancy and hand-me-downs are welcome at our place. It's the least we can all do to be environmentally cautious. Re-use children's clothing and pick up good stuff off the side of the road on hard rubbish day.

But there's a line.

I get the small bag home and the Badoo and I gleefully open it, ready to tuck into a pretty new dress (these bags almost always include a favourite party dress, often hand-painted by a small child as a bonus). But when we saw the contents of the bag, even the Badoo knew that the line had been crossed. Her face crinkled in that disgusted face that a four-year-old does so well.

"It's pants," she said.

Yes, I agreed, it's pants.

Pants.

My friend had given me pair after pair of her daughter's used pants. Nice pants, carefully washed, but pants. Nothing else in the bag.

We tied the small bag back up and put it in the corner and spent a few days avoiding it. Then the day before rubbish day, I took a photo of some of the pants (as you do) and threw the small bag into the bin.

So, the day after rubbish day, my friend stops me on the school run and says brightly, "how's the Badoo enjoying the new clothes?"

What do you say to that? WHAT DO YOU SAY?



Added later on: There was some concern in early comments and over on Facebook about my friend reading my post and everyone was all worried. I just wanted to add that OF COURSE I had 'the chat' about the pants prior to writing this post. I would never write about a friend on my blog else without having 'the chat'  first... well, there were a couple of times that I didn't do that and I HAVE LIVED TO REGRET EACH OF THOSE TIMES VERY, VERY MUCH... so, yes, all is well with my friend (who is probably reading this right now and thinking, "she's nuttier than I am with my used pants present, that one.")



38 comments:

Heidi said...

Could she have given you the wrong bag? You know, put the wrong bag in the bin and gave you that one instead?

I'm not sure what I'd say when asked how she was "enjoying" them- what did you end up saying?

G said...

oh dear. We had a similar dilemma in my first year flatting when buying crockery and cutlery at the op shop. One of the flatmates was disgusted that we'd buy cutlery there.. Do you have clothing bins for donation in Australia ? I might've sent them there .. but still, awkward!

Sally said...

I don't think my kids would be bothered at all by used pants... but saying that I must confess they're not great with boundaries!!! Whilst I myself would not wear used pants I don't think my kiddos would be bothered in the least. Weird huh? I suppose you just have to keep that in mind - she was trying to be generous.
As to what to say. Smile, nod, giggle... quickly change the subject :)

Vanessa said...

More to the point, what if she reads your blog?! Yes I would draw the line at pants too. Think I'd just smile sweetly and change the subject!

littlebitofthyme.com said...

oh dear. used pants. maybe tell her that you aren't destitute? I would have handed them back and told her that you didn't feel it appropriate to pass them on.... or you might find yourself in a used pant situation again. Oh, and i'd love to know, at what age does she stop passing on the used pants?? xx

Toni said...

mmmmm.... yeah, I wouldn't be letting my kids wear second-hand knickers. But as to what to say? no clue.

Miriam said...

I think my kids wouldn't care and certainly if a kid at my house had an accident I'd offer them a pair of my kids ones to use. it happens all the time at kindy (they probably would have loved them). If I knew the person it wouldn't worry me but perhaps I am weird!! :o) I probably would onbly pass on second hand pants to kindy or ask the person. My 2nd son wears the ones his brother grew out of.... okay so now you all probably think I am awful!

Kelly Exeter said...

Given she's (hopefully) not going to lift the Badoo's skirt up to check and see that she's using the pants, I'd say a cheerful 'great thanks so much!!'

Sam Stone (A Life on Venus) said...

You could just say that she hadn't had a chance to wear the clothes yet (and she never will).

Fiona said...

I'd say something along the lines of "I think she was hoping for a twirly skirt", laugh awkwardly and move to another topic altogether!

Jenny Young said...

They're quite cute pants aren't they? I have to confess that I have accepted 'second-hand underpants' (a line from a flight of the conchords song)from my Auntie for my son, but they bag had a lot of other clothes too... it is a bit odd to just have undies, isn't it?

At Number 32 said...

I truely don't see the difference between pants and clothes? They are laundered and no doubt sorted through to extract the 'less lovely' ones, and in honesty, there kids. It's different passing on adult pants because more happens down there so to speak.....but kids just wear them cause we tell them to, not because they really need to.........????
Intersting debate though!

Allison said...

Im toilet training a two year old so you can guess what i would have done...yep snatched that bag with both hands....desperate undie shortage at the mo....i get that there is a line but hey its really not that different to accepting baby clothes....all of which i can be sure has been peed, pooed and vomited on....could of been worse....a bag of toothbrushes??...A

Fiona said...

I'm pleased to see some of your other commenters don't have issue with second-hand undies as I was beginning to worry yet again about my less than perfect motherly qualities. In this day and age of powerful detergents and automatic washing machines I think there's no issue from a hygiene perspective. I'll admit I've never passed any on, but I have been on the receiving end, and quite grateful too. But pre-school age is probably the limit.

Michelle said...

By pants you need knicker bockers right?! My friends have been known to clothes swap their bras and knickers if they're good ones and cant bare to throw them out they would rather give them away. Have to say Iv never accepted said bras and knickers but someone in need might :)

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

To be fair, they are very cute pants. And they don't look hardly used at all... Not hardly.

I have no issue with second-hand undies for my boys. We have in the past been given second-hand undies, and Mr5's current undie collection is almost exclusively made up of hand-me-downs from Mr8. Boys dont' seem to wear undies out at all. Not sure why, they just don't.

Am not sure if this is helpful or not. Suspect not.

Tas said...

Ah, yes. Undies. It really is the last great frontier of hand-me-downs. No real fence sitters on this issue.

I understand the "ick" factor but it is such a waste to bin them. It is rather bizarre to be OK with second hand undies from family or close friends but not from further afield which is the thought process that sometimes goes through my (admittedly-sometimes-lacking-in-common-sense) brain. Yeah, like there is a difference in number 2s from rellies compared to acquaintances...

Emily said...

I find it odd, but not outright disgusting. I'd never think to pass them on though, and if I ever did, I think I'd be asking the person if they wanted them BEFORE giving them the bag of nothing-but-undies!

That said, I just wrote about how hard it is to find undies small enough to fit my girl. If someone gave me a bag of super-small smalls, I'd probably kiss their feet!

Melanie said...

It doesn't faze me at all. We're happy to be recipients and happy to pass on. My boys have that many pair of little undies that they're almost brand new once they're through with them so why not pass them on? We've only ever received them from cousins though and maybe some strange way that makes a difference? . As some have said above maybe it's just different for girls?

Trudie said...

I don't see the issue. Gee when most of us were kids and at a friends and we forgot our swimmers we would wear a pair of our friends. I have both lent and borrowed undies for my son when he was toilet training. I wouldn't buy run of the mill undies second hand but I would most certainly certainly buy a 50-60's bra, suspenders. Not really that big a deal for me.

Bri said...

I give my daughter's used knickers (the ones on really good repair) to the daycare centre she went to. With kids wetting their pants all the time and parents rarely returning the undies the daycare put on the kids after an accident, they always needed more underwear. But yeah, if someone gave me a bag of used undies (unless I was toilet training my child) I would throw them in the bin.

therhythmmethod said...

My boys wear each other's second hand undies, unless of course they are beyond ... er, re-use. But I draw the line at second-hand from someone who did not incubate in the same womb! AAGGHHH is all I can say.
As a side note, my mum used to try to make me wear my sister's second hand undies and I refused. Things are different when you're the mum making other people wear second hand jocks.

dachlostar said...

I'm not sure why you binned them.
Childcare centres and pre-schools like to have a stash of undies on hand for accidents and women's shelters often need them too because so many families flee with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Catherine said...

I think it's great being given hand me downs and although they look in great condition I probably wouldn't hand over used undies to friends. I wouldn't want to hurt their feelings either so if I did get some I would probably donate them.

Leisa said...

I remember getting hand-me-downs as a young one too - mainly from cousins and friends. The lady next door would also hand over some stuff to us too and she'd include knickers. Being that Mum & Dad had 7 kids on one income & finances were very, very tight, Mum just used to soak the knickers in Nappysan and they'd be handed to me. When I think about it now I get the shudders, but back then I didn't care less!

smilie said...

I asked my good friend if she would like some of my daughters still pretty good undies. She said "yes please". Later she told me they were her daughters favourite ones. Partly as they were hand me downs. I think it's ok but understand your daughters disappointment.

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

I'm not sure what to think about this one, so it seems my opinion has been made up by the fact that I wouldn't give used undies to others, so therefore I would not like to have them given to me. The "chat" with your friend would have been hilarious I dare say! xx

Mrs Woog said...

I would have no problem with it. I would take the money saved and buy a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sav Blanc and toast to those undies xx

Ninotchka McKay said...

Bahaha- well I, and it seems many other have 'enjoyed' your post even if you didn't derive joy from the bag of pants. You are a bit like my mother - she is completely grossed out by second hand undies. For adult undies - OK, I get you're point. Personally second hand little girl pants don't really worry me, but then I'm libel to pick up my daughters dummy off the floor, give it a quick suck and stick it back in her mouth. I realise there is plenty 'uber-parents' could find wrong with this - Dummy??!! Floor???!! You sucked it clean??!!! Why yes, yes I did and that is how we roll.

Miss Kitty-Cat said...

That's a line for me for sure. No shared wonderpants in this house.

K xx

Megan Blandford said...

No second-hand knickers or bathers - that's my line.

Life, Loves...... said...

yep I think its weird...pants.

great post
J
http://lifelovesand.blogspot.ie/

Anonymous said...

I probably wouldn't pass on undies however i do admit to being squeamish when given some for the first time but then thought about it logically and practically and got over it.

tricia said...

I can't believe you tossed perfectly good pants ;-)

Little Eco was given a bag of pants last year and we saw them as a score :-)

The Coffee Lady said...

To be fair, those look like fab pants. I'd take 'em.

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

I'd take 'em! Frog is currently running in around in Goose's handmedown undies.

Prue said...

I'd say a big "thank you very much, your very thoughtful". And do just as you've done.
Prue x

Mrs BC said...

I'm with you. Not even Vinnies accepts secoond hand undies.
x

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