“I Don’t Like No Draws!”

“I Don’t Like No Draws!”
B. was unabashedly devilish and always was up to something. One of her favorite pastimes
was shopping for clothes and oh how she loved clothes… but loathed panties. She’d say, “I
cain’t stand draws! I don’t like t’ wear no draws, never did. Fat folks don’t need no draws, for
what? They worry me! Cain’t nobody see nothing’ no way, cain’t see under my dress wit’ these
big fat thighs rubbin’ together. Even when I was a missy girl, I’d take ‘em off and hide ‘em up
under the edge of the porch. I didn’t want t’ wear no draws!”
One of her best “panny” stories was about one of her trips to “the clinic”. Since she was visiting
the doctor, B. was wearing her “going to the doctor drawers”. Take note that it was the one
and only destination that warranted the “wearing of draws”. I don’t think she wore panties to
church either. She might have, but I doubt it. Although she said she did sometimes, in case
she got “happy” and shouted and fainted, she’d need to have some draws on. By the way, she
never got happy and fainted being a Methodist, it was was too Santified or Baptist-acting.

She’d previously gone to see Dr. Jones and was scheduled to return about a month later. When
B. went back for her follow-up appointment she said, “Lucy Mae, guess what that damn nurse,
Miss Hudson come asking me? That if a pair a’ draws she foun’ awhile back in one a’ them
examination rooms belonged to me? You shoulda seen her. She was holding up them big ol’
bloomers with bofe’ a’ her hands. They was stretched out this wide! Holding ‘em up f’ me to
see ‘em!” She said I musta left them while at my last visit.
I can easily imagine the scene, B. looking unconvincingly innocent, as she looked the nurse
“dead in the eye” and said, “My panties? Those big things? No, they are not mine. I’ve never
seen those before.” Chile, I might look like a fool, but I ain’t no fool! Did Miss Hudson thank I
was dumb enough to claim some no draws left at the doctor’s office? Naw! That’s just’ like
admitting I don’t usually wear draws, which I don’t, if I could walk off and leave ‘em and not
even miss ‘em. I knew I was lyin’! She knew I was lyin’, but I wudn’t takin’ them big ol’ lady
draws nowhere. I was not about to own up to that!”
Mama and were killing ourselves laughing, but not before Mama uttered, “Lord Alma, you
oughta be ‘shamed of yoself!” Mrs. Hudson should thank her lucky stars that B. was generally
on her best behavior (acting all polite and using proper grammar) while conducting official
business. Otherwise, she might’ve gotten cussed out and slapped that day! B. could cuss like
a sailor just for the fun of it and of course cussed daily just to stay in practice. Man, she could
cuss! We loved it. She’s say things Mama would never say! Think back, I suppose since she
was nobody’s mother, she could be herself and did not have to impress or set an example for
anybody. Liberated!

B. Never Wore Pants, Big Women Ain’t Got No Business in No Pants!
Even though it was a foregone conclusion that proper etiquette and societal rules were
considered an albatross B. chose not to encumber herself with she did have thing that she
would not even think of doing. It pertained to a certain item of clothing. As it was becoming
acceptable for local black ladies to ease into wearing pants in public, B. was not on board with
the practice. Mama was in the inaugural group, who wore pants and shorts and thought
nothing of it.
Being the renegade she was, she would not budge. Some black ladies would only wear pants
when they went fishing and still they would wear a dress over their pants to cover their rear
ends. They had their fishing outlets along the Mississippi Gulf Coast or in Bouie and Leaf
Rivers that snaked through our town. My godmother, Mrs. Marie Chandler would wear her
pants to go fishing and she was definitely a well-respected, refined and modest lady. B. would
say, “Ree can wear her pants and blue jeans fishin’ if she want to! O’ Lucy Mae can kinda git
away with pants, case she skinny and ain’t got no butt. She shaped up like white women, but all
flat, ‘cause she got too much a that white blood in her. She can wear ‘em if she want to. I don’t
care what nobody do. My big fat ass ain’t putting on no pants. Anybody with a ass as big as
mine don’t need to put on no pants.”

“Take Albenny, (One her very heavyset friends, taller and actually must heavier than B.), “she
don’t need on no pants, lookin like a’ elephant! She ain’t got no bidness in no pants! And she
got the nerve to have them made too big”! She look a mess with that big ass in them big pants!
I wouldn’t be caught dead in no pants! Not Alma! I put my big waggin’ ass in a dress. That’s all I
wear. I ain’t never had on a pair and I never will!” And she didn’t!

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