I took my five-year-old to one of his friend’s birthday parties a few weeks back now, and while the kids were playing some of the mums and I were chatting.
The conversation was about making sure you have clean undies in case you get hit by a bus.
Everyone thought it was odd that our mums told us the same thing. I pointed out it is interesting that it has still been told regardless of age difference and cultural background.
We pondered the reason for making sure we had clean and good knickers on in case we were hit by a bus or any other heavy vehicle. It might not be a bus that someone has an unfortunate adventure with. It could be a multitude of other horrible options, and not just a bus.
However the saying “Make sure you are wearing clean underwear, you might get hit by a bus” is not a saying that is only said in Australia. A quick look online shows that this saying is said in America, France, The United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada. It is possibly said in other places but this is what I could find on Google.
My theory of why my mum said I needed clean undies was just to make sure that I wasn’t wearing stinky old clothes.
Maybe this was a weird way to make sure kids wore clean clothes, scare them about an accident that will most likely never happen!
Personally I don’t think the paramedics, doctors, nurses or anyone would be interested in your knickers if you had a horrible accident. I think their first priority is to make sure you are well, still breathing and tend to your injuries, and yes the sexy undies that you are wearing are not something that people will comment on. Or if you are wearing your daggy every day comfy undies you will be safe from the fashion police at the doctors.
Could it be if you are wearing a skirt or dress and the wind blows your skirt or dress up that your best undies are on display…. admittedly if this happened I would love to be wearing my lacy best and not looking like I’m in my comfy nana undies. However, I really wouldn’t want this to happen at all. However it did but not like you think…
I had to pull over on the side of the M4 (one of the main highways in Sydney), one of the girls when she was about 5 or 6 threw up all over the car! Yes disgusting and I had to get out and sort it all out. Change clothes, get a towel and do what I could. It was about a 40 degree summer day and I was in a dress, It was windy and while bent over dealing with the throw up incident a gust of wind picked up my dress and displayed my black stretchy undies to the whole of the M4. Not glamorous or stylish but it happened. I couldn’t do much about it, and I hope it put some smiles on peoples faces.
One concern is that telling kids, especially girls that they have to have good undies on at all times is a worry. Why? Who is going to see your undies? Why does it matter? It is not like your going to be flashing your undies to everyone! Also people will not think less of you if you do not have on your best ones, no one cares!
I think that telling girls to always be dressed to the best is not great, you need to dress for comfort and do what feels right. Mind you, I asked hubby and his mum said this to him as well, he had to wear clean undies in case of a bus accident too! So I was happy it wasn’t just girls it was said to.
Also if you are indeed in a terrible accident the emergency services will most likely cut off your clothes, so it might be best to not wear the expensive and best pair of knickers. Although, if you are the type of person to wear stunning underwear to feel good, why not. If it makes you feel fabulous, do it! Just don’t do it if your mum said, “Make sure to wear clean underwear in case you get hit by a bus”
I suppose it isn’t just the worry of bus accidents that clean underwear is needed for, whenever I go away I do always pack a lot more underwear. I look at the days that I am away and always add about 3-4 extra pairs. Who knows you might have an accident, get wet, fall over or yes, get hit by a bus! Basically no harm in being prepared and if you need them, you have them, if you don’t you can leave them in your suitcase.
Maybe the whole saying has made me an over packer of underpants?
It might have implanted a real concern about any future accidents that could result in me needing clean underwear. Do you over pack underwear when you travel? (mind you with lockdown there has been no travel, so no need to pack any undies ever!)
Are you telling your kids that they need to wear clean underpants in case they get hit by a bus too? I think I am guilty of this. Let me know your thoughts. Also I have been conditioned to say it from my mum and nana so don’t blame me here…seems like everyone was told this weird saying.