Reasons Not to Wear Pantyhose, by Rosemary Royston

Rosemary Royston
(Disposal Directions Included)

Reason 1:
Mother wore them without panties.
She said the cotton crotch made it okay
and even though she was the preacher’s wife
I recall her laughing as she ascended the stairs
at the mall, catching a man leering up through
the open stairway, his eyes glued, heaven-bound.

Reason 2:
Hose cut off the air flow.
No breath makes for sour breath.
The elastic waist will dig in, leaving a despicable
indentation. Your belly-button will be pressed
to your spine, regardless of the cushion of flesh
between the two.

Reason 3:
Hose can house small critters.
Once a flea snuck in, bit me on my thigh.
That morning, I’d had to take off and put on
my hose three times. First the right foot
was backwards, then the left, then
the black leather stains from my shoes
didn’t match up. At some point,
the flea hopped in.

Rip the hose off. Do not roll them down gently,
as in the movies. Next, poke your finger
through the run that has been there
since you put them on. Watch the run ripple
down the right leg. (Warning: The extreme joy
of seeing and hearing this rip may make you dizzy,
be sure to have a chair or secure place to grab.)
Finally, wad the stinky foot-smelling mass
into a ball and fling it into the trash.
Enjoy the caress and kiss of the air
on your bare shins and thighs.

Author’s Comment: For me, pantyhose are a holdover from such constricting things as girdles and corsets — a fashion item designed to keep women looking a certain way. While this poem does not express my feminist view outright, it does celebrate how free one feels when she finally rids herself of these ridiculous nylon things which are uncomfortable, expensive, and a pain to wear. The first stanza of this poem is my favorite, and I hope it brings a few laughs to those who read it

4 thoughts on “Reasons Not to Wear Pantyhose, by Rosemary Royston

  1. Rosemary, these stanzas should be distributed on placards to be paraded by picketers in front of every pantyhose factory. Well done!

  2. This shows my age [probably about the same as your mom], but pantyhose were considered liberating for those of us who grew up wearing garter belts and nylon stockings. However, since retiring, I have to buy a pair if something comes up where I think they are needed. I’ve probably only bought them twice in the past 10 years. Now about the stiff bras we wore, they have come back in style and it is very hard for me to find any that don’t have that foam padding stuff. But so far, I do not feel inspired to write about them.

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