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I participated in a Los Angeles ritual, the No Pants Subway Ride. I
had a blast hanging out with some of the most free-spirited people in the city. I happened to be the very first person to arrive at Union Station, rocking
my bright blue bikini underwear, a hoodie sweatshirt and ankle boots in 60
I am the type of woman who doesn’t appreciate attention; I
never want to be noticed when I am offline. Yet this day was different. I had no problem marching up and down Union
Station, scaring the travelers waiting for the Amtrak train and others passing
through the Los Angeles hub on their way to connect with other public
other people showed up in their underwear and the press came to capture it all.
We stood together, taking pictures and laughing at our bravery and camaraderie.
We posed, poked and connected with each other, attracting whistles, random pictures
and curious stares. We then all hopped on the train to Hollywood and sashayed
up and down Hollywood Boulevard shocking the tourists.
after party, I wasn’t ready to end the night’s fun so I rode the train back
home in my underwear. A curious woman approached me asking what my issue was. I
kindly explained to her that she was the one with the issue because today was
No Pants Day and she was over-dressed.
“Do you have
kids?” she asked.
“Yes, I do.
That is so embarrassing for your kids!” she argued. “Their friends are going to
make fun of them and say they saw their Mama in her draws walking down the
I laughed a
hearty laugh and imagined that scenario. I had actually never given any thought
as to whether my actions would embarrass my kids, after all, they live 3,000
miles away with their dad.
I kind of got teary-eyed because all of my life people either tell me to tone it down or stop being so ‘me.’ But my sons get it; they get me.
them up a day later to ask if they had viewed the pictures I emailed them from
the No Pants Subway Ride. They confirmed that they had.
“How did it
make you feel to see them?” I coaxed them for a reaction.
12-year-old son Solomon spoke up, “It’s weird. You could have at least worn
boxer shorts, Mommy.”
“Why? Is it
embarrassing to see me like that?”
living my life, enjoying it when I can, trying to squeeze out every smile that
is possible. As a non-custodial parent, I may have the freedom to come and go
as I please but I don’t go anywhere. I sit in the house on the Internet,
building my online empire. If I want to switch my focus every year and go out
on the town in my underwear, I think I’m allowed that.
14-year-old began high school, he said he met a 12th grader in one of
his classes who had a baby. He said the young girl was pretty and smart but she
laughed so loud that it disturbed the class. One day he saw a boy approach her
to tell her that her laughter was too much. The boy asked her if she doesn’t
feel ashamed to laugh that way.
responded, “I’m happy. Let me be happy. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
chimed in, “I understand that.”
like you, Mommy,” My 14-year-old said to me.