Is a Record Important? — National Underwear Day

It was with great excitement that I stepped into the early morning New York City air, on August 5th 2013, determined to help Freshpair break a Guinness World Record.

I emerged from the 42nd street subway station and ordered a coffee from Starbucks. As they announced my name I thought, “Ha! You sir, are speaking to a future record holder, you lucky devil. In 12 more hours I will have been a part of history and you have front row seats to this amazing day that’s about to unfold.  Enjoy!”

Well, 11 hours, 4 coffees, 2 aching legs, and 1 hoarse voice later, I asked for a count.  We were halfway through the 2 hour event and had almost 500 brave souls dancing their hearts out in their underwear. I’m no mathematician but I know when my bag is bigger than my haul.  We were not going to make it. We needed nearly 1,600 more people!  I could not believe it. Greg T and DJ Phill Kross played the Cupid Shuffle to keep our eccentric crowd moving and from where I stood it looked like a sea of heads bobbing up and down.

How could there only be 500 people? I stood on stage and scanned the crowd.  I observed the spirited dancers and then focused in on a stiff outlining crowd.

There were so many voyeurs. I walked the perimeter and listened to the entranced onlookers. I noticed them evaluate the virtually nude dancing mass. While some did so in silence, others were vocal about their observations. Whether positive or negative, there were a lot of judgments being made about the “out of their mind” dancers inside.

It was an interesting dynamic as the mindset of those inside contrasted dramatically from the spectators. They paid no mind to those on the outside.  It was a come as you are mentality that accepted all.  No age limit, no height requirement, no skill sets needed—all races, body types, and religions were welcome.  Those inside had nothing to hide and were deaf to the voyeur’s voices.  It was really beautiful to watch the confident bodies inside.  I wondered what their lives were like when they stepped out of the planet we created and merged back with the voyeurs.

At 7 pm we announced our loss but no one inside seemed to care.  They just kept dancing with huge smiles on their beautiful faces.  I realized that they did not care about making history or breaking a record. They did not need a record to validate the success of their day. For them, National Underwear Day was a day to celebrate their life, body, and live courageously. Turns out that was Freshpair’s goal all along too!

As the party came to a close I swelled with pride as I watched an elderly couple in knickers holding hands and kissing.  Of all the lights that shine in Times Square, theirs was the brightest.  It was an honor to be surrounded by their energy and I made a pact with myself never to be an onlooker of life. So, I searched for my boyfriend who was standing in blue boxer briefs and kissed him passionately hoping to shine a little bit, too.

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