“It’s see-through!” I gasped, the panic rippling through my voice. I stood underneath the fluorescent lighting of a golf-course bathroom and gaped in horror at my surprisingly sheer dress.

It was my wedding day; 130 guests sat in a reception hall just outside where I now stood, waiting for me to throw a bouquet and be on our way.

Except I couldn’t.

Under the not-so-flattering bathroom lights, my beautiful going away dress had been transformed into a blindingly bright pair of white underwear. It was ALL you could see. While my lingerie choice had been perfect for my wedding dress, it wasn’t quite as suitable for the flowy, lace-covered going-away outfit. I’d been foiled once again by a dress that seemed “so perfect” in-store, only to get it home and realize you look like a squat troll wrapped in too-tight cellophane. 

I felt my anxiety rising. 

This was my wedding day and here I was hiding in a bathroom while my mom ran around frantically tried to find a guest wearing a slip. Except that it was 2013. And no one knows what a slip is anymore, let alone wears one.

I wouldn’t have felt comfortable parading around in my undies on a normal day, but on my wedding day? That’s just a whole new level of “not going to happen.” Flash photography was not going to do me any favours today and I was determined to make it through the evening without wedding guests running awkwardly away from my back end. 

“Should I just put my wedding dress back on?” I asked my bridesmaids as they all inspected my glowing bum.

Their faces said it all. And then, one of my best friends piped up with the most welcome of suggestions. “Um, I’m wearing beige underwear. If you wanted to borrow them . . .” 

And so, with a round of giggles and a few sighs of relief, we swapped panties and hurried back out to the party. The photos were saved, the bouquet tossed, and I didn’t have to introduce my luminescent undergarments to my new in-laws.

This is what true friendship looks like.

They say that you should try to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. But if you REALLY want to better understand someone, you should walk a mile in their underwear. 

Because isn’t that what we’re all really looking for? A true friend who will walk through fire for you. Someone who will laugh you through the embarrassing moments and howl big, fat tears with you through the rough ones.

Someone who isn’t afraid to dive into the messy bits of friendship. Who’s equally up for riotous adventures and late-night movie binges.

A friend who stands with you through all that life tosses your way: the breakups and new loves, the weddings, babies lost and babies born. The friend who knows you better than anyone else. Who laughs so hard at your not-so-funny jokes that milk pours out her nose.

The one who’s ALWAYS there for you.

The friend with the beige panties on.

You may also like: 

Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends

I’m So Grateful For My “Always” Friends

Here’s to the Friends Who Make Us Strong

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Liz Mannegren

Liz lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two littles. She is the mother of seven beautiful babies: carrying two in her arms but an extra five in her heart. You can read more of her writing at MommyMannegren.com or follow along on Instagram and Facebook.