Pant Wars

My flatmate in Singapore hung her underwear in the shower.

Not just in the bathroom.

In the actual shower.

On a hanger.

In the shower.

Storing pants on a hanger shows many things about a person, most prominently that they have far too few hobbies and far too much time. Storing pants on a hanger in the shower… well. 

I first came across the underwear-in-the-shower scenario when I returned to Singapore from my Malaysian misadventure. Looking for work and a flat (and desperately hoping the 2 would appear simultaneously), I spent a week in a hostel.

Every shower going contained a selection of undergarments draped over the door hooks.

I assumed, at first, the cubicles must be being saved, and had no desire to have my wash interrupted by an impatient demand for lingerie.

A day or so later, I was forced to conclude that it was likely some initiative to avoid the possibility of being caught short in a towel; either some individuals were vigilant, verging on fastidious, or communal underwear was a thing.

A concerning alternative was the amount of people failing to get fully dressed.

Anyway, amongst finding a flat, securing a job, and Christmas, I spent very little of the following few weeks dwelling on pants.

That is, until my new flatmate moved in.

And with her, the hanger. And with this, her undergarments, Delores Umbridge-esque, and hooked over the shower shelf in such a way that the water couldn’t be angled to avoid them. 

For the next month, each time I washed, I’d shift the underwear out of harm’s way. Afterwards, I’d return the hanger: no indication of my interference.

It was, by all accounts, no more than a minor inconvenience.

At this point I should probably confess my intense dislike for minor inconveniences, particularly avoidable ones. In any case, I was naturally curious about the purpose of the pants. Perhaps they were shower-pants. Pants that one showers in, along with a shower cap and galoshes.

On this premise, I decided the best course of action was to conduct an experiment. After all, passive aggressive gestures have punctuated shared living since time began.

During my next shower, I left the pants in position. I was washed, and so, clearly, were they.

Eager to see what my flatmate would make of this development, all I could do was wait.

My patience wasn’t tested for long. Singapore rarely dips below a humid 30 degrees; showers are mandatory for prolonged public interaction.

The next day, as I went to the bathroom, I stood for a moment, revelling in pant-free bliss. I turned on the taps, reached for the shampoo, and turned around to commence in some victorious hair washing.

On the wall opposite, displayed directly at eye level, were the offensive undergarments. They hung defiantly, just out of water’s reach. There was to be no escaping from them. That they were too far away to be showered also meant they were too far away to be justifiably moved.

And there the hideous, pink garments remained, for the rest of my time in Singapore: a constant reminder of a battle lost.

Pants: 1. Katie: Nil.