Friday, June 15, 2007

Holy Underwear, Batman!

I bought new underwear today. You probably didn’t care to know that, but part of me hopes that you’re intrigued enough to keep reading, delighted even. Maybe I should settle for glad. New underwear isn’t something you boast about unless you’re an underwear model or you invented a new kind of underwear... or you're buying it for the first time and you're 83. As much as I had to buy them, I hated it to do it too. There’s no more a waste of money than for a married man to buy underwear. Who sees them that I have to impress? Kara? That boat has long sailed. And if I'm worried that I won't be wearing clean underwear if I'm ever in an accident, believe me when I say that I'm more bothered by the fact that I'm in an accident than I am concerned what kind of underwear I'm wearing. I could have Kara's on, just get me to a hospital and I'll explain later. So who cares what condition my underwear is in, and if there are some structural flaws, say, a faulty waistband or the fabric has lost most of its integrity, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it—literally. Frankly, I don’t much care, which is why I’ve got quite a collection of underwear spilling over the top drawer of my dresser, in a variety of sizes, shapes and yes, colors (hey, neon green is the new white!). Because of the above, it had truly been a while since I had treated my guys to a new set of clothes.

When I wear a Size 36 pants and I’m trying to stuff my “leg-tops” into Size 34 briefs, it is time to change out the assortment. When “Hanes” is semi-permanently imprinted on my waist and in order to get them off, I need a illicit the help of a shoehorn, it is time for a purging. And when, because of the holes, I don’t have to bother to take them off to go the bathroom, it is time to seek out replacements.

But they sneak up on you too, like Indian underwear, coming in from behind, so much so that the mere act of putting them on has become a circus high-wire talent. You’ve got to make sure to keep enough on one side of the wire and enough on the other to feel balanced, and after you lose some up the Yazoo River, it is hardly a forgettable experience. Which is why I looked forward to thinning out the herd when I got home. There are some in there that, frankly, I just won't wear anymore; life is too short and I'm much too old and set in my ways to be bothered by underpants that won't keep up its end of the bargain. All I ask is a little support. Is that too much? Just make sure that what's there, stays there, and if I have to suddenly burst into a 50-yard dash for whatever reason, I want to know that they've got me covered. Some have lost most of their elastic so they’re more like a loincloth you’d find at a Paleolithic museum for Hominoid Man than something designed to cradle and comfort a precious area of my person. Some are so tight that I've got to reorganize my internal organs in order to yawn, and forget it if I have to sneeze. I could blow out a seam with a stifled cough. The more I think about it and the more I mentally inspect my vast cotton fleet (Who can't do that? Who can't rifle through their own underwear drawer in their mind?), the more problems surface: Namely holes, sometimes big gaping holes where there shouldn’t be any. But, where do they come from? How did I get holes in my underwear? It’s not like I climb a lot of barbed wire in my skivvies (well, in all fairness, there was that one time), and it isn’t as though they’re designer stone-washed and prone to easy wear. So, how is it possible to have unmentionables that resemble a cratered moon made of Swiss cheese?

Though I’m a lot more brazen than I used to be, there are still a few things that I find embarrassing. One of which is unceremoniously attracting the attention of everyone in the room by making some sudden loud noise that involves breaking a lot of things because you stumbled into them (and then the added embarrassment of having to clean up your mess while everyone gawks), and the other is walking down the aisle of a crowded store with a jumbo pack of white cotton briefs under your arm. No amount of nonchalant whistling nor averting your eyes from those of strangers can hide the fact that people are judging me by the size and style of my underwear, wondering why I’m only carrying a package of underwear and nothing else. It's weird and a little too personal for my tastes. Plus, I think I saw an old lady smirk under her breath, “Even I wear boxers.”

When I returned to the cart where the family had gathered to inspect my choice, Kara asked if I had picked up the boxer-briefs, an odd hybrid of shorts that is half tighty-whitey and half ballet tights. I think they were designed for Evander Holyfield by Mary Lou Retton. I told Kara I hadn’t, and she replied, joking, “So you got the ugly ones then?” And Natalie kept calling them panties, loudly, which didn't help, as in “Daddy, did you buy some new panties?” and “I like your new panties, Daddy.”


I bought Size 38 for that roomy feel, knowing full well that by the time these relax into that several-times-washed period of their tenure in my dresser, it’ll be like walking around with a bell tower between my legs. But oh how comfortable a new pair of underpants can feel, like velvet.

Of course, the next time you see me, please try to refrain from picturing me in my underwear, but if you must, know that they're brand new.


Kara said...

First, ew. . . I didn't want to read about underwear and second, 38? My goodness! I bet they're going to be a little big. You should have let me buy them for you!

Clint said...

Don't feel left alone Ryan. Christina coaches Kathryn to call mine panties as well.


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