Since I live in a house full of men (well two men and a boy) I’ve come to understand some of the amazing characteristics of the male life. Believe me, this is a novel existence, I grew up in a house FULL of females before my brother came along. I knew women, I could live with the vagaries of day-to-day life with its peaks and valleys of drama, moods, snarkiness, humor, laughter, tears, the list goes on and that was before the start of the school day. Yes living with women is complicated but interesting and dynamic. Like riding a roller coaster blind-folded.
Then I had a son. A boy. A boy? What the hell do I do with a boy? I felt ill-prepared; I was ill-prepared: a young woman in a terrible marriage and they hand me a baby boy? No time to ponder, I just had to jump right in and it’s been amazing. My oldest son is a gift I never asked for in so many ways and he has led me into the marvelous world of men.
I won’t go into the trials of divorce, single parent, rebuilding a life–well, not in this piece anyway. This is an observation of a specific aspect of the male life that has intrigued me. I have verification of this observation so I am ready to hedge a guess that it’s not just the men in my life that are attached to their underwear.
I discovered this when my older son turned three and I bought him X-Men! briefs. He loved them. He would try to wear them for days, even pretending to change them by throwing clean underwear in the laundry when I told him he had to change his drawers every day. The artwork wore out on those three pairs but he still hung on to them. He fished them out of the trash, the donation bag and the dryer when I wrestled them off him. You could tell he hated to wear other underwear, he squirmed and looked miserable. He sported the X-Men! until…I’m not sure when, he could still have them in his drawer.
Enter the new husband. Happy marriage, love abounds, let’s have a baby! What do you need to make a baby? Boxers, not briefs! I went out to Bradlees (yes, it was that long ago) and bought about 10 pairs of boxers (we were very excited about making a baby). I don’t know if it was the magic of the boxers but a baby was soon on the way. A baby boy! He’s thirteen now and my husband’s underwear drawer still has a few pairs of those boxers. They are practically transparent but they’re still in the rotation!
No surprise then when the baby boy became old enough for underwear he attached himself to his Blue’s Clues underwear. He loved those little tighties more than his mother! (Funny, he hated the show! Who can figure these guys out???)
My youngest son, while delightful in nearly every way, is the most stubborn person I’ve ever come across and the underwear battle was epic. He inherited the same tricks as his older brother: the laundry swap and the donation/trash rescue. He mastered a presentation of clean-underwear-in-the-morning switch–I still can’t figure out when he made the change!. For some reason, he was compelled to wear Blue’s Clues after the waistband began unravelling! No threats of presentable-underwear-in-case-you-get-into-an-accident touched this little guy. Again, I suspect Blue’s Clues are still lurking in the back of his top drawer.
Men can wear underwear much longer than women. There’s the difference of the male/female phenomena that predisposes women to toss their undies when they are unpresentable. But in reality, I think men’s underwear are made to last–composed of stronger, more durable material. Women’s underwear are flimsy, poorly designed, ill-fitting (we actually wear thongs!!!!). In essence, women’s underwear are designed to come off and men’s are designed to stay on. Forever.
I would have kept all this to myself but I came across a funny article in Runner’s World Magazine. Not about running. About a mystery surrounding an ancient pair of men’s underwear. The writer and his wife were walking their dog when they came across a really old, really gross-looking pair of his underwear lying on the neighbor’s lawn. The distinctive style and a paint smudge on the waist band confirmed it was his underwear and the writer marveled at the mystery. His conclusion, after ruling out their own dog and a couple of other lame ideas was a worm hole in the time/space continuum That’s a good one and I’ll save it for sometime when I really need it but anyway…
I hate to burst his bubble, but I know it was his wife. I mean, look at them! They are disgusting! all stretched out and gross! I am certain she’d had enough and she tossed them in the trash. Obviously she didn’t secure them in the vacuum bag and shove them beneath the rest of the trash–doesn’t she know anything? Unfortunately for her, some animal pulled them out, had a chew or rolled on them and left them on the neighbor’s lawn four houses away. If I ever came across those things on my lawn, I’d have alerted a Hazmat Team or doused them with lighter fluid and torched them where they lay–along with the surrounding lawn for good measure!
Fate is historically kind to men and their beloved underwear and this fellow is happily united with his raggedy-baggedy boxers. His wife needs to be much more creative in the offing of those things. My advice: If you’re going of axe a favorite pair or men’s underwear, drive to a dumpster a couple of towns away! Better yet, don’t fight that battle, it’s one she won’t ever win.