Wednesday, August 03, 2005

More than Full Disclosure

I'd like to broach kind of a tender subject here.

I don't know anything about women. I know that's shocking to hear, coming from a guy who is not only married, but has an near-encyclopedic familiarity with horror movies and D&D.

This fact was brought home to me the other night, a night like any other. The wifely friend (who I am at pains to mention is a woman, and therefore a person I really don't understand in even the most basic way) and I were on the sofa, watching television. I know it's also kind of shocking that an exciting guy like me was sitting around watching television, but I assure you it was something educational, like Australian Rules Football or America's Funniest Police Shootings. Anyway, this was laundry day.

We have a special trade-off that happens on laundry day: she does the sorting, the pre-soaking, the loading, the washing, the removing of tender and fragile items for line-drying, the painstaking removal of lint from the screen, and the transfer to the dryer. I do the folding*. This is not because I have convinced her that folding the laundry is dangerous in any way, like maybe there is a choking hazard involved in vee neck undershirts, or that she may become disoriented by the nineteen black socks that are in some indiscernible way different from each other, and go running off into the night, screaming. For some unknown reason, she finds folding the clothes tedious and annoying, and won't do it.

So that works out.

I was gamely folding my way through the vast Matterhorn of dingey whites and slowly fading blacks*** when it struck me that I should put some underwear on my head. So I did. Now, I know you do this when you're folding laundry too, so don't try to deny it. Sometimes I'll even mix it up a little and hang one of the wifely friend's bras off my ears. And then I'll sit there, as I was at this particular moment, grinning at my wife, waiting for her to notice that I am doing something that is so desperately hilarious that she'll remember why she is so proud to be married to me, her undie-headed king.

I had selected a pair of the briefs that I recently picked up for jogging. Any of you joggers (I should say male type joggers) can testify that jogging in boxer shorts is not that pleasant.

She looked at me, with my briefs all chapeau-style, and said "Well, they're better than boxers anyway."

I was stunned. The briefs slid from my head, obviously as troubled as I was.

"You mean you like tighty-whiteys?" I asked her.

"Well, yeah."

Now, there was a time when I was all about the tighty-whiteys. Up until I was twenty-three or so, I was a tighty-whitey man. I was gripped, cupped, and supported. My junk was warm and safe, like a little baby bird--no, I mean like a particularly large kookaburra--in the cottony softness my Fruit of the Looms provided.

And then, a girlfriend told me one day, as if this was a self-evident truth, "You should wear boxers."

So, like any sane man would do, I destroyed every last pair of tighty-whiteys. I cleansed with a holy fire. I committed underwear genocide of the highest order. And I bought a whole range of boxer shorts. For about ten years now, I've been all boxers. I'll wear them until the elastic is such a half-remembered whisper that my pants are the only thing keeping them on. I have exotic and exciting patterns, like dachshunds in repose, footballs, and a variety of plaids that would boggle the mind of those of you who are easily boggled.

Boxer shorts are better for admiring your physique in the mirror, too. You feel tough wearing the boxers. Like you should be enjoying a cup of really bad coffee on the porch of a log cabin somewhere, maybe lighting a match on your inner thigh to light your cheroot. You want to be striding through the woods boldly, alive as only a man who has no sort of testicular support of any kind can really be.

And now here was my own wifely friend telling me after what is soon to be five years of marriage that she like the whiteys.

And the question that keeps recurring to me, before I go ahead and rout the forces of boxerdom from my drawers drawer, is this:

I wonder how they'll look on my head?*****

*Everything, that is, except the fitted sheet. No man knows how to fold a fitted sheet. It's like trying to fold a lettuce leaf.**

**I'm sorry but I'm fresh out of logical similes, apparently.

***Incidentally, "dingey whites and slowly fading blacks" was the rejected first title of the timeless anthem Ebony & Ivory. Cooler heads eventually prevailed and added the stark contrast so beloved by the entire world.****

****Though, strangely, hated by Jupiter.

*****Incidentally, my wifely friend just read this and denied that she likes the tighties for anything but purely lecherous reasons. So, never mind.


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