Awkward and Beautiful

womens-underwear-292

Sometimes you gotta do stuff you don’t particularly want to do. For my ninth grader, it’s shopping for underwear with her father.

I don’t rotate mine as often as I should.  I just get so attached to them.

Perhaps it is my bad example that puts us in the panty pinch.  I have a specific test for tossing my intimates.  When jogging, it sometimes feels like my shorts are falling off.  If I look down and my pants are intact, I realize it’s my boxers that have gone south underneath my sweats.  Although preferable to the alternative, I’d rather the inner layer slide down while running down Ridge Road than the outer, this sensation is my signal:  this pair must go.  Elastic is such an important part of the underpant.

Stephanie came to me last weekend with an urgent need for an undie upgrade.  She reluctantly chose to hit the mall immediately, rather than wait for her aunt or another viable female to schedule a trip.

As we walked through the doors of Crabtree Valley Mall at 8 PM on a Tuesday night, she grabbed my hand, “It is so embarrassing to do this with your dad.  I so hope I don’t see anyone I know.”

“There are other things I’d rather be doing too, like digging or welding.  But baby, we’re just making memories.  Twenty years from now we’ll remember this night – our first trip to Victoria’s Secret.”

They had a sale, 5 pair for $27.  Finding her size and the style she liked was a challenge.  Although there seemed to be designated slots for each type, it looked like an underwear tornado had touched down on that table.  They were all mixed together.  It was like trying to find a specific pea in a crock pot of vegetable soup.

Men’s boxers are in packages, sized by waist.  Women’s aren’t.  Some mediums would have barely fit over my head (no, I didn’t try).  Others would have fit William Howard Taft.

“Stephanie, I think you need to try these on – we need a baseline.”

You’d have thought I’d suggested she run naked through the store.

“Dad.  I’m NOT trying on underwear at the store!”

“Whatever.”

I held each pair up, opening the waist to see if I thought It would fit.  In the end we bought ten.

I actually cherish these moments – the ones that other dads don’t get to experience.  They’re awkward, uncomfortable, funny… and beautiful.

Frozen Drawers

frozen boxers

My oldest niece is now 25, 30, maybe older, I’m not sure.  All I do know is she’s getting on up there.

Since she was born I’ve worked hard to keep her in line – she is a handful.

One Christmas I decided to give her two of the things she loved the best – nicely packaged together.  So I took a pizza crust and hot glued macaroni all over it.  She was rude and didn’t eat it.

Fresh out of college and in a new apartment, she requested money and house goods for her holiday gifts.  Naturally, I bought a 24 pack of toilet paper, unrolled each and tucked a dollar in the middle.  I then wrote on the outside of the roll the title of a fabricated Christmas Tune – like “Oh Holy Wipe” or “Tinkle Bells.”  It took a great deal of careful thought to put it together, and yet, she complained about the rolls being unwrapped.  I just don’t get it.

The younger she was, the less she could throw back at me.  Now, with her old age and all, I’m having to be a bit more careful.

At the beach earlier this month, our entire family, all 12 of us, took our annual crab hunting exhibition.  We gathered the nets, the flashlights, buckets and frisbees (used to secure the caught crabs in the said buckets).

Since my mother is scared of everything, I decided I’d take a small twig, sneak up behind her and surprise her with a little tickle on her ankle.  It’s sort of fun to see a 76-year-old jump that high.  It reminded me of the time my brother put a plastic snake on her shoulder in a gift shop at Disney World when we were kids.  Her scream was so loud they called in security because they thought someone was dead.

So, maybe I took it a bit far when I repeated my trick four or five times on my mom, she is such a sucker.  Then a couple of swipes on my niece’s ankle and once or twice on Michelle.

I knew they were working to get me back when DJ and Courtney ran back to the house to “go to the bathroom.”  Both have camel bladders so I suspected revenge was in the making.

After a one-sided water gun war, I thought I had paid my penance.  What I learned when I climbed out of the shower was that all of my boxer shorts, every single pair – even the dirty ones, were missing.  I searched for a while and then gave it a rest.  I figured them knowing that I knew was torture enough.  They had to fear my next move.

I reminded them that I wasn’t big on underwear and that I could go months without my shorts.  I’ll have to admit though I didn’t want to have to buy 8 new pair.

Two days later, with still no sign of my boxers, I made my move.  While they were sunning by the pool, I snuck into their rooms and snatched their undies.

I then called truce and worked out a swap wtih my father as a neutral party.  We’d each give our goods to him, and he would return them to the rightful owner.  He’s a minister, I knew I could trust him.

What I didn’t realize was that little rat had wet my shorts, wadded them all up and crammed them on the bottom shelf of the freezer behind the ice pops and in front of the frozen kale.  When recovered, they were solid as an iceberg, formed in-between the crevasses of the wire rack that hid them.

It was nearly the rudest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.  Who does that?

PS – If you’re reading this, and you know who you are, just wait, wait until next year…

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