Friday, 16 May 2008

Boxers or Briefs?

Somewhere in the cosmos of the universe, it was determined that I should live my life in a houseful of "y" chromosomes. Even the old dog was testosterone-laden, although not as heavily due to a minor snipping procedure undertaken during his puppy days! It sort of seems appropriate. After all, I am the mom who understands the complexities of a 3-4 defense, who doesn't throw like a girl, who played Rotisserie League Baseball, (and won it all one season!!) and who suffers the humiliation, year after gut-wrenching year of being a Leafs fan! I am the mom who enjoys Aaaaaanold's movies and Marvel superhero comic books. I was the first mom I knew, who had her very own GameBoy and I am the mom who prefers Lost and Deadwood to insipid crap like American Idol and The Bachelor. (sorry to all of the fans who like the insipid crap!!) I actually have a great deal in common with the vast majority of "y"s! But, I am still a double "X"! While I am fairly low maintenance when it comes to fashion, I still like to keep current so that I don't look like a dork wearing the latest in 80's bustiers! The men around here, are definitely a different animal altogether when it comes to their apparel. The husband is NOT a shopper. His idea of shopping for clothes is to have me pick out an assortment of items in various colours and sizes, and have me bring them home for him to try on. Whatever meets with his approval (and mine!!) stays, and the rest should be returned from whence it came. I long resisted this method, (it doubles my workload!) but years of walking through malls without stopping at any men's store led me to my epiphany that this was the only way to have the husband dress like a mensch instead of a shlub!! If I left him to his own devices, he would be wearing jeans 15 years old and button down shirts hued in the most nauseating of colours. When I do manage to convince him that shopping outside of the house is a necessity, he employs what he calls the "man method"! Apparently men have very little patience when it comes to shopping, and require advance knowledge of where they are going, what they are purchasing, how much it costs, and how long the entire outing will take. While they are in the store, it would be helpful if spouses could please find coordinating clothing, such as shirts, ties, socks etc.. so that maximum efficiency is maintained! (I have spent many a day befriending the salesmen at menswear stores as the husband also has an aversion to help other than mine!!) Fast as lightning. Damned the fit, colour and fashion. If it works, buy it and get out! (I am aware that all men are not like the husband. My father is fashion maven and loves to look good! Still, his method of shopping is not far off from the husband's in that he scouts the stuff first and plans his shopping day ahead of time!) Men do not dawdle in stores. They rarely pore over the sale racks, unless something jumps out at them. That is what mothers, wives and girlfriends are for!!
I haven't just had to endure this shit from the husband over the years, he managed to pass this nonsense on down to his sons. When they were small it was easy. I bought the clothes and they wore the clothes. The only time I needed them with me was to try on shoes. I should have realized my fate way back then. Older son was a nightmare. After dismissing every pair in the store, we finally managed to squeeze something onto his feet, only to have him constantly whine about the toes, heels, laces or colour. No shoes were ever comfortable enough or soft enough. He used to wear his shoes literally off of his feet, before we would venture back for round 2! To his credit, younger son is more like his grandfather, in that he cares what is on his back, but he has no regard for price! I was thrilled when they started shopping for themselves, so that I didn't have to endure the traumas. Today, I re-entered the lion's den. Both boys had the day off and were in desperate need of a few essentials for the summer. Since the bank of mom is much deeper than either of their accounts, I was invited along. I discovered fairly quickly that the shopping window was finite and that we better get to our tasks immediately or nobody would buy even a sock! Neither dipstick knew their jean size!! How is that possible? Doesn't everybody have a notion of their jean size? Granted it may be off a bit due to make and fit, but not even an inkling? Store number one was eventually a success and we were off to obtain (gasp!!) shoes for older son. After making few quiet suggestions, I chose self-preservation and left him to his own devices. I wandered off and miraculously he left the store with a brand-spanking new pair of size 10s. (as an aside-given that both boys attend camp in the States, I usually like to buy them an updated Canadian t-shirt or shorts to show off their patriotism. In Olympic years, this purchase is usually a snap, but not this year. I have never seen such ugly and hideous wear as are being foisted upon the Canadian consumer this year by the Bay! Garish doesn't even come close to describing this crap. It is cheap feeling and truly nauseating to look at, but it is expensive! I felt a great sense of relief when both guys felt as I did!) We were on a roll now, but I knew that time was not an ally, attention was wandering (they were going into the video and gaming stores!) and that they still needed (ugh!) underwear!! Trying to determine the size of your adult male children's underwear is not something I would wish on any of you. Older son made it crystal clear from the beginning, that while this is something that he desperately requires, he would not even entertain the possibility of buying it while with his mother. (smart boy that one!!!) Younger son, always the pragmatist, and lazier in that he didn't want to put himself through another shopping trip, put his embarrassment aside and dove right in. He is now set for the summer. Hopefully older son will get it together before he leaves and will not be forced to wear his old stuff. Frankly, it is not my problem. As the husband said, men should not shop for underwear with their mothers, they should do it with their wives and girlfriends!! Ok sons!! The next move is yours!!!

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