Monday, October 17, 2011

Bra Shopping in the Laundry Room

So, I'm stepping into clean underwear after taking a shower. Almost immediately, it becomes apparent this simple first step of dressing myself will not end successfully.

My foot barely makes it through the leg hole and all progress stops halfway up my thigh. A fleeting sensation of disorientation leaves me wondering if the world is shrinking, or if I've suddenly ballooned out of my wardrobe.

Then I notice the lettering across the waistband does not match that of the brand I typically wear. These are Hanes, whereas the looms I prefer yield fruit. Clearly, I am attempting to wear my son's underwear. About time, too.

Not that I enjoy stress testing the elastic in other people's clothing, but it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one who mistakenly sends the wrong under garments to the wrong members of the family. Even though the boys stand far below my height, their clothes are entering that gray zone of no longer being so radically different from mine that they are easily distinguishable as children's clothes. What this means is I can soon look forward to the wrong socks, wrong jeans, wrong shoes, and even the wrong Disney t-shirts cluttering up my closet and dresser.

Over the past few years, as Our Daughter inconveniently and deliberately matured into a variation of My Lovely Wife, it became difficult for me to determine which garments belonged to whom. I really did give it my best effort at first, but now I try not to waste too many brain cells on something I'm likely to get wrong anyway. When the only significant difference between two bras coming out of the laundry is color of material, it's a hopeless cause.

The best thing to come out of it has been the indirect reinforcement of an earlier mandate to stop placing bras in the dryer. Since my underwear has never been nearly so finicky about the drying process as theirs, I initially struggled to follow this rule.

These days, I search dilligently for brassieres before shifting wet clothes from the washing machine to the dryer. I hang them on pegs around the laundry room so they can air dry, leaving me free of the difficulties of sorting them later and allowing the ladies of the house to shop through the laundry for them at their leisure.

I just hope there's enough room for all our tidy whities once the boys get to be my size.

© 2011 Mark Feggeler


  1. Your boys will get to an age (high school or college) where it will be very easy to tell the difference. Their underwear will be a nicer, more expensive brand...Their underwear will be in style and trendy and still quite elastic. Yours will be old, worn out, dingy gray instead of bright white, and why? Because Mom and Dad sacrifice when it comes to themselves so their kids can have better things. (At least that is the way it was at our house with The Boy.)