Years ago, I was searching for something special to give My Lovely Wife for Christmas. It was a stage in our relationship when I hadn't yet learned not to waste time buying her clothes.
Word to the wise, if you're considering buying your wife clothes you should hand her instead the money you would have spent and a set of car keys. She's going to bring it back to the store no matter how hard you tried to match her size and style, and you'd better hope she gets a full refund instead of store credit so she can pocket the cash and get herself something from a store she actually likes.
Anyway, several years of togetherness had emboldened me enough to venture into Victoria's Secret to scout for a present. Why Victoria's Secret? Because Frederick's of Hollywood scared the crap out of me. Everything on display at Frederick's of Hollywood looked like Tim Curry's spare wardrobe from Rocky Horror Picture Show. There might be a few corners of Victoria's Secret that, even now, I shy away from to avoid feeling like the resident middle-age perve, but at least Victoria's Secret doesn't stock every shelf with fur-lined, crotchless, black lace panties. If that's your thing, God bless you, they just seem rather impractical to me.
I normally fret over buying underwear even for myself, so don't ask me why the notion of purchasing panties for my wife suddenly struck me as a stroke of genius. It's the kind of thing that could end in tears, reproach, and recriminations, being a meaningless Christmas gift similar in sentimental value to an ironing board or a skillet.
"Here, I thought you needed new drawers. Don't worry, they were on sale."
See what I mean? The only way to make it potentially more creepy and less heartfelt would have been if I had bought used panties from Goodwill and wrapped them with a free sample pouch of detergent.
And what if I bought the wrong size?! That's a whole nother can of worms to be opening on Christmas morning. Nothing says "I love you" like giving your wife a present that suggests you thought she was a whole lot bigger than she really is, or implies you think she needs to lose weight.
On Christmas morning when she unwrapped the pretty pink box, My Lovely Wife gave me the pitying, unenthusiastic look I should have expected. But her opinion of the gift quickly changed once she tried them on. Somehow, by the grace of some Christmas miracle that must have missed its intended target and veered off into Victoria's Secret during my visit to the mall, I managed to bring home the exact right size and style. Each Christmas since then, a box in pink wrappings has appeared under the tree.
Because the geniuses at Victoria's Secret decided to alter the shape and fabric of one of their best selling undergarments, that perfectly proportioned panty now exists only in name, a fact we discovered last year only after the box was opened.
And so ends an annual tradition. Thanks a lot, Victoria's Secret. Where am I supposed to buy my panties now?
© 2011 Mark Feggeler