Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Queen's New Drawers

The Great and Glorious Queen of the Erickson household has one personality trait that makes me, as her husband and loyal subject, the envy of every married man alive. She hates to shop for clothes. She hates it at least as much as I do, and I only go clothes shopping when I start looking like something which no self respecting homeless person would want to associate with. Working from home has only seen my wardrobe stagnate even more than usual since I only have to look presentable once a week or so. I’m just not ready to show up for church in my bathrobe and slippers.

So, anyway, a little over a week ago, The Queen informs me that she is in desperate need of new underwear. Under normal circumstances, this would not be a news item to which I would be privy. Unfortunately, The Queen and I have not been living under normal circumstances for about three and a half years now.

Three and a half years ago, The Queen began having health issues. We’re not talking about a touch of the flu or a garden variety case of pollen allergies. We’re not even talking about something scary yet identifiable like cancer. No, The Queen has to be unique and enigmatic. She has to come down with a chronic mystery illness that’s left my formerly energetic, athletic and independent Queen in a very dependent, constantly fatigued and decidedly unsporting state.

After three and a half years and thousands of dollars worth of medical treatment later, you’d think that The Queen’s condition would be a little less mysterious. While the exact nature of her condition remains somewhat illusive, we have learned quite a bit about what her condition is NOT. It’s not HIV. It’s not cancer. It’s most definitely not all in her head. Seriously. Why can’t doctors just admit they’re stumped when they don’t have a clue instead of more or less accusing their patients of making everything up? Some doctors need a little more practice than others, I guess.

And, now, back to our impending adventure in lingerie shopping.

Due to her distressing lack of energy and stamina, The Queen has must confine herself to a wheelchair when making public appearances. I’m sure you see where this is going. Me pushing The Queen into Victoria’s Secret.

Please, no. Not that. Anything but that.

First, let me say that sending a guy to go shopping for women’s underwear is a little like sending a bull on a tour of a slaughter house. The bull is pretty sure he shouldn’t be in there in the first place, and it’s an even money bet that he’ll be too scared to ask any questions.

This is due to the fact that men keep underwear simple. Men’s underwear comes in two basic styles and a variety of colors. The entire men’s underwear industry can be displayed in the same amount of area occupied by a walk in closet in a modest sized house. Most men can shop for underwear in less than 5 seconds. Men generally have their style choice made by the age of five and, for the most part, see no need to fix something that’s not broken. With some exceptions, men don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the color of their underwear. That leaves locating the correct size as the most time consuming task in the shopping experience. Size is based on your waist measurement. If you know the size of the pants you’re wearing, all you have to do is make sure the numbers match. Done.

Not so with The Queen’s underwear. So many dangers to marital bliss. So little time.

Let’s start with styles? The Queen shops for her dainties at Victoria’s Secret which has more styles than there are people on the planet. They have everything from “granny panties” to “What do you think I am? Some kind of cheap slut?” to “Why, yes, I am; but, no, you can’t afford me.” And don’t get me started on the displays. This is supposed to be a family blog.

Then there is size. Ladies, never ever ask a guy what size underwear you should buy. You might as well ask us to do jumping jacks in a mine field. You might be saying “Should I get this size or that size?” and really want to know which one will look better on you. All we men hear is “Honey, how big is my butt?” There are no correct answers to that question. So, don’t ask. Our brains will lock up. You can spot us in the store easily. We’re the ones frozen in position with a nervous tick. Besides, it annoys the sales staff.

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