Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Extreme Avoidance

I’ve never been much of a shopper. Case-in-point, I’ll conjure up the most bizarre combination of foods remaining in the pantry and fridge to avoid going to the grocery store, which drives Laura bonkers. Sure, I can make dinner with carrots, leftover rotisserie chicken, frozen peas, half a lime, fish sauce, and a package of ramen (hmm, sounds kinda tasty). And just as suddenly as I develop my spontaneous menu, my wife is at the grocery store purchasing all these fresh veggies with instructions for me to use them or else. Ah, success once again in sidestepping shopping. But sometimes your hand is forced. Like when your underwear needs replacing.

Yeah, I know. Dave, it’s just underwear. You can wear it forever. No one will know how smarmy it is. That’s what I thought, too, until I finally held a pair of my boxers up for inspection and discovered it was basically a rag barely attached to an elastic band. The holes had gotten so big that a warning label was required as the undies were now choking hazards for small children. (“What happened to little Jimmy? Got his head caught in Dave’s boxers—a tragedy. At least they were freshly laundered.”) If I were to put this pair in a piece of luggage and try to fly with it, TSA would confiscate it for immediate incineration. The Smithsonian has been leaving messages to put it on display as an artifact from the 20th century. You get the picture. And if you didn’t, I’ve included a pic of said undies. I’m sorry, there are some things you can’t un-see.

Okay, shopping was now required. Ugh.

As someone with multiple sclerosis, and being, well, a dude, there are few chores I dread as much as wandering crowded, loud malls teeming with oblivious shoppers who almost appear to go out of their way to run into you in order to look at inexpensive sunglasses and cellphone cases on a cart by the escalator. (Speaking of escalators, tragically a woman recently died in China falling into one and another man lost his leg, yikes.) The cacophony of it all just gets to be too much.

Men's underwear circa 15th century. That's damn old.
So when I have to clothes shop, I make it count. If I’m forced to be physically present in a store to try on stuff—jeans, shirts, shoes—I’m buying enough to last me a few years. This technique obviously has risks, which explains some of my dated fashion disasters. (I thought, unwisely, that Dockers and pastels were going to last longer than 1986.) But when it comes to clothing that does not need spousal approval, i.e., underwear, I order by the pallet, fashion sense be damned.

Now I am awash in so much underwear that I could fill a tub and bathe in Hanes. Our rag drawer is again bursting with newly added cotton dusters, all with a convenient front pouch to grip. And my MS will not thwart shopping trips for years. Because, let’s be honest, I’m not venturing out shopping again until I need new underwear!