Wearing it out

My husband got two new undershirts a few weeks ago. I know, I know, this is fascinating news. You’re all in deep suspense, waiting for the juicy details of these new shirts. Well, although their purchase was not so interesting in itself, what I got a kick out of was the message that came along with them. The first time I went to wash one of these said shirts, I checked the label to make sure they weren’t – crazily – hang to dry. There on the label was sage advice from the manufacturer for all men to see:

CHANGE DAILY

What a laugh! As a woman, this instruction was a complete shock. How could you not change an undershirt daily? This thing gets worn next to your skin all day long. Maybe you sweat into it, maybe the odours of your body worm their way through its fibres like a snake slithers its way through the leaves. Maybe they don’t. Regardless! If women wore undershirts I can bet you this little gem suggestion wouldn’t be there.

So what is it about the habits of men that makes this advice so needed? Happily, I’m married to the kind of guy that actually would change his shirt daily without having to be reminded by the shirt’s label. (As if men really even look at those labels anyway!) He, however, appears to be in the minority among his kind. Someone obviously determined that a great many men out there are in very dire need of a little help.

But the need doesn’t just stop there. There are bigger mice to catch here, and we all know it. How many of us have done the laundry and pulled out those manly, nether-region unmentionables … only to discover that they sport so many holes it looks like a rat pack got at them? Oh you know what I’m talking about, and so does my – ahem – friend*, whose fresh-out-of-the-dryer underwear I surveyed just the other day with a mixed look of amused dismay. “What? They’re still good!” he protested, even though I was looking at him through the pair itself. What can I say? At least their label didn’t have to point out that boxers should really be changed every day.

You’ve got to love the shirt manufacturers for trying, though. Where they stage an all-out assault, pointing out to men up front what the rules are with regards to wearing their underclothes, sometimes us women have to resort to the trickiest measures. Yes, this time I smiled and folded those boxers neatly, ready to stash back in his dresser drawer. But next time I’ll have to take matters into my own hands – for the sake of all women and men everywhere – and throw those holey pairs out, where no man could ever find them – and likely wear them – again.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

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