All I want for Christmas is new underwear (or a girlfriend)

Reality Check | Mike Taylor

My Christmas wish list has changed radically in the past 30 years.

As a boy, I wanted the stuff all boys want — robots, BB guns, chemistry sets, erector kits, slot cars, model railroads. Fun stuff.

As I grew older, toys gave way to record albums (in the pre-MP3 era), art supplies, musical instruments, basketballs and books. Not as fun as slot cars and robots, but what is?

Then I grew up, which I suspected, even at the time, was not a smart move. The Christmas gifts grew increasingly lame; Dayglo Three Stooges neckties from my children, shirts too flamboyant even for Michael Jackson from my sainted Irish mother, gift certificates to Friday’s from relatives who no longer knew me well enough to have any idea what I really like.

And that was just middle age. By the time I passed middle age (which I have done, unless I plan to live to well past 100*) the gifts got even worse, because they were purchased by a practical wife or girlfriend (never both at once).

My last wife, The (Former) Lovely Mrs. Taylor, was a pretty good gift buyer; she once bought me a super cool robot I still play with whenever I remember to purchase the 20 D-cell batteries that bring the thing to life. But she also gave me socks and underwear.

Granted, that underwear was often inspired by some studly male model from the pages of her glamour magazines rather than by anything I might actually need. She was no doubt disappointed to see me exit the bathroom each morning looking nothing at all like Fabio, dressed in something more akin to a slingshot than an undergarment. Maybe that’s why she left me; I’ll never know for sure.

Sweet Annie came along just as my old socks and underwear were reaching the point of semi-transparency. Our first Christmas together she bought me more of both. This trend continued on a more or less annual basis for a few years. Blessedly, Annie was more realistic about my physique; she purchased underwear that actually covered parts of my anatomy best left to the imagination. (Which, if I am to be completely honest, would be a task best served these days by a large tarp of some sort.)

Having nonthreadbare underwear was great, but alas, that was not enough to hold the relationship together. So for the past several months, I’ve been without a girlfriend, wife, significant other, life partner … all I’ve got is my cat, Friday Magoo, and he shows no signs of caring about my underwear predicament.

I’m getting used to being single, but something really must be done about this whitey-tighty crisis. I realize now that I have grown entirely reliant on women for my “foundation garment” needs; I have never, in my entire life, purchased a package of BVDs or Haines. Never!

It’s not that I’m cheap; it’s just, well, I hate buying “practical” stuff. It seems a waste of money when there are so many robots and b.b. guns (and their adult equivalents) available for purchase virtually everywhere. But like I said, my undergarment problem is getting serious.

So. I have a choice: Buy my own briefs and sweat socks, or find a girlfriend. It’s easier to just shop for new underwear, sure, but that just feels like giving up.

So I guess I’ll give it another month or so, maybe join an online dating site or attend one of those Friday night singles dances over at the VFW. If I can’t find a woman willing to gift me a pack of Haines by Christmas, I’ll take that as a sign my days of wine and roses are past and I’ll make the long, lonely drive to Walmart.


* I do.

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