Confession: I wear Gap boxers with Santa on them…

15 Jan

We’ve all heard the expression, “Daddy’s little girl,” and everyone knows atleast one Dad who simply does not want to see his daughter turn into a young woman. The reason for this is simple, dads were once young men and long before that they were boys; in the middle lies the teenage years, and all dads know what they were like as teenage boys and more importantly, what they wanted from teenage girls. So dads keep their daughters on a tight leash and try to intimidate their daughter’s boyfriends, hoping and praying that their daughters will walk entirely unnoticed throughout their teenage years.

I’ve begun to realize that although mothers don’t go through the exact same experience, they do go through something similar with their sons. Now, most mothers aren’t worried about their sons falling prey to some smooth talking high school girl, but they do go through a stage in their parenting where they want to turn their sons into a “Mama’s boy.”

While mothers are less likely to try and intimidate their son’s girlfriends by showing them their gun collection or telling them, “I have a shovel and big back yard, I don’t think anyone would notice you’re missing,” I think they have a much more passive aggressive way of trying to accomplish the same thing.

I think mothers can, and will do little things to sabotage their son’s love lives in order to keep women away from their sons and keep their sons close to home. The reason for my hypothesis is simple: flannel boxers from the Gap.

The boxers aren’t even really flannel, in fact, they’re 100 percent cotton, but they feel as hot as flannel without any of the flexibility.

Now, I used to think that my mother was just a thrifty shopper for buying Christmas themed boxers in the spring and sending me a box full of them, but recently I’ve begun to question her motives.

Think about it, what woman in here right mind is going to date a grown man wearing navy blued boxers with little snowmen sporting Santa Clause hats?

I once had a girl in college tell me my boxers were total errection killers. I’m sure it had been phrased much more eloquently in her mind — the alcohol didn’t help with her articulation— but she made her point.

The theory that my mom is a genius when it comes to being a thrifty shopper went out the window when I recently went to a Gap outlet store to return the majority of a package she sent me. The packages almost always contain a sweater, a few shirts, a pair or two of pants and about five to six pairs of Christmas themed boxers.

When I walked into the store I discovered something shocking, the Gap offers non-Christmas themed boxers for the same cost as their Christmas themed counterparts. So why had I suffered through a decade of penguins, igloos, polar bears, and mittens all with Christmas décor on my undies?

Of course my mother and I have argued round and round about shopping for me. I insist that she not buy me anything at any store unless I am standing right next to her for two solid reasons.

One, after years and years of seeing the way I dress myself and the clothing I buy to do so, my mother is still convinced that I really want to dress is like a 42-year-old man out of the pages of an L.L. Bean catalog, a fact that could not be further from the truth. I guess in her mind she just believes the only reason I don’t dress this way is because I can’t afford it. She sends me packages filled with button down shirts and cargo pants that look like they were designed for an expedition trip to the Congo, or for a suburbanite that simply wants to look like they’ve just returned from an expedition trip to the Congo. Khaki, olive green, and all shades of cream paint every inch of the shirts and pants she sends, all with extremely boxy fits to them and a strange over-abundance of strategically placed tiny pockets that aren’t even big enough to fit enough change to pay for a half-an-hour on a parking meter.

The second reason my mother is not allowed to shop for me is, although she has a heart of gold, she has a soft spot for clothes that have incredibly tiny stitching, stitching that is so tiny it could only be made by tiny hands. To put it bluntly, my mother frequents stores that are routinely accused of using child labor.

Its not that she doesn’t think child labor is wrong, it’s just that she doesn’t follow the news or listen to me when I explain to her why I don’t shop at stores like the Gap.

“Mom, thank you for the package, but I told you, I don’t like to support companies that are accused of using child labor.”

“Well alright, you don’t have to keep it,” she routinely says. “I just thought those shirts were really nice, and they were on clearance.”

“I know, I just don’t like the Gap. But thank you, it was very nice of you to send me clothes.”

“Well I just thought those shirts were nice, but you don’t have to keep them. Stuff from the Gap just lasts so long. I’ve had this pair of jeans from the Gap for years. Every time I wear them people say, ‘Wow, those are nice jeans! I bet they were expensive though,’ and I say ‘No, I got them at the Gap on clearance.’”

The story goes on for a while longer where the person continues to doubt, in a friendly way, that such amazing denim could ever be purchased at the Gap, let alone on a clearance sale. The doubting Thomas claims, ‘No way!’ a few more times, then assures my mother that the jeans are in fact awesome and purchased at an unbelievably awesome price.

My mother loves clearance sales, they’re like the Mecca of all sales to her.

Our conversations about the clothes she sends me usually ends with my mother fighting off hurt feelings, or simply accepting that her son will never dress like Indiana Jones, but she’s always happy that at least kept the boxers.

“I thought they were cute,” she’ll say. “And I know you can always use some new boxers.”

The first part of that statement is true, but on a severely sliding scale. Yes, they are cute, if I was in second, or possibly third grade. The last part of her statement could not be more true. Yes, I’m always in need of new boxers, so I’ll never turn down a free pair, even if they have pictures of snowmen all over them. My mother knows that if it were up to me to buy boxers, I simply wouldn’t wear any. And this is where her scheme to scare off any possible female callers from coming into play works so well.

Over the past few years I’ve received boxers with the following designs: dark green boxers with polar bears; navy blue boxers with multi-colored snowflakes; navy blue boxers with multi-colored Christmas trees; navy blue boxers with monkeys wearing Santa Clause hats while in a snowball fight; blue boxers with stocking hats, mittens and scarves on them; and blue boxers with Santa clause hat wearing snowman. To be fair, she recently sent me some boxers that were not Christmas themed. Those pairs included: navy blue boxers with green frogs; brown boxers with mugs of beer; and the pair that completely backed up the hypothesis that my mother is trying to sabotage my sex life. The latest pair were navy blue pair with bright red lobsters on them. Yes, that’s right, she sent me a pair of boxers with fucking CRABS on them!

I have recently begun to voice my objection over the themed boxers, pointing out that if she simply must buy me boxers from the Gap, at least they could lack a Christmas themed design. My mother has tentatively agreed, but I don’t buy it. I’m positive that next spring she’ll send me a brand new package of clothes from the Gap complete with boxers featuring red-nosed reindeer playing hockey or ice-skating. Then I’ll of course call her to get the receipt in order to return the clothing, at which time she’ll say, “What, you didn’t like any of it? I just thought it was nice stuff and I know you can always use some new boxers. They were on clearance. Aren’t the ones with the reindeer so cute?!”

– Daniel Savickas

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