Or why I didn't participate in Peter's Boxer Sew-A-Long.
If you're a longtime reader here, you know that I live in close quarters with my arch nemesis: The Laundry. It's a beast that I keep thinking I have vanquished. But again and again it rises up out it's baskets and outsmarts me in new and exciting ways.
The guys in my house come in three sizes: medium man, small man, and large boy. Therefore I used to buy (and sort) the underwear in three sizes: men's medium, men's small, and boy's large. The difficulties started when I bought my husband some higher-than-usual-quality boxer briefs in size men's medium and then threw out most of his old undies. Immediately, his nice, new underwear was pilfered and no one had "enough underwear."
It was, the lads claimed, simply a matter of fit, their old ones were "too small" and they had no choice but to wear their dad's new ones. Overnight, it appeared that all the guys had become men's medium underpants wearers.
You know where this is going right? My husband and I stupidly thought that to keep the peace we had to buy a bunch of men's medium underwear and we happily bought several packages of average quality. I even thought that this new sizing strategy would simplify things. HA! Now all my husband's higher-quality underwear ended up in one son's drawer and there was rampant underwear envy among those left with inferior undies.
Of course, the issue all along had been that some underwear is desirable and some is not and it is impossible to know from looking at a package in a store (especially while under florescent lighting) what anyone will want to wear once the pants have been washed and dried. Sometimes the elastic is wrong, and sometimes the legs are too tight and sometimes the fabric is too stretchy, too saggy, too stiff or too loose.
We then tried to even things up quality-wise (quantity being taken care of) and bought some more higher-than-average underwear. But, we couldn't always remember the exact brand and style (when did the choices for guys become so dizzying?) so that even in the same size they were often deemed "too small."
Taking the boys at their word, my husband then bought some large underwear. Of course, it is too big for anyone. Weirder yet, the favored undies seem to suffer from attrition and disappear at a faster rate, so that the ratio of out-of-favor underwear is always on the rise and the boys "never have enough underwear."
Now we have at least 35 pairs (!) of navy blue underwear in size men's medium, as well as some of the older underwear in smaller sizes that "didn't fit" (but seems to be getting dirty so must be being worn) and some of the large pairs that just seem to follow the other pairs through the laundry cycles for kicks. Everything is fine until it is time to equally divide and fairly allocate these 40-odd pairs among thee guys of different sizes and with different underwear criteria.
Yes, at this very point I am crushed in defeat by the underwear monster. Which, by the way, seems to be a close relative of the black sock demon. Help!
P.S. How many pairs is "enough" ?
Keywords: laundry, underwear, brothers, war, insanity