The best thing to do during the bleak days of February is to go underwear shopping.
I mean this for women, of course. If men need new underwear, they look at the size on their current pair, go to Amazon, and buy “Size Large Briefs, Pack of 280, Next-Day delivery.”
Not so women.
Also, I was joking in that first line. Bitter, resentful joking. Swimsuit shopping is nothing compared to underwear shopping. I don’t care how I look in a swimsuit, despite pop culture’s attempts to make me dislike my pudgy figure so it can then encourage me to love and accept my pudgy figure.
But underwear. That affects everyday life, no matter the season. I try to make my measly six-pack of panties last as long as possible. But yesterday I was in Wal-Mart by myself, and in the madness that is February, I decided to pick up a new pack.
Men’s Underwear: “Hey, we’ll throw in some socks too, would you like a 12-pack or a 36 pack?”
I’ve covered the agony of this process before — you can read it here. It hasn’t improved any. This time I took a visual reminder of what we’re faced with when we try to buy panties:
I thought I was ahead of the game this time: before I left home, I looked at what size I currently wear. That’s a good thing, too, because panties aren’t sized like clothes. You can’t think, “I wear a size 10 jeans so I’ll get size 10 panties.” Nope. Size 10 panties, according to the packages, fits something like 14/16 dress size. You can’t go in unprepared.
Men’s Underwear: “Oh, hey, we’re going to swing by Starbucks on the way to your house. Want a latte?”
But what made this excursion so fun was that I looked all over that rack, and I could not find my magic number. I found the one below it. I found the one above it. But not the one that, back home, I’d decided was my size.
Finally, in utter desperation, I chose a pack that I figured was close to my February size, which is bigger than my June size. At least it came in an 8-pack. That’s a huge bonus in Women’s Panties terms.
Then I left the aisle pictured above and walked around to the next aisle. And discovered…
Two more entire rows of panties.
No wonder I couldn’t find my magic number. They were all over here! But by this time I forgot if I liked high-cut, briefs, or boyshorts. I knew I liked cotton, but could find only bikini cut in that material. No, wait, here’s a pack… oh, too small. And they’re all 4-packs.
The madness set in. I grabbed my 8-pack of slightly larger panties and fled. Maybe, I thought desperately, I got lucky this time. Maybe I guessed right. Maybe I now owned eight whole panties and wouldn’t have to shop again for… I don’t know, years maybe!
Men’s Underwear: “We saw that you needed your lawn mowed, so we did that too.”
The panties don’t fit. I have to go back tomorrow.