Have you heard the recession is almost over? Until a few weeks ago, I had no actual confirmation that upward or downward trends in men’s underwear sales determine whether the economy is about to turn around—that is, until an article came out in the Washington Post that proved the theory I had formed on my own quite some time ago. When times are tough, men don’t buy underwear.
A few months into the recession, I walked in on my husband as he was bending over to put on his socks. I hadn’t realized until that very moment that it was possible to catch a glimpse of a full moon in the middle of the day.
I leaned down and peered through the gaping hole in his underwear. “Isn’t it a bit breezy back there?”
“I don’t need any new underwear right now,” he answered as he stood up. “The economy is bad and we need to cut back on extravagant purchases.”
I wondered how something as practical as underwear had suddenly become a wasteful acquisition. I realized things were getting out of hand when just last week, I thought I saw him polishing his hubcaps with a pair of heart underwear I gave him for Valentine’s Day three years ago. I went outside to verify my initial observation from the window. “Are those the …?” I didn’t get any further into my question before he held up his hand to stop me.
“These are shot,” he answered as he held up the underwear for me to view. Shards of heart-imprinted cotton fabric hung like curtains from the elastic band. To be honest, it looked like he had accidentally put his underwear through the shredder along with the credit card bill.
Just then, I noticed a piece of fabric wrapped around his head like a sweatband that eerily resembled the pair of underwear he received from his mother last Christmas. “Is that the …?” I continued as he once again held up his hand to stop me.
“These are shot too,” he responded. As he turned back around and bent over to continue polishing his hubcaps, I gasped. Nothing about what I saw in that moment cracked me up in the least.
I hated to ask, but I did anyway. “Are you wearing any …?”
He held up his hand to stop me. All of a sudden it occurred to me that there was a real possibility he could be the secret love child of a traffic cop and a plumber. “I’m down to my last pair and they’re in the hamper.”
“That’s it,” I said firmly as I got into my car. “I’m heading to the store and I am buying you a multi-pack of underwear.”
“ONLY IF THEY’RE ON SALE!” he yelled after me as I sped down the street.
The good news out of all of this is that retailers are starting to see a rise in sales of men’s underwear recently—a promising sign that we’re nearing the end of the recession and an even better indicator that I won’t be viewing full moons in my bedroom anytime soon.
So if you have a drink in your hand right now, let’s toast to the good news. Ready? Bottoms up!