White Christmas

Boyleing Points

I’ve got a holiday jingle stuck in my head. Which I’ll get to later.

So, ‘tis the season for gift-giving and I’ve gotta say, I’m not the man who has everything; I’m the man who really doesn’t want anything. For years, some people would get frustrated because they felt like they still had to get me something so I started saying, the only thing I need are socks and underwear. I figured you could never have enough of either. But that’s not true.

As my socks and underwear drawer overflowed, I realized there was a dangerous amount of tighty-whities. Yes, you can have too many of those in a hurry. In fact, if you have a single pair, you’re over the limit.

The greatest thing since the dishwasher was the fashion breakthrough of boxer briefs.

For decades, men had to endure the indignity of tighty-whities. No man, from Clark Gable to George Clooney to Brad Pitt, could look anything other than ridiculous in the underpants made for four-year-olds.

Other than the commando option, choices were slim. Briefs or boxers. Boxers failed on a couple of fronts. They were not snug, so to speak, and they’d bunch up when you pulled up your pants. You might as well have wrapped a bed sheet or a parachute around your waist. They didn’t look terrible — Oscar Madison rocked them — but they just weren’t functional, certainly not when you were exercising. You were pretty much stuck with tighty-whities.

The choice wasn’t so much boxers or briefs, it was Fruit of the Loom or Hanes. And like Henry Ford said, you could get any color underwear as long as it was white.

I finally had to declare that underwear was no longer a Christmas option — though some didn’t get the message and continued to give me tighty-whities like they were Hess trucks, a Christmas tradition. And I was stuck. It’s not like you can re-gift tighty-whities.

I get why they did it. They looked at me and said, now there’s a guy who doesn’t care how he dresses. His outerwear is worse than any underwear. I’ll give him the stupid-looking underwear and can check him off the list.

Silly me would act grateful and happy and even surprised. I always thought that was the right thing to do. Ever see someone show clear dissatisfaction with a gift they get? Oh, it’s brutal. They eagerly tear off the wrapping to reveal a beautiful Louis Vuitton handbag and their face sags and they say that’s not the one they wanted. Or you get a guy a Callaway golf club and he says, I got one already. They couldn’t fake it for five seconds? Brutal.

I can’t muse about gift-giving without giving credit to people who get you some weird piece of clothing that, at first, you wouldn’t be caught dead in. But months later, maybe years later, you start thinking, it’s not that bad. You finally wear it and then it becomes your favorite item of clothing.

Meanwhile, that jingle stuck in my head? Have a tighty-whitey Christmas, it’s the best time of the year!

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