Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On Underwear and Good Living

Yesterday as I was getting dressed I realized that it was time to throw out the pair of boxer shorts I was wearing.  Retiring underwear always follows the same routine.  One day I look down and all of a sudden realize that my underpants are well past their prime.  I never notice the first little hole or two, so finding several large holes always comes as a surprise as if everything deteriorated in one final washing.

These underwear were however, if not special, at least notable.  There are, in my experience, two ways of getting new underwear: they arrive in my stocking at Christmas or I buy them on that day when I realize I don't want to do laundry but nor do I want to wear the same underwear for even another moment.  These underwear did not arrive in either way.  These ones came to me almost miraculously.

One summer while spending time with my sister and brother-in-law Lisa showed them to me and asked if they were mine and had become mixed up in her laundry.  I was certain that they weren't mine but Luis was equally certain they weren't his.  They had just appeared somehow with the rest of Lisa and Luis' laundry.  Lisa told me I could keep them.

Wearing underwear that isn't mine is not something I ever liked the idea of.  However, I do like things that are free.  However, I don't like intimate second hand clothing because, well I don't have to explain do I.  Anyway, I eventually reasoned that my discomfort was mostly in my head.  I've often slept in hotels without a thought of the sheets that have enveloped other slumbering bodies, or even worse, non-slumbering bodies.  I've gone to restaurants and used forks that have been in countless other mouths.  So if those boxers have been washed with lots of detergent in extra hot water, what's the problem?

So I wore them.  I never liked them.  They were always last in my underwear rotation.  First my comfy MEC boxers, then some well-fitting cotton ones, then the ones that are prone to giving me a wedgie and then finally, if there's nothing else available, I'd use these ones.  They were last because, what bothered me more than the fact that they were second hand, was that they were Playboy boxers.  On the front of the elastic was the iconic bunny.

I don't understand why people would want the Playboy's emblem on their clothes.  When I was in Spain I remember often seeing young girls who had Playboy T-shirts and I always thought it was the saddest thing.  Now there are a few things that Hugh Heffner, Playboy's founder, is known for and therefore called to mind by the bunny.  Perhaps these are the images that one wishes to evoke by sporting Playboy clothing.

The first is sex with beautiful young women, many beautiful young women.  I suppose that biology dictates that at a base level, there's something attractive about this.  However, Hugh Heffner is now in his eighties and has continued his playboy lifestyle, sometimes simultaneously having multiple girlfriends who are young enough to be his granddaughters.  Whatever mystique there is about being a playboy suddenly seems like a dirty farce, about as attractive as second-hand underwear.

To a certain extent, Heffner is also famous for luxury living.  He lives in the Playboy Mansion and enjoys the finer things in life.  This for me is more tempting than sleeping around with hordes of lovely nubiles, but it's not what really tempts me about Heffner's lifestyle.

Hugh Heffner is famous for wearing pyjamas all the time.  Silk pyjamas.  Although I wouldn't necessarily say that I want to wear pyjamas all day every day, I know myself well enough to know that it's a habit that I could easily fall into.  I am naturally somewhat lazy and can spend the day undressed and unproductive just through inertia.  I don't like this quality and therefore I often have to talk myself into being more productive.

So, today I throw out my Playboy underwear, gratefully because wearing good underwear is an important first step towards having a good day.  I know that throwing the underwear out won't automatically make me productive but it's a good reminder of what life I don't want to have.  Heffner can try to sell the desirability of his playboy lifestyle but I'm not buying it.

That being said, I should remain mindful of the fact that I didn't buy my Playboy underwear; it just fell into my lap so to say.  I need to make sure that the pyjama lifestyle does not.  (So far I haven't had to worry about either wealth and luxury or beautiful nymphomaniacs falling into my lap.)

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