What’s with the underwear?


Al came home without his underwear.

He can’t find them, and he has worried me to death.

He’s looked in the car, and he’s called our daughter and worried her sick. He’s had her looking for them in her car, house and yard.

He called the store to see if he left them there and wondered if they would give him another package of underwear.

They said, “no.”

He’s asked me to backtrack on everything he brought home from the store.

I put all the groceries up, but I didn’t see his underwear.

I told him,  “I didn’t lose your underwear, Al. Let it go. Buy another package of underwear and forget it. It’s only seven dollars.”

“It’s not the seven dollars, but it’s the principle. I bought them, now they’re gone.”

What’s with the underwear?

This week, Al’s brother David called. I was telling him that my book “The Spirit of the Red Candle: Journal of Mary Magdalene” has been made into a movie script, and it was in Hollywood being shown to a producer as we were speaking.

David’s advice to me was, “When it turns out for you and your book is made into a movie, keep your panties on.”

I laughed at him. He’s got one thing on his mind.

I said I’m 70 years old. Maybe when I was 30 you might have needed to worry. I don’t think that’s a problem now.

During the same phone call, David said he needed to get away. He had been working really hard, so he was going to Mexico for a few days.

I told him, “Keep your panties on.”

He’s getting close to 80 years old. He is forgetting things. He probably wouldn’t mind losing his underwear, but what’s he going to come home with? Now, that’s something to worry about.

I was baking for the holidays and I found Al’s underwear. It’s the same size and color as a two-pound bag of powdered sugar.

I had the thought: “I should just wrap the underwear and put them under the tree, he’d be thrilled.”

But, I decided to tell him I found his package of underwear in the baking drawer. I should have never told him.

Meanwhile, the holidays are here. Al wanted to play Chicken Foot with our youngest daughter. If you remember, I’m in the mode of scaling down and moving things. He couldn’t find the Chicken Foot game. He has driven me crazy.

“Where is it? You’ve moved it. You lose everything, and I just wanted to play Chicken Foot with our daughter. It’s just like you, you lost my underwear.”

I said, “Just play Scrabble with her and forget it.” Then, I laughed.

He said, “You know I don’t play Scrabble. I’m not a good speller.”

I said, “Put on your big girl panties and play it anyway.”

He reminded me again,  “You were the one who lost my underwear and now you’ve lost my Chicken Foot game.”

I told our daughter, “I won’t hear the last of that one. I should have just tied a bow around his underwear, put them under the tree and let Al think I bought them. He would have been full of gratitude.”

I said to My Sweet Al, “Take all your old underwear out of the drawer and throw them away.”

You would’ve thought I asked him to hang the moon.

He said, “Throw them away? No, I’m using them for grease rags.”

That’s another story, for another time.

Final brushstroke: Meanwhile, Al’s brother is in Mexico during the holidays and he will probably lose his panties there, too. Oh me, we’ve all got our issues.  Better that I put Al’s underwear in the cabinet and not hear the end of it, than David leaving his in Mexico.

Artist’s quote

“I go through life as a transient on his way to eternity, made in the image of God but with that image debased, needing to be taught how to meditate, to worship, live, and to think.” — Donald Coggan

Readers’ comments

Send your comments to betty@bettyslade.com. I’m sure you have some holiday stories.

This story was posted on December 12, 2013.