Publicado el 01/29/2009 1:23 PM EST
White cotton brief underwear has been my primary choice of sleepwear for some time. Now that I feel comfortable enough to tell you this, it is only fair to tell you why this was my selection of sleeping attire for many years. There is a little history involved, so bear with me.
Small cotton pants were the choice of little boys of my generation. We played and slept in those white, but often stained, garments. Mom made mine with flour sack scraps left over from shirts made for Dad and I, and dresses for my younger sister. These “sack drawers” were cool in the summer and fit me quite nicely under homemade quilts in the winter.
There is a shoebox full of old family pictures resting on a top shelf in the closet. In each of a dozen pictures of me, I am wearing those cotton pants, regardless of the season or the activity in which I was involved. My hair is always sticking straight up, face smeared with dirt or other yard material, and my faithful underwear clinging just about one half inch below the midpoint of the crack of my posterior. Whether attempting to ride a one-wheel scooter, feed the chickens, or play atop the vent on the cellar, my armored wardrobe was cotton pants.
When school started, my sleepwear changed. Mother cut holes in a pillowcase that accommodated my neck and arms. It took me about two years to grow out of the pillow case, before I adopted long johns in the winter and slightly altered long johns in the summer.
In high school, boxer shorts were my nightly array companions. They fit nicely under my jeans, but often could be seen floating above my belt and the bottom of my pullover shirt.
College campuses in the mid-1960s were cauldrons of student unrest. There were protests, marches, and draft card burnings. Free love, “flower power,” and dope smoking were the beacons that millions followed, and communal living was as commonplace as the Volkswagen Bus.
Yet, I supported our troops, wore my hair short, ate rock candy, drove a pickup truck, and dated girls that had only the word “No” as the entire extent of their vocabulary. The way I rebelled against many of the things that I felt were the wrongs of society was to sleep in the buff. I slept totally in the nude, under sheets that were washed at least once each semester.
Early adulthood brought me to the cotton briefs that I wore up until most recently. Now I have come to the conclusion that age has finally caught up with my body. Although my mind and heart are still free spirited and filled with juvenile thoughts and feelings, my back, stomach, chest, legs, and feet have fallen into the waste bin of the ancients.
Last week after a shower, I began to dry myself off in front of the long mirror in the bathroom. An activity with a procedure used thousands of time. But this particular day, my mind was at rest and my attention not fully consumed in thought, thus allowing me to take a good, inspective look at myself in the mirror.
For a moment, my whole life flashed in front of me. Gone was the body of my youth. Muscled limbs, strong shoulders, a flat stomach, and a back as straight as Aaron’s staff had given way to a lump of flesh that sagged way past my gender recognition. My body appeared as though composed of molten lava from a revitalized Krakatau Volcano, moving downward toward the feet and seeking escape through the floor tile.
How embarrassed and appalled I was. Who would ever want to sleep with this 190 pounds of former manhood? I had been in bed with this uncovered mass way too long. I would tolerate this misfortune no longer.
The next morning, with yesterday’s nightmare photographed to my mind, I set out to remedy the situation. I went to Kohl’s Department Store seeking the solution to my dilemma. I purchased three pairs of full-length pajamas (a red pair, a yellow pair, and a blue pair). Each had buttons to the very top. These fine cloth, quality-sewed sleeping apparel cover up the years of my drooping quite nicely.
As I sit here writing this column in my bright yellow PJs, it doesn’t matter that I look like an Arizona sunrise. I am happy to report that I look quite handsome in my size XXL.
Durhl Caussey is a syndicated columnist who writes for publications across America. He may be reached at this paper or firstname.lastname@example.org.