I’ve been down the last few weeks, everything in my blog is a life lesson and I need to try harder. While that is all well and good, nobody likes to be preached at all the time. So at the embarrassment of my family and myself, I would like to tell you a story of why I never go commando anymore.
It all happened back when I was in art college. I was nineteen years old and on my own for the first time in my life, my options were limitless, I was the captain of my own ship, I decided the course. And one course was how I was to dress. I liked to be comfortable. I’ve liked nice clothes before college, but like anything the pendulum will swing the other way once in a while (a statement more true than you think). You see all through my life I have gone to extremes. An example is working out, I will chisel my body until it is rock hard for a few years, then get fat, only to start the process all over again. I find the swings of this pendulum are less dramatic as I get older, but still there. With clothes it is the same thing, I go from tailored suits to sweatpants, cummerbunds to t-shirts. I am in an upswing now, going back to a more professional look, but back in my early college years it was a down swing. I wanted to be comfortable, plus I hated doing laundry, still do in fact.
Shorts and t-shirts were par for the course. It was a hot summer. So in my young brain I thought I would be cooler (temperature, not socially) if I didn’t were any underwear. I thought to myself that the underwear was just another layer of clothes. Why bother?!? Answer me this. When a girl doesn’t wear any underwear it’s hot, when a guy doesn’t wear any underwear it’s disgusting. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because we have outdoor plumbing. Anyway, one of my favourite pairs of shorts was a pair of jean shorts I had customized from a tight fitting pair of jeans. I am so glad the jean shorts fad went away, but I’m sure they’re coming back soon, just like the flu.
I was active in my school. I had run for student government and won. Vice president internal, it was a great position not only to keep my finger on the pulse of what was going on in the school, but it allowed me to make a difference. One of my duties was to speak to the school with the other members of the council, almost like a state of the union address. Well most of these were casual and happened in the common area with an impromptu stage set up where several hundred students were gathered. Well on this hot July day I was set to speak next. In typical art college fashion I was sitting down, leaning against the wall with my feet flat on the floor and my elbows on my knees, waiting my turn. My good friend Sean, who I am still friends with to this day, was trying to get my attention. I looked over and he was mouthing something to me. I couldn’t make it out, it looked like…scrawls? Malls? Walls? I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about. I was getting frustrated, didn’t he know I was about to speak in front of the entire student body? He then mouthed slowly and deliberately. “You’re balls” At first I had no idea what he was talking about and he probably saw it on my face because he pointed to the two culprits in question. I then looked down between my legs. Oh my god, even I was horrified, if you have ever had a pair of old jeans the first place to go is the crotch and then the knees, well then crotch had definitely gone. It looked like a Mapplethorpe photograph down there or like someone trying to push pink dough through a spiderweb. It wasn’t pretty, especially in the position I was sitting.
I don’t think I ever stood up so fast in my life, my testicles had retracted into my body just under my heart and sat there shivering from stage fright. To this day no one has mentioned it except for my buddy Sean. Maybe no one saw. If not it’s a miracle, and thank you Sean for the heads up or down in this case.
You know how they say imagine the audience naked when public speaking, it will ease the tension. They never said anything about being naked yourself, well, let me say it doesn’t help. Looking at all of those faces in at the audience, wondering what they saw. Why is that guy smiling? That girl is whispering to her friend, are they talking about my junk? It was a life changing moment for me and since then I have always worn underwear, boxer briefs to be exact. No more jean shorts either, no one needs to see that, no one! So I apologize to my family for the embarrassment, but if I can save just one college student from the pains I have gone through, it will be worth it.