My latest entry for the attic here is dedicated to my mom and mom’s in general (minus the mommie dearests of course, no offense ladies) and how, no matter how long it may take, you are always proven right. When very young, for instance, it didn’t take long at all to have your warnings of “hot!” realized. The same can be said of, say, “she’ll scratch you” or “continually banging your head on that wall to get what you want will just hurt.” Some warnings took a little longer to prove mom correct like the consequences of not brushing your teeth every day (hello Dr. Drill) or how crying wolf could and would eventually bite you in the ass.
But there were the ones that seemed to us almost comical because, in the infinite mistaken wisdom of youth, we all thought mom to just be old and silly and maybe just repeating grandma truisms. My favorite was always the “wear clean underwear” missive. Being a smart ass I always thought “well, if I do get in an accident, they’re just going to cut the underwear off me anyway, so what does it matter? What kind of embarrassment could there possibly be as I cling to life?” Thankfully after all these years I’ve never had any awful accidents (except for that perm in the late 70’s) that might raise the “wear clean underwear” issue. I’ve never had to have mom by my hospital bed crying hysterically, not over my possibly not surviving the night but instead my poor choice of unwashed fruit of the looms that won’t allow her to ever show her face again at the weekly English Club.
No, “wear clean underwear” always just hung in limbo and every time I didn’t I would return home with a sense of victory, though, thanks to you mom, that victory was always hollow as if I had dodged yet another bullet. (For those of you reading this saying “My god man! How often do you wear soiled underwear?!” Never, but I have left the house often wearing underwear that should have been cleaned a little more vigorously or was just practically ready to disintegrate). It wasn’t until a couple of weekends ago though, at the age of 46, that mom was vindicated, as moms usually are, when I went to the emergency room because of a distinct pain in my leg that had me, courtesy of surfing WebMD, scared somethingless of blood clots. Turns out it was varicose veins and me just getting old I guess, but when the nurse asked me to remove my pants and put on the very unsnug hospital gown she offered I remembered that I had left the house wearing a pair of Batman underwear. Kinda cool actually in a kid-like way with the Batman logo prominently protecting the front, but Batman underwear nonetheless. And, again, at the age of 46.
“Um…Frankenberry…you did say Batman underw…” Yes, and I’ll cut you off right there bemused and possibly frightened before you ask me more of the obvious. They were a joke gift as part of a birthday bushel of stuff from my Maria and the J.G. The two of them, not really knowing what to get me for said day (I’m the worst to buy for as I never really want anything) decided to just get me a bunch of small things which included, among other things, a Ronnie James Dio T-shirt, a Beatles coffee mug and…Batman underwear. I wore them this particular day for two reasons. 1: because I didn’t think Maria’s Jagger ever thought I would do so and 2: because a good friend was working his last day at Cumulus and I thought it would be funny to say I wore them to be strong so as not to pee myself from the heightened emotion. Didn’t seem so funny though as I stripped for that backless hospital nightie. They weren’t soiled and they weren’t falling off of me out of years and years and years of ‘guy can’t toss his old friend’ use but they were Batman pajamas. Did I mention at the age of 46? Mom? After all these years, you are again absolutely right. Proper underwear will be in order in the future. Love you too.