Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Death Of The Gussett Moles

For a fleeting second I worried that my testicles had traveled forward in time from 2010 and were viciously attacking my shirts.


My daughter is going through some sort of growth spurt. The thing is she seems to be doing this every three weeks. Which - if I'm calculating this correctly - means that by this time next year she should be eight feet tall. Seriously though - it's deeply perplexing. Every month I seem to buy her a new set of everything. None of her pants fit. Her socks are weirdly too small. She's going through shoes like Imelda Marcos. And before you ask - yes I've checked to see if I'm just simply shrinking her clothes. Her brother's mostly seem to fit. He's growing too but not at the mutant, inhuman rate she is. And my clothes aren't oddly small of late. I do remember about ten years ago standing in my bedroom getting dressed for the day and being baffled that somehow all of my clothes were too tight. And naively thinking, "This is amazing - I seem to have shrunk everything I own. Even somehow clothes I haven't even put in the wash. And yet it seems incredibly selective as it's only my clothes that have shrunk. This is a complete mystery...." Back then I was fifty pounds heavier than I am now. And that mystery was a heady mix of potato chips, huge bottles of soda and a total and complete lack of exercise. Let me tell you I'm not especially ugly or anything - but fifty pounds heavier than this and I look like the lesbian version of me that really likes donuts and desperately needs electrolysis. Whereas now I'm alright. If we're thinking metaphorically I like to think of myself as cilantro. In other words I'm very much either your type or not at all. And that when you look at me you get the sensation that you'd either really, really like or be repulsed by the flavour I'd leave all over your tongue.

My Match.com profile picture.
Anyhoo - that's not the case now. I'm not shrinking all of our clothes. Although apparently I've hit some sort of critical mass where the general wear and tear I inflict upon my clothes has all hit at once. Most of my favorite things either look old or suddenly have a hole in them. I found myself sat in work last week aware that every single thing I was wearing probably had about four weeks of life left in it.

I went on a little vacation several months back. During which I left three shirts behind. Two very much my favorite two. I left them because they both somehow had a hole in the left elbow. I somehow also managed to rip my coat. A day after getting home I lost another very nice shirt to the exact same problem. After doing my laundry I realized that a pair of very nice grey pants had a hole in the leg. In the two months since then I've had the same left-elbow-hole problem in two other shirts. And yesterday after getting back from a hike I noticed that the blue sweater I was wearing had a hole in it. In the left elbow. All of which can only mean one of three things. One - I have the sharpest left elbow on planet earth. Two - at varying times of the day I fall into a deep, epileptic trance that is the only moment that my conjoined, hedgehog-twin comes to life and tries bursting through my skin. And three - I'm doing something very weird with my left arm.

I might need a shave.

I'm ruling out the first one. Because if I have been placed on this earth to be shining exemplar to all those around me (and let's be honest - you all kind of sense that it's probably true) I doubt it's to show my fellow man how to ruin perfectly nice shirts. It's probably got something to do with different ways to cook a potato, if I'm honest. But certainly not destroying decent shirts.

And believe me when I say I really like nice, collared shirts. Actually that's not really big enough. I really like nice clothes. Good quality ones that fit properly. Not in an arrogant sense. I promise you there's no vanity there. I'm not wandering about trying to get people to see labels or be impressed that I have on designer stuff. Unless it's shoes obviously. It would make total sense to me if people dropped to their knees and asked if they could lick whichever pair of Cole Haan or Aston Grey shoes I might have on. Yes - I'm acutely aware that last sentence is massively hypocritical to the one before it. And as far as clothes go it's not even in that sense in Crazy, Stupid, Love where Ryan Gosling (PBUH) takes Steve Carrell shopping. Because in that Gosling is so terrified that people might see how lonely and insecure he is that he hides behind the fact that he is possibly the most fuckable man on God's green earth (plus he wrote a damn good album nobody really heard about too). No. I just like wearing stuff that I feel good in. That's about as complex as it gets. I'm certainly not walking around thinking "come and get it ladies...". You know the type. Those blokes that lick their fingertips and smooth down their eyebrows with it. Or worse - a mustache. I assure you I don't have a vain bone in my body. Or anyone elses, for that matter. 

Like a lot of guys there was a period where I really didn't make too much of an effort. Buying clothes was a very functional thing. I didn't ever go wandering about in mom jeans and whatever polo shirts were on sale at Old Navy. But quite honestly I didn't have much of a sense that anyone would find me particularly attractive. So I didn't really think about how to look better than I did. I used to go to one store to buy $3 t-shirts. And I don't really even like t-shirts. I'd buy all my shirts from one store because they were the kind that looked half decent under a jumper and never cost more than $10. Because like a lot of people I had that sense that if I'm wearing layers then you might not be able to tell that I'm mostly out of shape. I've never really felt all that comfortable in jeans either. And I always wore shoes. Trainers always made me feel like I was twelve. So I've always worn decent pants, collared shirts and shoes. But in that History lecturer way. About four or five years ago that changed when someone flirted with me. Which I hadn't noticed happening in years. Actually I had to be told they were flirting with me too. As silly as it sounds I sort of learned then that it's perfectly okay to get some semblance of enjoyment out of looking nice.

I used to be plagued by gusset moles. Up until about four or five years ago. Every five or six months I'd suffer the horror that half of the knickers I owned somehow had massive holes in them. At the time I came to the conclusion that either a family of rampaging moles were living in my underwear drawer feasting on my underpants. Or that I had unusually abrasive testicles. Thankfully in hindsight it was neither. Just to be sure I did check my drawers (both kinds) and there are no moles in either. Pretty simply - I bought terrible underwear. Much like going out for $3 t-shirts I just didn't think about it much. So I promoted myself to better ones. Not great ones - but better ones. Since then I've moved up in the world and spend the money on good ones. And if I can make one difference in the lives of any men that might read this thing - go and buy decent underwear. If only because they feel so much better. They do look a lot better too. Granted it isn't going to have the same effect as a woman in good underwear. Life just doesn't work that way. But the fact that you actually give a shit about what knickers you're wearing does mean something.

Plus frankly I don't like the idea that there are men across the globe - stood in their bedrooms looking down at another hole in the underpants - and worrying that they've got cheese-grater testicles.

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