This story below comes from a wonderful blogger Blonde Duck. She is an aspiring writer with a collection of short stories that are full of wit and humor (and often times pie!) Married to her love Ben and raising two furry children she dishes up a little reality about how you know when you're really married. You can find her page at A Duck In Her Pond.
The first time it really hit me that I was married, I was standing in a check out line clutching a pile of my husband’s boxers.
And in that moment, I felt twelve years old again.
I was in seventh grade. As I breezed in after school and piled my books on the kitchen table, I saw my mother shifting through shopping bags on the counter. Immediately, I perked up.
“What’d you get?” I asked, sliding over and peering into the bags.
“Underwear for your father,” my mother said, pulling out the boxes and showing them to me.
I shrank back in horror. “You buy his underwear?”
“Well, yes,” my mother said. She raised an eyebrow. “I buy your underwear.”
“That’s different,” I argued. “I’m a girl. Dad’s…not.”
“Duh,” my mother said. The corners of her lips twitched. “If I had a son, I’d buy his underwear.”
“But that’s different,” I argued. “He’d be your kid.”
“And Dad is my husband,” she replied. “I can buy underwear for my kids, but not my husband?”
“Why can’t he get his own underwear?” I asked. “He’s an adult. Shouldn’t adults buy their own underwear?”
“I was at the mall and he needed new underwear, so I picked some up,” my mother said. I ignored the giggles she was trying to repress. “Why should he come out to the mall when I’m already there?”
“This is just so weird,” I burst out. “Would you let Dad pick out your underwear?”
“Of course,” Mom replied. “And he has before. Lovely things, too. There was one thing…”
At this point, I wanted to throw up. The idea of my dad purchasing underwear for my mom made me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon and plug my ears.
“It’s just gross,” I bellowed, my twelve year old mind unable to wrap around the concept of my parents and underwear. Sure, I’d seen my Dad in his underwear plenty of times, but that was different. That was Monday morning chaos or nightmares in the middle of the night or all of us sharing a hotel room during vacation. The idea that my parents not only pranced around in their underwear in front of each other but selected underwear for one another was revolting.
“Don’t worry,” my mother said, sensing I was about to escape to a convent. “You’ll pick out your husband’s underwear someday.”
With a shriek of disgust, I set off to find a spoon.
Nine years later, I had been married for a month and just graduated college. While moving into our new house, I had discovered Ben’s underwear looked like giant moths had attacked it. The next thing I knew, I had marched to Old Navy and scooped up a pile of boxers.
It didn’t sink in that I was married when I changed my name at the social security office. It didn’t sink in that I was married when people called me Mrs. and ma’am instead of miss.
It only sank in that I was married when I bought my husband underwear, just as my mother predicted I would do.
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