While it’s still a tad too nippy to be wearing open toed sandals here in Toronto (unless you like that frostbitten limb look), I decided to go for a mani-pedi yesterday all the same, just to let Mother Nature know I’m holding her to her promise of spring.
As I sat in the recliner at the nail salon with my winter worn feet soaking in a vat of skin-de-yuckifier, I noticed a man sitting in the lounger across from me with his feet immersed in a similar concoction, pants rolled up to his knees. He was reading the paper, sending the occasional text and looking completely relaxed and cheerful in his surroundings. Perhaps not the poster boy for “Alpha Male” with his cuticles soaking, he did exude that kind of rare confidence under the circumstances that said, “I’m here; I belong”. We exchanged tentative smiles as our feet were being cheese-grated.
My husband has shown that kind of self-assurance in moments of gender role reversal as well, though he has one particular memory that pushed his ability to laugh at himself to its breaking point. And beyond.
It was on a rather sweltering summer day when Andrew had woken up alone at home as he’d been working in the city all week while the kids and I were up north. As such, the temporary bachelor had allowed some of the domestic chores to slip through the cracks, most notably of which had been laundry production.
With no clean underwear at the ready and no other options available to him, he did what any resourceful, easy-going guy would have done.
He rifled through my underwear drawer.
Now, before this story goes completely off the rails, let me say that Andrew has never shown a proclivity toward lingerie wearing, nor have I ever caught him parading around in my peep toe pumps. But I guess desperate times called for desperate measures.
Secretly clad in my roomy pink cotton hipsters (from the “Big Bum Pants” collection at the back of my drawer), he decided to head for the gym to get in a swim before heading to his office.
As he approached the entrance to the club, in typical Andrew fashion, Mr. Chatty McChat struck up a conversation with some of the other male members going in, thereby blissfully obliterating any recollection of the manner in which he had started his day.
By the time they’d all reached the locker room, their rousing banter was in full swing. Locating a locker, Andrew pulled out his bathing suit from the bag he had brought with him, turned toward the locker and proceeded to drop his pants, mid-conversation. There, bent over for all to see, was his taut, pink personality.
It only took a split second for the mortification to fully set in. Snatching up a towel, he sheepishly headed to the nearest corner of the change room and pretended to look for something. His mind, no doubt.
From here, the rest of the story gets a bit blurry, not because of an inability to recall the events, but because those memories have now melded together with those of another day, only weeks prior, when he (strike me with a thunderbolt if I’m lying) did the e-x-a-c-t same thing … at the e-x-a-c-t same club … for the e-x-a-c-t same reason.
You probably think I’m kidding, don’t you?
Or perhaps you’re justifiably thinking, “Oh, what a poor, naïve little thing she is! That man is clearly a cross-dressing amnesiac with really bad taste in lingerie!”
But the fact is he’s just a man who places far less importance on the packaging than on the package.
I mean, his package.
I mean … oh, seriously, how does he always get himself in these jams?
Andie Duncan’s ability to communicate has taken her from JUNO Nominated songwriter to published author. As an older mom to two young kids, she relies on the humour in everyday life to inspire her stories, if not to ensure her very survival.