The Underwear Problem

Comments 49
Pretty much this sort of thing.
Pretty much this sort of thing.

Sometimes I wear embarrassing underwear.

Each time I do, I’m gambling that no women are going to jump out of nowhere and tear my pants off, or that I’m not going to be in one of those multiple-hostage bank robberies where during the heist the bank robbers make everyone take their pants off.

I saw that in a movie once, so now I’m pretty sure all bank robberies involve hostages being forced to remove their pants.

I do not wear women’s underwear. I hope you weren’t thinking that. But I do sometimes neglect my laundry long enough where I get through all of my respectable boxers. And what’s left?

Novelty boxers that my mom enjoys sending me around the holidays for reasons I don’t understand.

M&Ms. The Bumble from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nintendo Wii. SpongeBob SquarePants. Valentine’s Day-themed boxers with hearts all over them.

I have one pair of M&M boxers that say “Bring on the Chocolate” across the ass.

Those embarrass me the most. I don’t know why.

Sometimes I have a bunch of clean clothes folded in the laundry basket two floors away from me. The choice: Walk down to get some normal boxers? OR. Wear these random silk boxers with hearts all over them?

I always ask myself two questions:

1. Is a woman likely to take my pants off today? Yeah, probably not. Okay. These should work.

2. But wait!!! Am I going to a bank where I’m almost certainly going to be taken hostage along with 15 other people and be forced to take my pants off and just stand there while all the bank robbers, employees and other customers laugh at me??? Probably not! But I better run downstairs and get some regular ones just to be safe. If I don’t? I know I’m gambling. Someone might see!

The girl thing is totally scary.

Just imagine it.

Eyes locked. Fingers and lips touch. Just the right amount of teeth and tongue. This is totally going to happen.

Hearts racing. Bodies pulsing. Both people breathless as they lose themselves.

Buckles unbuckle.

Fasteners unfasten.

Zippers unzip.

A shirt flies off here.

A bra flies off there.

And then—whoosh!—pants off.

<insert vinyl record screech noise here>

And then she sees your SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas boxers.

Then she pulls out her phone and snaps a photo of you trying to hide your underwear and your erection.

Then she runs out of your house laughing hysterically.

Then she posts the photo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tags you in all of them and everyone laughs at you for the rest of your life because you wear SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas boxers EVERY DAY, apparently, and now no one will ever want you.

They’re all gonna laugh at you!

That could totally happen.

Which is why my boxers are a very respectable solid-color blue right now.

Whew. It’s probably gonna be a good day.

I dream up random crap all the time and then worry about it.

It’s really useful for things like protecting my little son from danger and driving safely.

But it’s mostly pretty debilitating like that one time when a few people in the United States contracted Ebola and I worried about a pandemic happening.

I used to think I was the only person that did this, but now I know even without asking that most people probably do it because we’re really not so different once you strip away all the stuff that doesn’t matter.

What Do You Mean You Don’t Have Attack Pants!?!?

My stepsister, who I don’t like calling “stepsister” because she’s family, had just picked up her and her husband’s bedroom.

As they were getting ready for bed, she noticed he’d set out a pair of pants in a spot she had JUST picked up.

“What the hell? I just put those pants away,” she said.

“Yeah, but I need these here,” he said. “Just in case.”

(I’m totally making up this dialogue, by the way, but the spirit of the conversation is absolutely accurate.)

“Just in case… of what?” she asked him.

“Just in case bad guys break into our house and attack us.”

She stood there looking at him.

“You mean, if bad guys break into the house, you want to have pants on hand to put on real quick before you fight them off? These pants—they’re your ‘Attack Pants’?”

And then they both just stood there laughing.

The next day, she asked me if I had Attack Pants. I don’t need specific Attack Pants, because I always have a couple pairs (pants too clean for laundry, but too dirty to be folded and put away) around and ready to throw on in an emergency.

I never thought about them in the sense of needing pants during middle-of-the-night combat. BUT. I have absolutely considered the possibility of fire.

Smokey. Frightening. Smoke detectors going off. Maybe my son would be there. He’s my only real priority. And maybe the fire is hot and raging. And maybe there’s no way to get downstairs and out the door safely. Maybe jumping out the window is the only way.

And maybe there’s no time to put on pants.

Maybe the entire neighborhood will gather outside and watch my house burn down. Maybe newspaper photographers will be there.

And I’d be standing there. Probably during winter so my penis would look smaller.

But no one would really care, because they’d be too distracted by my M&M boxers. Bring on the chocolate!

“Why does his underwear say that?” all my neighbors and the firefighters and the media would be wondering.

And then everyone would post the photos to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag me in them and everyone would laugh at me for the rest of my life because I apparently wear silly M&M boxers with writing on the ass EVERY DAY, and now no one will ever want me.

They’re all gonna laugh at you!


That could totally happen.

Do any of you guys keep Attack Pants handy? Does anyone else wear bad underwear sometimes and worry about anyone seeing it? Do you also worry about really bizarre, arbitrary things that are highly unlikely to happen to anyone, ever?

49 thoughts on “The Underwear Problem”

    1. I’m confident there are other things just like this. Probably several. And I promise to write them when I recognize them.

      Thanks for saying hi!

  1. I’m one of those few women who adores novelty boxers on a guy. My husband has this pair with bright sugar skulls all over them. Hot.
    He doesn’t have a Spongebob pair… yet.
    If I were you I’d toss the M&M’s ones. The phrasing is disturbing.

    1. Right. There’s a lot going on there.

      I had this conversation with another girl. She didn’t disclose whether her fiance’ wears novelty boxers, but she thought they were awesome too.

      I don’t know why I find this discussion-worthy.

  2. Love the Sponge Bob! I am on the hunt for Grinch boxers for my husband this year. He will wear them from time to time just because I think they are cute and endearing.

    1. Like, he’ll wear them even if he has a bunch of normal clean underwear available?

      And not just during laundry emergencies like me?

      That’s awesome.

      1. It’s the little things, yanno? I keep hearing the phrase “happy wife, happy life” and figure he must be taking it to heart.

        I have had to promise that if he’s ever in an accident while wearing them that I will confess he does it for me to all emergency response, law enforcement, and medical personnel who might see them.

  3. You DO of course realize that the chances of being dragged into her bedroom are about the same as winning the Lottery, don’t you? On the plus side, if you DO win the Lottery the chances that she will point at you and laugh just disappeared– you can wear whatever you like and she’ll be happy with it.

    The bank-robbery thing? These days I do all my banking either at the drive-through or at an ATM– so I fancy that the chances of being caught up in a daring daylight robbery are near zero.

    1. Sir.

      You underestimate my charm. AND. You underestimate the frequency of Hollywood-film-caliber bank heists in Ohio.

      Happens ALL THE TIME.

      (I’m making that up. Not about being charming, though.)

  4. Me (to my then-ten-year old): “Daniel! Why, in the world, in your swiss army knife OPEN by your bed?!”
    Daniel: “Mom, I have to be ready for apocalyptic Chaos!”
    Me: {Blank stare}

    that was a real conversation. These things are apparently birthed in guys WAAAAAY young.

    hilarious post. My make-up is all jacked up from laughing and crying. thanks for that. :-/

  5. There are a lot of women in the world, myself included, who adore theme boxers. The M&M ones are creepy, tho – toss them.

    I’m with the commenter above – all banking is done at the drive-up window.

    I do leave pants near the bed just in case of disaster (natural or man-made,) but I’m pretty sure my dog would warn me well in advance of an emergency situation. I hope.

    1. Emergency pants! Excellent!

      I go to ZERO banks that will get robbed by a large group of people. They’re too small to have large vaults.

      And when I do go to banks, I don’t really think they’ll get robbed.

      And if they do get robbed, I don’t think the robbers will really make me take my pants off.

      And if they do?

      I’ll have bigger problems than whatever their opinions of my underwear are.


      What would feel worse than bank robbers pointing and laughing at your underwear?

      Gotta be prepared!

      1. “What would feel worse than bank robbers pointing and laughing at your underwear?”

        Well, how about that mythical “car accident” your mama always warned you about? Imagine having to be cut out of your car with the Jaws of Life but your pants don’t make it. Yeah. That would be lovely. I’m assuming that you’re basically uninjured, just without clothes, perhaps soaking wet because they had to put out the engine fire…

        Wow. Now I’m picturing all kinds of scenarios and thinking I should do some panty shopping very soon. Better carry a spare pair in my bag. Just in case.

        1. I bought a bunch of new pairs (not novelty!) recently. Math is now in my favor. I’d have to be REALLY negligent to be forced to wear any of the silly ones.

          But only time will tell!

  6. I love novelty boxers! After my brother died and we were going through his things, I kept giggling, I don’t think he ever bought himself any real boxers, his drawers were just full of all the novelty ones I’d bought him over the years!

    Sadly, my son had to switch to compression shorts for athletics, so it’s a waste to buy him novelty boxers… thus, he gets novelty sleep pants! 🙂

    And, I won’t sleep naked, bc, kid in the house – but mainly bc what if something happens and I have to react quickly? What if the worst case scenario happens? I don’t want to be dealing with it all in my birthday suit!

  7. I think as long as you aren’t delving into the world of “elephant trunk boxers” then fun underwear fine. I think it shows a sense of humor, not taking things too seriously and being a little silly.

    1. Elephant trunk boxers!

      HA. If I was home, I just might Google those for the laugh…

      I do feel confident I can demonstrate silliness and an unwillingness to take things too seriously in ways that don’t involve SpongeBob and Ninja Turtle underwear.

      But I love that you feel that way. That means I’m not likely to turn you off with my ever-present childishness.

      Thanks for the note!

      1. 🙂

        Of course, please keep in mind, I do own more than one Hello Kitty t-shirt and am closer to 40 than 15. So my “vote” may have to be disregarded.

        Personally, I think that would add to the fun dimension, especially if you had to wear a suit to work.

  8. My husband has the too clean, too dirty pants. It ends up being half a load of laundry if I’m not careful. I always try to leave one pair out just in case!

    1. My ex-wife did not enjoy my Laundry Stages.

      If I ever find someone who wants to live in the same place, it is my intention to be more thoughtful.

      But, as always, I’m glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

  9. This post is great. Novelty boxers are actually pretty awesome. My boyfriend has a pair with a deer that has a mustache and monocle. We have this joke that he doesn’t know what a moose is because he called it a moose once. (You had to be there.)

    My best friend and I have had hypothetical scenario conversations as though they had actually happened or were going to happen. Just mentioning this because you’re definitely not the only one who does it.

    Haha, “The Underwear Problem.” Maybe I’ll start calling that when I do it, if that’s alright with you.

    So great.

    1. I would be beyond flattered if you’d call something “The Underwear Problem” on account of what you’d read here. It’s more than alright.

      I’m so glad you get it. Thank you for that.

      If I had underwear with a mustached and monocled deer on them, I WOULD NOT include them on my Underwear I’m Embarrassed to Own List.

  10. I don’t mind “Bring on the chocolate” boxers, although it does have an African American homoerotic vibe to it.

    No judgment here.

    God, underwear presents a lot of problems! So glad I don’t wear any. I was on this facebook thread where you got your super hero name by combining the color of your underwear and what you had for lunch.

    I was “Commando Nuts.” I TOTALLY won that thread.

  11. Not only did your post make me chuckle, but the comments and your replies kept the fun going! Well done, Underwear Bloke.

    1. Choosing underwear wisely is an underrated morning activity from an importance standpoint. That’s all I’m saying.

  12. Never heard them called attack pants but yes, I have pants/shorts to pull on in the middle of the night but I call them “just in case clothes” … in case something happens 😀 .. fire, someone knocks on my door, or a raid of such, an emergency call about family…etc. I have never had a fire–knock on wood but I had two trees fall on the house earlier this year–pants were used then and a neighbor has knocked on the door for me to take her to the ER. I like to be prepared. 🙂

    I can just see it now…a photo journalist for the paper gets a shot of you and your boxers and it gets plastered across the front of the newspaper 😀 As far as the girl running out…just laugh because she missed out on some great sex. 🙂

  13. Absolutely I keep emergency clothing on the bench at the end of the bed. Fire is my main reason but of course anything could happen. When I was growing up we used to call them “ambulance undies”. Are you wearing undies you don’t mind the ambos seeing? Well when I had my car accident recently I wasn’t wearing them. I was wearing old undies with too much elastic. Learned my lesson as I was stuck wearing them for 24 hours.

    I don’t worry anymore about being laughed at for my underwear though. Maybe it’s childbirth but I figure there are worse things 🙂 I worry about being neat and comfy though.

    1. First time I’ve thought about paramedics.

      I would die in my “Bring on the chocolate” boxers. That would make too much sense. *facepalm*

      1. I’ve often seen him reach under the bed for the axe handle and torch he keeps there when going to investigate noises so I guess they serve a double purpose! lol

  14. I have the same fear of being seen in ‘disturbing’ underwear. I never considered the bank robbery scenario, but my #2 was always the possibility that I might need to quickly strip, jump into water and save a drowning person…
    I throw away novelty boxer gifts (sorry mom) and combat the laundry problem this way:
    I buy packs of underwear, maybe 4 in a pack. However, I only take 3 out of the packaging. I have an ’emergency’ stash of several unwrapped 4th underpants hiding in my closet.

    I must say though, that I would make an exception if there were adult sized underoos. Loved those as a kid. And I’d feel like a proud hero to be carrying ashore a half drowned boy, while looking like Luke Skywalker

    1. I’m sorry it took me so long to see this. What a great idea.

      Stash a bunch of bonus pairs somewhere. That’s Boy Scout-level preparedness, right there.

  15. Hah! I needed this today. Oh my gosh, Matt. You’re fine.

    If I were about to sleep with a guy and he were wearing spongebob boxers, I’d giggle. And then still sleep with him. I think it’s adorable! And no, adorable does not take away from sexy.

    I dig it. But, that’s just the type of lady I am.

  16. I have seriously told several siblings and my niece that if anything like the zombie apocalypse ever happens, they are to grab my cane and run so that they are safe, they have a weapon and some of the zombies might nom me and give them more time to get away.

  17. This is one of those cases where she’s probably so worried about sporting her own slightly worn out panties from six years ago (and maybe legs that need shaving and are her toenails scraggly and so on…) to notice your boxers. I mean, I’d think maybe the next morning she notices? But by then… Ha!
    Great post!

  18. This was hilarious. I don’t have attack pants, because I barely have pants. I do try to keep a dress or something near the bed JUST IN CASE OF FIRE OR ATTACKS but I also feel like nudity might add an extra layer of frightening if I have to fight someone to the death.

    Also: I saw the same movie or whatever as you did, because I totally worry about being forced to undress in a bank robbery. Good thing I only go inside a bank like once a year. Though with my luck…

      1. Well on the days that I’m wearing my 20mph pants I drive slowly because the idea of having an accident and them having to cut my clothes off would make me die of embarrassment. Whereas when I’m wearing the 90mph ones…

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Matt Fray

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