You’d think, with a past that includes dancing in front of an audience of 400 in nothing but heels and a g-string, that shopping for lingerie with my wife would be a no-biggie. That I could pick through corsets, thongs, satiny negligees and lacy teddies without batting an eye. That I would eagerly look forward to a fitting-room extravaganza.
Strangely, you’d be wrong.
Oh no, my boy-mom wife and my fourteen year-old daughter are more comfortable shopping at Oh Baby! (a fantastic lingerie shop on NE Broadway with a friendly staff surprised by nothing) than I am. I’m not quite as freaked out as a friend of ours (who needs to be liquored up to sit in the man chair while her sweetheart tries on frilly undergarments) but it did take a lot of guts for me to enter the store with my wife on our anniversary a couple weeks ago.
Anti-anxiety medication is so useful!
It isn’t really that it’s underwear hanging all over the walls and strewn artfully over a four-poster bed in the center of the store. It’s the idea that I would be worthy of wearing any of said underwear, or that my wife’s hard-earned dollars should go to a few square inches of polyester or silk, when there are bills to pay and there’s got to be something cheaper at Fred Meyer.
I still have class and money issues after all these years of being a dependent, with enough to eat and a nice roof overhead (even if it should have had a complete tear-off ten years ago). I like to buy my clothes and shoes at Target. I’m delighted with the $23 dress I got at Macy’s. My jeans are Levi’s on sale and my makeup is drugstore not Clinique. There are worse things than being a cheap date.
But Oh Baby! I wish I could have afforded the stuff at that store when I was young and had the body for it. My wife, bless her heart a thousand times, still seems to think lingerie is a worthwhile investment (after 23 years), so who am I to argue? Just blush, stutter, cringe at the price tags and try things on with as good a grace as I can manage and suck in my gut. She might have kept the camera out of the changing room…
I may, in fact, be the most bashful in the family when it comes to lingerie. When I opened a box containing a satiny negligee for Christmas and held it up, our almost seven year-old son looked at it and said, “Ooh la la!” as if on cue.
What can you do but laugh?