As I looked into my underwear drawer, I could not remember why I had bothered to transport the contents of the drawer the 400-or-so-mile journey from Manchester. All I could see was a fusion of browns, beiges and greys – none of which would look out of place in the Natural History Museum. A combination of age and washing machine abuse had forced the life out of my pants and turned them into a mass of lifeless fabric, held pointlessly together by elastic that actually had no elastic left in it. So, string really. I hoped a person might look at them (ignoring the brown colour obviously) and think ‘wow, these pants have seen some sights, the elastic is all worn out from all the up and down action they must have had’ but they would be very wrong. Even more awful was the pair of Wonderwoman pants I spied that that had taken up a chummy residence with the rest of the lifeless gang. What man wants a woman in a pair of American superhero-themed briefs? My worries had finally been confirmed. I would probably and almost certainly die alone. And no doubt in these very pants.
During my pre-work morning routine (which worryingly is getting shorter and shorter for no reason at all as I have not become better looking so all it can mean is that I don’t care anymore) I often think about what would happen if I were to be involved in some sort of accident where there would be a need for the emergency services to be called. Each time I reach for these superhero pants, I have a fleeting moment of ‘what if?’ So, I would be cut out of my clothes and I would lie there with nothing but my Wonderwoman pants to protect my parts. Upon seeing these pants, they would assume (and be right to) that I was single and that nobody would care what the outcome of my accident was and, as a result, I’d be relegated to the back of the list. “Just let her go, it’s the most humane thing” is what they’d say and with that, me and my pants would be wheeled away to die. However, despite the fact that this thought does crosses my mind whenever I reach for the pants, I don’t do anything about it. I am apathetic to my situation. What can I say? They are a comfortable brief.
Moving on. A strange thing happens. My morning plays out like the above. Open drawer, feel disappointed at the colour palette that greets me, reach for superhero pants and head to work. Now, I have been over in the Netherlands for a while now so it is surely the law of physics or some law that something man-related should happen. And it does! On this day, an actual MAN asks me out on an ACTUAL date. An actual date. With an actual MAN. And, best thing, he doesn’t seem to be wearing a helmet or clutching a colouring-in book. He casually asks me after work if I want to go for a drink. Just like that. Bloody hell! Yes!! I try and say it more relaxed and play hard to get but let’s be honest, what was waiting for me at home? A randy Viking and a bag of M&Ms? Surely that can wait for one night. “I’m in, count me in!” I say. A ‘yes’ would also have been fine.
We make our way to the pub and all I can think about is my Wonderwoman pants. If there was ever going to be a situation where I would have to be cut out of my trousers, it would be tonight in front of my new gentleman friend. I would be cut out of my jeans by medical services and my pants would be there waiting for him, he would think ‘oh lordy, look at those undercrackers, I’m off’. I might as well throw myself in front of a bus and let the inevitable happen. Months and months of no human interaction, never mind a potential snog, and I was about to scupper my chances because I was wearing these ridiculous pants. If I make it out of this alive, I am burning these pants and then burying the ashes, I vowed to myself.
As we sit down with our drinks, something magical happens. My date removes his jacket – that isn’t the magical happening. Underneath his jacket? A Superman comic tee-shirt.
I vowed again to myself. My pants were here to stay.