I stared at the shelves in front of me in bewilderment. I live with three creatures from the male species, but I've never portrayed myself to be an expert on all things male. I was faced with an array of Family Jewel Protectors and at a loss as to what I should purchase. I imagine it's how a 12 year old boy might feel if he was plopped down in Victoria Secret and told to purchase his mom a bra. Which bra? What size? Clasp in front or back? What are the differences between all of them?
I glanced around for a salesman, but there were none to be found. I was a little relieved initially. How embarrassing to be in my forties and not know how to buy such an essential piece of equipment for my own family members.
Oops … did I just write family members?
My relief quickly turned into frustration as I realized there were dozens upon dozens of choices in front of me. Jockstraps in all sizes and colors. And cups to go with them. Some jockstraps include cups, and some don't. Some cups are "shock absorbers." Who knew? There are also shorts/briefs with cup holders that guys can wear. I've laundered some of this stuff for years, but have I ever really looked at it? No, I guess I haven't.
I picked up a jock strap. I was envisioning it worn as a thong. How do those straps work? Wouldn't that be uncomfortable? How do you run and jump if it is worn like a thong? I played with the straps some more, trying to manipulate them around in a manner which might work. Briefly, I twirled it on my finger sizing it up. I began humming, "Will It Go Round in Circles?" by Billy Preston, as I continued my twirling. Remember that song? A customer walked by and looked at me curiously. I quickly averted my glance and returned the jockstrap to it's rightful place.
I flashed back to several years previous. My son, RC, was only 11 and playing in a baseball tournament. Another boy on the team, Joey, always chose to wear his baseball pants skin tight. Joey would fill in as a catcher periodically. Catchers are required to wear cups even at young ages. Joey must have borrowed his dad's or older brother's cup. Joey kept showing up to games in skin tight baseball pants and an enormous bulge to go with them.
Finally, one day. a mom from the team turned to me and said, "I don't think Joey should wear such tight baseball pants if he's going to wear that cup."
I replied, "Joey doesn't wear a cup, what are you talking about?"
The expression on her face was one of total shock. Then the laughter began. I don't know if I've ever seen anyone laugh as hard, or for as long, as she did. Yes, I'm quite sure I'm going to hell for talking about little boy's bulges with another mom.
I continued staring at the Penis Protector choices in front of me. (Sort of like pocket protectors, but different.) I was paralyzed with fear. I didn't want to make any of the males in my house look like Joey. There were youth sizes, teen sizes, and adult sizes in front of me. I randomly picked up a package, read it, and said aloud, "Thirty six inches . . . hmmm he's not that big."
I heard a snicker behind me. Startled, I turned to find a salesman.
"Can I help you?" he asked.
Immediately I felt embarrassed. I know that's ridiculous. I'm an adult woman, but nonetheless, I could feel my face flushing.
"My son got really big over the summer," I stammered.
"He grew four inches," I confessed.
Immediately I cringed at my own words. I was mortified.
I saw the salesman fighting to contain his laughter. My face turned a deeper red. Why is it Briefcase is never in town at critical moments like this? And why do I have a perpetual case of foot in mouth disease?
The salesman, still smiling, informed me that the package indicates the waist size of the jock strap.
"Of course," I nodded. I tried, but failed, to look nonchalant. What? Everyone knows jockstraps are sold by waist size. Right?! Of course I knew that. I'm sure someone had mentioned it to me somewhere along the line. Maybe.
The salesman asked if I needed some assistance. Humiliated, I declined. He left me alone to further ponder the variety of Penis Protectors. I noticed the different colors. I picked up packages and noted the waist sizes. I debated the pros and cons of jockstraps vs. briefs with cup holders.
Forty five minutes later I was still there. I had looked at every variety of Family Jewel Protector the store offered. More than once. In a quandary, I finally gathered several in my basket and headed to the cash register. Mr. Salesman met me along the way. He took the top package from me, looked at it, then glanced at my overflowing basket of assorted penis protector products.
"I want to make sure you understand these products can't be returned," he said.
I nodded my understanding. In my basket I had one of almost every size and variety of jockstrap, cup, and/or brief. There is absolutely no chance of me ever returning any of them. It was disconcerting enough having to buy them in the first place. One of them has got to be the right size/style/color.
Don't ya think?