At dinner recently, my friend Lily spears a shrimp from her salad and says ruefully, “My husband’s mad at me.”
My head snaps up from my pasta dish, my brow furrowed. “Why?”
(I can’t imagine anyone being mad at Lily. She’s one of the sweetest, most generous people I know. She’d literally give you the shirt off her back.)
She sighs, twirling the shrimp on her fork. “Well, I was at Target the other day, getting a bunch of stuff for the kids like socks and underwear. And I guess I was distracted and in a hurry, ‘cuz I accidentally threw in a pack of underwear for my daughter that turned out to be colored underwear briefs for teen boys.”
I frown quizzically, wondering why that would upset her husband. I shovel some pasta in and use my other hand to indicate she should continue her tale.
“So I ask my husband if he wants them, but he says they’re too small,” she says.
(Hmm, was he insulted she implied the “small” underwear might fit his “nether regions?”)
“So,” she continues. “I just tossed them in the back of the car trunk and figured I’d return them to Target at some point. But then several months passed and I couldn’t find the receipt, so I knew Target wouldn’t take them back.”
(Been there, done that, sister. MANY times.)
“Surely he’s not upset over the cost?” I ask, sipping my soda.
“No,” she says. “He’s mad because…well…I took the car in to be serviced and when I picked it up, I noticed the pack was still in the car trunk. And since our mechanic is kind of thin, I asked him if he wanted them.”
I almost spit-take my soda all over the table.
She sputters defensively, “Well, there’s no sense wasting perfectly good briefs. And we’ve had this mechanic for years, so why not give them to him? He seemed really happy to receive them.”
I die laughing.
“Let me get this straight – you got your car serviced and you paid your mechanic in UNDERWEAR?!”
“No, no,” she says. “I paid him cash for the work! The briefs were just…extra.”
“Oh, so you just TIPPED your mechanic with underwear?” I tease her. “Yeah, that is so much better.”
“Now you’re sounding like my husband,” she says.
“Omigod, so you TOLD this to your husband and that’s why he’s upset? Well, no wonder!”
“But why?” she asks. “What’s the big deal?”
“Well, first of all, Lily, you are beautiful.” (This is true. She’s gorgeous in a natural, no fuss-no muss sort of way. Whenever we go out, men turn to stare at her. Of course, I immediately try to leap into their line of sight, but nope – they’re definitely staring at her.)
She rolls her eyes because she doesn’t like to hear how pretty she is.
I elaborate, “Lily, you’re thinking ‘oh, here’s something I can’t return to Target, maybe you’d like it.’ But your husband’s worried that your mechanic’s thinking, ‘this hot chick just gave me some underwear – is she coming on to me?’”
“No!” she protests.
“Well, I know that. And you know that. But does your mechanic know that? And more importantly, does your mechanic’s wife know that? What’s gonna happen when he’s sporting new undies and she asks where he got ‘em – and he says, ‘Oh, one of my lady customers gave them to me; she’s so niiiiiice.’”
Lily gasps: “Oh no!”
“Oh yes!” I say. “They’re probably fighting about your underwear RIGHT NOW! They might be filing for DIVORCE as we SPEAK! Exhibit A will be YOUR Target underwear briefs!”
She collapses into laughter, equally horrified and amused.
Yep, that’s my friend Lily – so generous, she’d give you the shirt off her back – and apparently, the underwear off her ass!