Father’s Day and the romance of underwear

I just found this essay in one of my laptop folders. Although I wrote it a few years back, it still holds true. (FYI: Evil Child is my older daughter, Julia.)

Author Beth Mende Conny and husband Joe sitting in the stands at a ball field at dusk

Hubby Joe and me

So, there we were in the kitchen, watching Hubby Joe open his Father’s Day gifts. Jenna, 17, gave him a month’s cable subscription to the Tennis Channel. Julia, 25, baked him cupcakes. I got him underwear.

Julia looked at the underwear and said: “Is this my life 30 years from now? Getting my husband underwear?”

To which I said: “I hope you’re lucky enough to have a relationship that lasts that long, and even luckier to know when your husband needs underwear. That’s intimacy.”

Yeah, underwear isn’t romantic. Yeah, it’s boring. So what. After 30 years, I’m willing to let a few things slide. But not friendship. Hubby and I are best buds. We’ve grown up together; we’ve grown each other.

Which is not to say we don’t travel separate paths at times; I’d like to think that’s a sign of a good, or even good-enough, relationship. The key, indeed hope, is that our paths be parallel, with lots of crossover. And that when we look over, we smile. We remember our friendship and what the other needs. Even if it’s only underwear.

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