It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a married woman in possession of a large quantity of her husband’s deteriorated undergarments, must be in want of purchasing him new ones.
Such was the predicament I found myself in a few weeks ago as I knelt on our living room floor, folding the whites I had just laundered like the dutiful and submissive member of the fairer sex that everyone knows me to be. As I neatly and lovingly folded those ethereal fabrics that are so oft found caressing my lord’s abundant manhood, I could not help but take note of a few . . . problems. The sort of problems I could put my fist or a sideways hand through, gashed into undergarment after undergarment. It appeared that my beloved had grown somewhat careless in disposing of his unmentionables once they had run their proper course, continuing to wear them in even a derelict state. By the end of my session, I found myself with no fewer than half a dozen undershirts and an identical number of bottoms in need of swift disposal. And if so many sets of his undergarments were to go, we would have to marshal more to replace them, lest he be driven to go commando.
There was just one problem. Baali* happens to be an endowed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I am but an evangelical heathen, “Gentile” being the old-fashioned internal designation for someone who is not a member of the Church. Under ordinary circumstances, Gentiles are not permitted to look upon the temple garments that Mormons must wear in place of underwear at all times after receiving their endowments. However, as the spouse of a member, I’m permitted to see my husband’s garments—mostly because the Church can’t do a damned thing to stop us. When the urge for sexual spontaneity hits, it’s not like I’m going to say, “Baby, I am so hot for you right now! Could you please go into the other room, change into some normal underwear, then come back here so that I can proceed with ripping your clothes off?” No sirree, those clothes are getting ripped off where he stands, garments and all.
Some number of years ago, it was non-scandalous for the spouse of a member to purchase garments. Distribution Centers, where temple garments are sold, did not request to see temple recommends upon purchase, so as long as I dressed like a nice, modest Mormon girl, the employees at the DCs would assume that I was a nice, modest Mormon girl buying garments for her endowed husband and let me have them without question.
However, at a General Conference in 2004, there was an altercation with some street preachers at Temple Square who were waving garments at Mormons, taunting them. After this, the Church decided it was a bad idea to let anyone walk in off the street and buy garments, thus the policy of asking for temple recommends upon purchase was born. Not that the security is foolproof . . .
Flash forward to today. Fact is, garments or no-garments, when my husband needs undapants, if I’m not the one who purchases them, they probably aren’t getting purchased.
A few years ago, I was talking to one of my husband’s bishops on the phone and I mentioned that I needed my husband’s membership number so that I could order him more garments via the online Distribution Center. He said very pointedly, “You mean so that he can order garments. You aren’t supposed to order his garments!” I frowned, and gave him an answer to the effect of “sure, whatever.” I simply don’t see why it’s a big deal that my husband be the one to sit at a computer and punch in numbers instead of me. Then again, I also don’t see why it’s a big deal to make sure Daddy is the one who chooses who to pray at the dinner table, nor do I see how oral sex between married people could ever be sinful, so I guess there’s a lot of things about Mormonism that I still just don’t understand. When I run into these bizarre rules and interjections, I tend to just politely nod along and then continue to quietly do things my way.
The bottom line is, here I am today, and with apologies to my husband’s former bishop, I continue to have no problem taking my husband’s temple recommend out of his wallet, logging onto the Church Web site, and ordering his garments for him. Sorry, bish.
I grabbed the scissors and an empty aluminum can and spent some time sitting amidst the deteriorated garments, snipping symbols out of them like my husband taught me to. I dropped the symbols into the tin can and eventually sent the remainder of the garments into the trash. When my husband came home, I handed him a book of matches and sent him out to the back porch to complete his ritual burnings. We discovered that nylon mesh doesn’t burn very well, but we managed to get the job done just the same.
Looking at the pile of garments in the trash, my husband pointed to the only pair of cottons—grayed, stretched, sweat-stained, and nasty—and remarked, “Good-bye, first garments.” I did a double take. “You got endowed in 2000. You’re telling me that underwear is over 10 years old?” Well, yeah, he admitted. Shaking my head, eye maybe twitching just a little bit, I left to log onto store.lds.org to order new ones.
Problem: the site was having issues and was not letting me add the desired garment quantities and sizes to my cart. With a sigh, I picked up the phone and called the Distribution Center directly.
The nice lady on the phone asked me how she could help me. I explained that I needed to order new garments for my husband, and that the Web site was not allowing me to do this. After checking to make sure the sizes I wanted were available, she asked for my temple recommend number. Here we go, I thought.
“Oh, I’m not a member of the Church. But my husband is, and I have his temple recommend number right here with me.”
“No, no,” she said quickly, “I need to talk to him. I can only sell garments to an endowed member of the Church.”
“Alright, let me get him,” I said, and then yelled as loudly as I could in a pleasant sing-song voice, “Oh honey, would you come order your garments? They won’t talk to me because I’m a filthy Gentile.”
There was silence on the other end of the line. I repressed my giggles, handed the phone to my husband, and walked off.
There are only so many things in life that I’m certain of, but one of those things is definitely this: ordering your husband’s undapants should not be anywhere near this complicated.