Mr. Authoress limped into my mother's kitchen. I knew the expression on his face -- the pinched, geriatric, "something hurts" look that men seem to be especially good at.
"What's wrong?" I tried to sound sympathetic.
"Oh..." Uh-oh. "I think I pulled a back muscle."
Now, hear me. There is a history of back muscle "pulls" and "wrenches" and "what-nots" with this man. Like the time he was playing volleyball a little too vigorously at an office picnic. Or the time he fell off a chair at a restaurant. (Don't ask.) Or the time he decided to leaf-blow the back yard for five straight hours without a break.
Consequently, his announcement didn't produce more than a slight twitch at the corner of my mouth. It was supposed to be an expression of compassion. It felt, however, like a smirk.
"How did you do that?"
"Oh..." Grunt. Grimace. "I was putting on my underwear."
And there you have it. The smirk at the corner of my mouth grew in intensity.
Poor man. It's no fun having an aching back. And it's no fun having a wife who is holding her breath and trying not to laugh instead of babying you and soothing your sore muscles and wounded pride.
I was slightly vindicated the next day in my sister's kitchen. She, of all people, has innate empathy for backache. A large percentage of her husband's salary has gone to a chiropractor in the past two years. I'm sure Mr. Authoress expected more tender treatment at the hands of his sister-in-law.
"So, how did you do it?" she asked.
"I was putting on my underwear."
My sister's laughter exploded from her mouth like a post-baked-beans fart.
I think my husband needs to change his story. Or at least modify his delivery. I mean, an underwear accident borders on the ridiculous. One immediately thinks of leaks and spots and wedgies and other embarrassing things.
How about, "I was getting dressed," or "It happened after I got out of bed."? Or even, "I don't know." Just to completely save face, you know?
Why is my husband compelled to tell everyone that he was putting on his underwear?
No, don't answer that. I don't want to know.
He's feeling better now, I promise. Despite my lack of compassion. Despite his history of back attacks.
Goodness, though. We're not in our twenties, to be sure. But neither are we in our eighties. If he keeps hobbling around like this, people are going to talk. As in, why is that young, svelte chick hanging around with that old geezer?
Ah. A gal can have delusions, can't she? Especially when her husband has trouble putting on his underwear.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go stitch bright yellow warning labels inside my husband's skivvies.