The Underwear Drawer

The Underwear Drawer

Maybe the post should really be titled, Lessons From the Underwear Drawer because when I do laundry and eventually–when I have to–put it away, the underwear drawer speaks to me. And, perhaps it is because we just celebrated 16 years of marriage, that I’ve been listening. 

This post is precisely the reason I wanted a separate art blog from my Uncovered blog. Underwear, especially going public with them isn’t generally anything I would ever do. I’m taking a breath.Maybe you should too. Here we go! 

After we got married, Tony moved in with me. I’d lived by myself for a number of years and now, I needed to make room for him and his things. In our bedroom he kindly took the bottom drawer and gave me the middle one. He is thoughtful like that. The top two drawers were for socks and underwear. In one drawer, he began to make space. I panicked! NOT my underwear drawer!! That is too close! And truth be told, I was probably embarrassed on a number of levels. I doubt that I even folded my underwear B.T. (that is before Tony).

While mid-panic, I suddenly had a sensation of understanding sweep over me. My sweet husband was barely married at the age of 35. He not only wanted to share my hand and heart, he wanted to share my home–his home–all the way down to the underwear drawer. I said nothing but stared in amazement and reflected about what had just happened in my heart. One-ness, down to the last drawer.

Probably that very day I folded my you know whats. Besides, they fit better folded. Of course I fold mine one way, the correct way, and he folds his another. I refuse to give a lesson about this technique because it is truly too much information, even for me! 

Two styles–his and hers, two preferences of folding, commingled in one drawer. His neatly lining his side of the drawer and mine on the other. Tony being a lefty, is on the left of course.  Two become one, in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

His size hasn’t changed. Mine has. Unlike the daily ritual change, his love remains unchanged. After sixteen years, there have been holes, sagging elastic bands and upgrades, but regardless of flaws, they are clean. While our marriage has had fissures at times, and we both have more sag than we’d like to admit, there will be no replacements made. Our flaws are washed clean when we give unconditional love.

Each time I put the underwear away, it reminds me of our vow to love each other forever–and that we are two individuals who chose to become one. Sometimes I think of my strong, confident husband, newly married, heading toward my underwear drawer with a stack of his lily-whites in hand. What if I had protested? What if I hadn’t made room?

Yes, our marriage isn’t founded on sharing the underwear drawer. But I wouldn’t have the memory of a sacred moment of oneness each time I put them away. If I had protested and demanded my own space, I wouldn’t have seen the tenderness and eagerness of my husband to share intimate details our lives.

I doubt he even remembers. The point is I do. I do. When I said yes to him, I said “I do” and that made us one.

The underwear drawer remains a living teacher reminding me to stay the course, to stay true and to always make room for my husband–even in the most intimate places. Why? Because often the intimate places are the hardest to allow him in, but they are also the places that nourishes our oneness.

How do you cultivate your oneness?


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