I once spent $37 in one day on underpants alone. It was a buying binge! After not having purchased any undergarments for at least nine years, I found myself down to two pairs, each with a waistband as limp as a noodle. One pair had a hole that was not part of the original tailoring, and was big enough to pass a summer squash through. So, $37. That was in 2007. I have not gone underpants-shopping since and am back to an all-noodle waist ensemble.
I once very reluctantly purchased two neckties for $75 apiece. The experience was like gouging out my heart with a trowel. My wife made me do it — she was with me, picked out the ties, produced the plastic and signed for it — because she knew I’d never see it through on my own. She did this because I was about to go on a book tour, and she refused to permit me to be on TV wearing any of the neckties in my closet, which I had purchased over the years for $3 apiece (two for $5!) from street vendors. She contended they had the structural quality and insipid sheen of aluminum foil. She contended that the colors were as far from nature as those found on Barbie’s Dreamhouse, or in certain cheap lollipops. Eight years later, I still own those two $75 ties but seldom wear them for fear that a dining mishap will jeopardize my investment. Every year I am tempted to depreciate these ties on my taxes.
All my shirts are either white or blue. All my dress pants are either khaki or black. That is because, according to my wife, were I allowed more options I would make bad choices. Yes, this is infantilizing, but I embrace it. Because she is right.
Bissinger’s tell-all account did not end with his fetishistic clothing habits. He also revealed a fetishistic, kinked-up sexual adventurousness that I cannot elaborate on here. Suffice it to say, GQ, that I, too, have my kinks.
I believe I am the only man in the world who has visited prostitutes not once but twice, ponied up each time, and didn’t get any sex. Both were for newspaper stories. On the second occasion, the lady — in a shimmery, see-through cocktail dress and, so far as I could tell, no underwear — listened to me earnestly explain that I wanted her help in massaging away a crick in my neck, considered this carefully, and laughed out loud.
Like Jude Law, Jon Hamm and many other male celebrities, I, too, have received panties in the mail, anonymously, from my fans. It has actually happened three times. I am pretty sure that none of these was a serious effort to entice me into a rendezvous. I am pretty sure, in fact, they were all jokes. I say that because the panties were all large enough to serve as tarpaulins for shipping washing machines.
So, that’s it, GQ. Publish this sucker, if you dare. Maybe your tough guy Buzz isn’t going to like what I say about him. Maybe he wants a piece of me. He knows where to find me. I’ll be right here, pal, waiting, 24-7. Well, 16-7. I’m usually in bed by 9.
E-mail Gene at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find chats and updates at washingtonpost.com/magazine.
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