My daughter complained about her nylons twisting.
"I feel sorry for you because you have to wear those
things," I said.
She rolled her eyes. "Dad, you don't know the half of it."
I smiled. I remembered back to the final high school football
game of the regular season. As we ended practice, Coach called us
together for a team meeting.
"Men, we are in for a tough game tomorrow. Adding to the
challenge, the weather report predicts snow. I want you to dress
warm. You will want to wear a pair of your mother's nylons. Just
make sure it is one of her older pairs and not a new one. We don't
need any mothers mad at us again."
I laughed, thinking he was teasing us about wearing nylons, but
no one else even smiled. When coach finished, we went to the locker
room. I asked some of the other guys if Coach was serious about the
Lenny was first to reply. "Of course he was. Nylons help keep
the moisture away from your skin so you don't freeze as much when
all of your football gear gets wet. And he was serious about asking
your mother for an older pair, too. Last time I took a pair of my
mom's new ones, and Coach got an earful."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because they were too baggy and torn for her to wear
I watched the others for signs that Lenny was trying to pull a
fast one on me, but no one seemed the least bit interested in our
I still didn't trust him. I could remember Lenny talking Sam
into wearing a supporter over his head for a nose warmer at the
previous year's first track meet, claiming it would enhance his
performance. I was sure he was taking advantage of my inexperience.
However, I decided I would bring a pair and watch to see what
everyone else did.
I considered every way I could think of to ask my mom for a pair
without sounding stupid. I considered going without, but the
thought of being soaked by wet clothes didn't thrill me. Finally, I
just came out and asked her if she had an old pair of nylons that I
"What do you need them for?" she asked.
"Oh, just something at school," I replied.
She found an old pair that had a run in them. I told her I was
sure it would work, though I really had no idea what I was
Once at school, I made sure to keep them hidden. I decided to wait
to pull them out until I made sure everyone else was really wearing
It finally came time to get ready for the game. I watched as
Lenny whipped out a pair of nylons and started to wriggle his way
into them. Lenny's mom was small and slender. Lenny was about the
size of a small, fat truck. Seeing the nylons stretch around him
helped me see why his mom would have been mad when he used her new
As others began putting some on, I took mine out of my locker,
and self-consciously started the process. The hair on my legs
rolled and pinched as I tugged and pulled, and when they were
finally in place, they made my legs itch. It made me grateful I
wasn't a girl having to wear them all of the time.
When Lenny turned to look at me, he said exactly what I was
thinking about him. "Howard, you look like an absolute
"After all of this we better win this game," I grumbled
My daughter's words brought me back to present. "Dad, you men
should have to wear some just so you know what it's like.
I smiled. "Yeah, I guess we should."