The Great Long Johns Debate

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay.
Hubby braves Indiana’s winter weather for hikes.

This shivery, January day, I contemplate a profound subject: long underwear.

My interest is personal. I prefer that my husband not freeze into a hiker-sicle.

While sane people stay by the fire during inclement weather, he’s addicted to five-mile winter walks. (And you thought Zoom had messed with my brain.) No antiquated long johns for him. He wants “base layers.”

At first, I feared he’d fallen prey to some paint-your-body trend. Then, I realized Hubby was carefully editing facts and figures to promote a new, improved version of long johns. Their wickability — whatever that was. He expected me to rubber-stamp his purchases.

Though even if I accidentally (ahem!) lost my rubber stamp, he would buy them.

I registered a protest. “John Sullivan never blew big bucks on base layers.”

“Who’s John Sullivan?” His eyes narrowed. “How do you know about his long underwear?”

“He was a boxer who made long johns popular during the 1800s. Wore leggings into the ring.”

“With that heavy cotton, he probably sweat gallons.” Hubby brightened. “Which is why I want base layers —”

“When I was walking miles at college in freezing rain,” I retorted, “I wore long johns Mom sent. Plain, cheap long johns. Why do you need something expensive?” I pointed at his laptop screen. “Those don’t look like they could keep somebody warm in Florida.”

Patiently, he explained that a modern winter base layer consists of a thin, but warm shirt and leggings of special fabrics that maintain body temperature. Yet, they prevent a hiker’s sweating too much, dangerous during extreme weather.

He made his case sound infinitely reasonable. As reasonable as a hike in single-digit weather can be.

Until he insisted he needed wool T-shirts for summer hikes.

“Wool?” My rubber stamp vanished into a black hole.

“Merino wool’s a main component of Smartwool®.”

Smartwool® in July didn’t sound smart to me. Besides, I distrust the label “smart.” We already purchase smartphones, smart cars and smart watches. Now we have to buy smart underwear?

He insisted, “Smartwool enhances the layering system.”

A system? “Does it require Wi-fi?” I said. “Or maybe it meshes with satellites. They’re tracking people’s long underwear from outer space now?”

Hubby — armed with base layers — hikes a nearby university forest.

Despite my objections, I knew he’d never buy long johns. I couldn’t permit my husband to freeze to death. Because base layers were on sale, I found my rubber stamp and approved his purchases, making him very happy.

Plus — (gasp!) this is hard to say — Hubby (choke!) proved to be r-r-right. The base layers have kept him toasty and safe.

Sorry, John Sullivan.

When it comes to long johns, you and I were way off base.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Has your spouse proved r-r-right lately?f

2 thoughts on “The Great Long Johns Debate

    1. rachael

      Hi, Mike,
      Hey, the man married me. And has stuck with me for 47 years. In comparison, a five-mile winter walk is as sensible as a dictionary!
      Thanks for your snarky comment, and blessings on your day 🙂


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