I have discovered that I may well be the lamest parent on the planet. How is it possible that I have been the mother of four boys, the oldest of which is 27 years old, and I don’t know the first thing about athletic cups?
My oldest boy was in soccer until his kicking toe got an ingrown toenail, but either he didn’t need an athletic cup or my husband was recruited for that purchase. But that was 17 years ago! I can’t be expected to remember that when I have trouble remembering my kids’ names.
However, I’m pretty sure I didn’t make that purchase because I would have remembered it. When my thirteen-year old needed one last week, I was stumped.
We had to get a mouth guard and an athletic cup. The mouth guard was easy. This was for my thirteen-year old, after all. I just needed to find the biggest one they had.
The athletic cup was a different story. This section held an interesting array of sizes and colors. Presumably nobody else would see this particular accessory, so the color wasn’t so important. Although, if cups came in neon or glow-in-the-dark, my son would’ve been able to locate it easier in the bottomless pit he calls his closet.
Size, however… that was going to be a problem. The store carried youth sizes S, M, & L and adult sizes S, M, & L. There was spot for XL, but those were sold out. Of course they were sold out! If I was man shopping for one of these things, XL would be my only option. Anything smaller would be unacceptable.
Was my son a large youth or a small adult? Since I haven’t seen that part of his anatomy for quite some time, I wasn’t sure what kind of progress he’d made down there. I kept looking down at him trying to gage his size through his clothes. “Mom, stop that!” he whispered, embarrassed. “There are people looking!”
“Okay, look, there is a chart on the back that goes by weight. But it only goes to 90 lbs. You are 108 lbs.” “Let’s try the adult one,” he said with a hint of masculine pride. I picked one up. “Those have no chart.” “Wait, Mom. Here’s one that goes by inches.” I’m sure the look on my face was priceless. “You’re kidding!”
The thought of an athletic cup being measured in inches made me a little slap-happy and I started giggling. Yeah, I know… real mature. “What is the lowest size?” I choked out. “Thirty-two inches,… Mom! Stop laughing!!”
We were beginning to draw a small group of people who suddenly appeared in the athletic accessories aisle and pretended that soccer cleats were the most fascinating item in the store. I needed to get a grip! “What’s that little hole in the middle for, Mom? They don’t expect you to pee through that, do they?” By this time, tears of laughter were rolling down my face.
“I hope not, because your aim is nowhere near that good! I think the hole is to let you breathe.” Looking back, I can’t imagine what my son was thinking after that explanation. I wondered if we could just grab one and leave, because I really needed to get out of there. My son thought I had lost my mind. Was this one of those items that you are not allowed to return if it doesn’t fit? I was willing to take that chance!
Somehow I managed to get through the checkout without embarrassing myself or my son and we left the store with the cup that may or may not have fit.
I decided that if it didn’t fit, my husband would be foraging the wild athletic accessory aisles to find the right one. I definitely was not the right person for this particular job.