Saturday, May 9, 2009

Haband for Men

Even on the eve of Mother's Day, someone will write about their father.

I'm sure I recently read this, likely in an obituary, but perhaps not. I do read other things. There was an observation, or a piece of dialogue about someone who got their pants in the mail. "Why not," they explained, I'm the same size."

There was to me a great line in a Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern movie, The Laughing Policemen, that has Dern making an uncomplimentary observation about a colleague's intelligence when he tells someone that, "what can you expect from someone who gets their pants in the mail."

But why not? The logic can be irrefutable, and anyway, not everyone likes stores. I mentioned this to a friend of mine, who confessed that he bought things from Haband. He gets about four pieces of mail a week from them.

Haband. I didn't know they were still around. My father passed away in 1987, and with that change of address we no longer saw the Haband packets that did come three to four times a week. I remember them coming in when I was a kid. They always had a variety of fabric swatches that were intended to make their pants seems irresistible. I don't remember my father ever getting his pants in the mail. I don't even remember him opening the packets that came. As a kid, I did.

My father didn't like to open the mail. He also didn't throw any of it out. He wasn't a letter carrier, so it had nothing to do with not wanting to bring his work home with him. He just plain didn't open much mail.

This is course led to unpaid bills and surely explained why our phone service was constantly interrupted, and once, even our electricity. But my father got up early, and came home late, so it is possible, because it was dark anyway, he didn't really notice the interruptions.

He kept a good deal of his unopened mail in his briefcase, giving it a weekly ride between New York and Washington, D.C. When he was hospitalized toward what would be the end of his life, I had a chance to sort through it, and basically throw a good deal of it out. Haband for Men was well represented.

When my father got out of the hospital and was reunited with his briefcase he remarked how light it felt, and what did I do? I simply told him I didn't think he needed anything from Haband.

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