Superheroes in Underwear

On the first grade playground, we played Superheroes, after our favorite Saturday morning cartoons. All the boys had superhero underwear. The briefs and undershirts combination looked like the costume of the characters. Boys had Aquaman and Superman and Batman and Robin and Green Lantern and Spiderman and Hawkeye and the Incredible Hulk underwear, and on and on. Every day of the week there was a different superhero for a boy to be.

Each of the boys also had superpowers proscribed by their daily underwear choices.

Sometimes two boys were wearing the same superhero underwear, and one of them would have to agree to be a different superhero.

I got Supergirl for Christmas and wanted Wonder Woman undies too. In the meanwhile, this was a game we played every day, and my mom did laundry once a week. The rest of my underwear was either pink flowers, blue flowers, or yellow flowers.

So when everyone had to show their underwear to claim which superhero they were going to be, once a week I got to be Supergirl. But most of the time I wouldn’t have gotten to be a superhero.

I wasn’t going to let myself be left out.

So I created the superhero Flower Girl. Danny and Billy said that wasn’t a thing and there were no related superpowers. So I convinced them that her superpower was kindness but she could also throw flowers at bad guys with super-speed.

Susan Hatters Friedman is a psychiatrist specializing in forensic psychiatry and maternal mental health. She recently moved back to the US from New Zealand. Her recent creative writing can be read in The Dillydoun Review, Love in the Time of Covid Chronicle, and The Centifictionist.>

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