There always comes a moment in the new year when I survey my retired husband’s closet. This exercise leads to THE DISCUSSION, and, no, it’s not about whether he should be buried or cremated, but whether it’s time to go clothes shopping. Believe me, this is the more fraught topic.
Me: “Let’s go through your closet first so you can see what you need.””
He, alarmed: “I can’t do that! Real men don’t go through their closets. They just, um, intuit what they need.”
Right. So Mr. Intuition and I drive to a nearby department store. We haven’t even turned off the engine when he starts in:
He :“Remind me again why we even shop here? It’s so hard to find anything in their men’s department.”
Me: “Because all the other stores have gone out of business.” (Their owners probably died from banging their heads against the wall after dealing with shoppers like you, I think but don’t say.)
We enter, he snatches a few chinos from the pile and then announces, “Let’s go.” We’ve been in the store six minutes, and already he’s hyperventilating.
Me, reasonably: “Why don’t you try them on?”
He: “I don’t have to, I know they’ll fit. They’re my size, 32 long.”
Me, silently: Were your size back in 1987, but I hold my tongue.
I finally persuade my husband to take a few pairs into the dressing room. They look okay except for puddling up around his ankles.
He :“Why are they making pants so long these days?”
Me: “You shrank, but don’t worry, we’ll get them hemmed.”
He :“At $35 a pop? No way! Rubber bands will work just fine.”
Me, moving on: “How about some shirts to go with those pants? It’s good when at least one color matches one other color on your body.”
He, holding up a gaseous green number: “This shirt is great, it will go with everything.” I know it will go with nothing, but I feel the mother of all migraines starting to form, so I just smile and add it to our cart.
He: “Do you think I need a suit?”
Me: “It’s a good idea. I mean we’re going to more funerals these days, our friends’ kids are getting married. . .”
He: “Don’t be ridiculous, nobody wears a suit, anymore.”
By this time I’m wondering why I ever offered to go clothes shopping with this man. In fact, I’m wondering why I ever agreed to marry him. And that’s before we get to checkout.
He: “Look at that line!” he shouts.
Me, icily: “Why don’t you wait in the car?”
He: “No, I’m going to see this transaction through!” As if waiting behind three people at a Macy’s cash register is tantamount to wresting the Holy Land from the Infidels.
Oh, why don’t they just make the men’s department a drive-through? It would save so many marriages, including my own.