Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Tatterdemalion (Yes, It's A Real Word)

There's no denying that my husband Jay is a handsome man. In fact, he is frequently hit on when we go out together. My favorite line was from the woman who cooed to him, "What magazine cover did you just walk off of?" as we approached her counter. (Prompting me to gleefully tell his firefighters call him Captain Coverboy--he's barely forgiven me for that.)

But the ladies' interest in him doesn't concern me because I know he's always ignored when he's out alone. Why? Because if I don't hand him clothes for the day, he looks like he crawled out of a dumpster. There's even a word for him: Tatterdemalion, n. a person dressed in ragged clothing. (My blog is so educational.) 

I'm not criticizing his love of comfort because I live in pajama pants. But only at home. Besides, they fit, they aren't threadbare, and they don't have holes or stains. Jay, on the other hand, wears (out in public, no less) attire he's kept since 1986 and things that his father (who is 79-years-old) and brother (who is 4" taller than Jay) have discarded.

I've tried reasoning with him. "Sweetie, face it. You're not going to hit a growth spurt at your age to fit into your bother's hand-me-downs; unless you're applying for a job as a scarecrow, they're too baggy. And if something is too unstylish for a retiree, then you, my dear, certainly can't pull it off."

"But these clothes are still good," he protests.

"You mean, they function. They're definitely not good." I answer.

Normally, I don't care what he wears when he's running errands without me. But the day he was headed to the jewelers to get my bracelet repaired, I stopped him and pointed to the foyer mirror. He hadn't showered or shaved. He'd squeezed into a grubby coat (from his teen years) that was so tight it couldn't be zippered shut. It revealed an old, over-sized flannel shirt that he'd tucked into a pair of paint-stained work pants. The pants were a few sizes too big, so he'd gathered them at the waist with a belt like a hobo. Muddy boots and a black knit hat completed his look.

"Honey," I said, patiently, "people will either think that you're a homeless man looking for a bathroom or that you're about to rob the place. Either option is detrimental to the jewelry business. They're good people; I can't let you do this to them."

When he was done laughing at his reflection, he changed into clean khakis, a button-down shirt, and loafers. So, cops were not called when he arrived. (That day, anyway.)

We had friends over for a potluck dinner one weekend. When most had left, I shook my head in despair at my sweet husband and said, "I know they're friends who love you anyway, but you could wear something nicer than a stained, threadbare t-shirt when you welcome people into your home."

He defended his wardrobe choice with, "Well, I knew I'd be outside at the grill, and I thought it might rain."

"I had no idea your t-shirts couldn't get wet," I gasped. "All this time I've been washing them in water!"

He smirked at my clever remark (that was pretty quick, wasn't it?), but stubbornly claimed, "This shirt is still good."

I put my finger in a small hole and gently tugged. The shirt immediately parted like the Red Sea in front of Moses. 

Believe it or not, the man insisted (wait for it...), "It's still good; now it's just ventilated!" 

Verse of the day: (Psalm 30:11b, 12b) "You have taken away my ragged clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy... Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."

Our handsome hero, Captain Coverboy, 
cleverly disguises himself as his alter-ego...Split-Pants Man!
He still hasn't thrown these pants out, but I refuse to sew a giant patch over the crotch. In the winter, I'll let him wear the pants as a hat-scarf combo because I know gorgeous women will only approach him to point the way to the nearest soup kitchen. 

Disclaimer: For those worried about Jay's fashion sensitivity--he has none. He read this story with a snicker and assured me that plenty of men would agree that his clothes are "still good." If that's the case, then we know why God Himself said, "It's not good for man to be alone" (Gen 2:16). I agree, God, I agree.

For a story about my pajama pants issues, click here.

For a story on how I convinced Jay to quit bugging me about having too many pairs of shoes (as if there could be such a thing as too many shoes), click here.

1 comment:

  1. I received tons of private comments from women whose husbands are the same way, but none of them were bold enough to post their comments publicly. Ha!