I bought some new clothes the other day. It’s probably not a news worthy event, but it is of fair significance for me. It meant that I was in the mood. Most times, when wandering the aisles with my wife, I’m not really wondering “what’s in this trip for me”. If we’re in a clothing store, the answer is usually “nothing”. It’s not because she doesn’t try desperately to liven up my wardrobe. I just have to be in a mood. Usually, I’d call that mood desperation.
Anyway, the other day we’re exploring the racks, shoes I think, when I just began to be inexplicably drawn around the corner to men’s clothing. My brain was whispering to me "shirt". I need a new shirt for my Sunday pastoral arts detail. Maybe it was because my inner voice was reminding me that anything remotely worth wearing was still awaiting rescue at the dry cleaners. It’s the curse of being high maintenance I guess.
I picked out 3 and waited excitedly, well OK…anxiously, nervously, whatever,…I just waited for my wife to appear from shoes, which in and of itself was a practice in optimism. She came, I appealed to her sense of style, and we chose one. I wasn’t going overboard here. Anyway, the success of the shirt led me like Frodo from the Rivendale of shirts towards the Mordor of pants. This is always treacherous territory for me. It’s a place I’d never venture without the Gandalf like presence of my wife to offer wisdom and her magic staff to protect me from falling off a fashion cliff. She didn’t fail me and with the help of a very brave staff member of the store, and a cashier who gazed at our debit card like it was the "Ring of Power", we were on our way. The new outfit made its public debut on Sunday and with one possible exception, despite the best intentions of All Star Fitness, of a slightly out of shape model, it looked great. I think.
That’s my problem. I think. My whole reluctance with the clothing deal is that when I find stuff that I think I like, that I think is cool, that I think is in style, that I think fits, or whatever, I find out I missed the cut by about 5 years. It’s frustrating. It’s a hamster wheel. And the deal with hamster wheels is that they always come around again. Imagine my delight every time I see one of the fashion trends of my youth come back around, only to realize that I just gave that stuff away to Goodwill. Why do I bother?
The wheel goes around again. Some people get motion sickness from it. I get fashion sickness.
That’s why I rely on my wife. She wields her staff with clarity and skill and if I follow her advice, I find my way along the journey. If not, then there are goblins and orcs all around and somedays I dress like them. She reminds me to rotate my clothing because I tend to like something and keep it front and center. Every once in awhile I sneak in an old pair of sweatpants when her all seeing eye is fixed somewhere else.
I try my best. I really do, but it’s exhausting. Sometimes, the best that I can hope for is just to be dressed.