This morning my husband wandered out of the bedroom wearing a pair of jeans that were so short, he looked like he was pulling them up to wade through water. When I pointed this out, he went and changed. This signifies his easy going nature rather than any agreement on his part. We’ve had similar conversations over the years. His swaggering self confidence contrasts starkly with my hand wringing plea for a middle ground in the wardrobe department. His tastes have always been quirky.
I was never attracted to guys who were perfectly put together. The kind who can’t pass a mirror without checking themselves out. No one can grow up in Flin Flon and appreciate that type of male unless he’s shirtless, holding a wrench and dancing provocatively on a stage. We northerners like our men to have a certain disdain for the perfect outfit. However.
Some of the conversations we’ve had are enough to make me feel slightly wistful. I can imagine the GQ guy’s kind of closet. Shirts hanging neatly, immaculately ironed and placed slightly apart. Shoes stowed away, underwear folded. That man could nag me about my own drawers and I’d only be grateful. Really.
Some years ago, Clarence bought a set of vintage burgundy curling sweaters. He wore each in turn, having heard Oprah’s friend, Peter Walsh, say that a garment unworn is one that should be given away. When I questioned the suitability of wearing the sweaters for work, he looked at me like a little boy who’s been given the best. gift. ever!
“These are the Flin Flon Bomber colours! (Insert the word ‘duh’ here, unvoiced but expressed in other ways.) “They’re vintage sweaters! I bought three so that someday our daughters can wear them to my funeral.” With a shake of his head he managed to convey his disbelief at my shortsightedness and lack of taste.
I had no comeback. Aside from a comment shouted from another room, (No way, dad, we’re not wearing those sweaters EVER!) there was really nothing anyone could add that would make a difference. And so his love of vintage clothing and unusual combinations continued.
When another MLA at the Legislature said, “Wow. I didn’t know you could wear all those plaids at the same time,” my husband bragged about it to me. He is not unaware of my opinion regarding his wardrobe and is always looking for opportunities to lobby for it.
Sadly, I’m not above whispering lies to complete strangers. “He’s in a play and there was no time to change.” Stuff like that. Clarence is temporarily over his love for Hawaiian shirts, replacing them with a series of strange hats. A few are fairly cool looking, but some have me walking slightly ahead of or behind him, like an embarrassed teenager. Especially the one that looks like it should be accompanied by yodeling and the clicking of heels. His ‘I’m an extra in the Sound of Music’ look. Sigh.
It’s a good thing he’s such a keeper. The fact is, I value humour and kindness over clothing choice, which means we’ll be together until one of us departs this life. When that day comes, there will be copious weeping, the tearing of clothing, (his) and a tabloid worthy profusion of vintage sweaters and Hawaiian shirts. If they’re not worn by family and friends, chances are they’ll at least be for sale.