I don’t consider myself a clothes snob of any kind. I even enjoy what some would call strange outfits. I don’t turn up my nose at hand me downs. I shop discount racks. I’ve been known to take scissors and re-design a dress into a skirt, a blouse, or even a shawl. I like to think of myself as being almost as creative as the blogger lady who wrote about turning a dog sweater into a skirt! Well. She goes a little further than I would, but you get the picture. I am broadminded in the area of fashion.
Having said all that, today the point of my rant is my hubby’s clothes choices. As you know, he’s a senior citizen and his name is Murray. However, if you are visiting Huntsdale or you are a neighbour within hearing distance (anything up to 4 km) you wouldn’t be blamed if you were convinced that his name is “IsThatWhatYou’reWearing?” “AreYouKiddingMe?” or “WhyIsn’tThatIntheWash?”
Now actually, Murray can appear to be quite attractive. But don’t let this trick you the way it does me. He has me fooled with his thick white hair and his twinkling eyes and his big smile. He is a great hugger, and 99% of our daily interactions are just right. But today we are talking about his choice of barn clothes. That’s where the attractive part becomes challenged. Now … it’s only fair to acknowledge that for the last three months the fields and barns at Huntsdale have not held a single cow. Nevertheless, chores are still a major part of the daily routine. Every day Murray needs barn clothes. Moreover, every day it becomes an issue between us, especially if I catch him before he gets out the door.
You are probably asking, “Does he have a choice?” Yes. He has lots of barn clothes. Six Rubbermaid tubs to be exact. All sorted by specific item: jeans, overalls, sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc. As well there are several wall hooks in his personal work changing room. And, furthermore, a washing machine is the first thing that he sees, when coming in from the barn or when going out to the barn. My point? He lacks for nothing in the “How-to-have-clean-barn-clothes-department!” However clean barn clothes for Murray are as rare as a good hair day is for Donald Trump.
So how does this scenario happen so often you ask?
Well. Sometimes, it starts when he is walking rapidly past where I am involved in my daily routine and says something like, “Hey! I’m going next door to pick up some fresh eggs!” Helpful. Yes. Eat local? Great! But…he has a strange pair of pants on … the legs look like they wear shortened using a dull knife …. They are held up with a belt (also too big) that he has tried to “tie” because there are no holes in the right place. When he turns around … there is something fresh and fragrant hanging from the shirt that he’s been wearing for longer than my memory reaches back It is obvious that he didn’t quite clear the area when he was housecleaning in the newly cow-free stable.
“Are you going like that?” I ask. “Of course!” is the short reply. “I’ve been working. They are farmers too! No problem.”
Yes! For Murray, when it comes to clothes selection, that “I’m working” part covers a lot of dirt, grime and dairy airs!”
And of course, he’s right. This egg picking up outfit is probably not a big deal. But the same outfit, or one very like it, also makes the suitable list, when he heads out to the feed store, a fast food restaurant or choir practice!
If he saved pennies like he saves clean clothes, we would be laughing all the way to the bank, and I probably wouldn’t care what he was wearing! Wrong! I would care.
However, he is only stingy, when picking out barn clothes … He refuses to change them before they are standing waiting for him jump in. His argument, “Why put on clean clothes, when I am only going to get dirty?”
My argument … the embedded dirt is so ground in by the time I get to it with my super Washing-Soda-Oxyclean-Tide” treatment that I’m fighting a lost cause.
In frustration, I have pointed out the choices folded and waiting and he says incredulously, ““But these are all good. Why would I wear them?” “Because they are clean.” I reply and add. “No one is going to whip their head around, when you go by and ask, “What is that smell?”
To give him credit, he keeps his hair tidy, his teeth clean, he helps in the house and provides social and work outings that are vastly entertaining …. But this smelly Freddy the Freeloader look alike always sends my wife meter into the danger zone. And it’s not that I don’t have ragged fragrant days of my own … But … the world is still sexist enough that when he looks so unkempt… I imagine I can overhear observers saying. “Poor Murray. His wife obviously doesn’t keep his clothes clean!” Well, I would if I could get at them!
So what is the answer? Well, I always say, “Name the problem and you have the solution”. And I have a plan. Gradually those wretched barn clothes handed down from the cousin, father-in-law or uncle twice his size are gradually reducing in numbers until, like the cows that necessitated wearing them, they will eventually be gone to greener pastures.
But, so far, he isn’t fooled. I am now starting to hear, “You threw out my good overalls!” “Would those be the ones with the binder-twine strap and the ripped off pocket?” I innocently ask. “Yes!” is the horrified explanation. “They were broken in just the way I like them! I loved those ones.”
So now it’s my turn to listen and be understanding and sympathetic. We all have our quirks. It isn’t really too surprising that I find myself standing over a washing machine in an attempt to “break in” a load of blue jeans, coveralls and sweatshirts picked out for his role of a general handyman. They look and feel even older than they already are.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
Who says there’s nothing new after 46 years and 4 months of married life? If old is what he wants … I am ready to become an expert at old looking. That’s what married teamwork is all about. He wears a better fit, and I don’t have a fit! It’s a win-win!