As you know, I have the fashion sense of a garden gnome.
Part of the problem is that I don't care what I look like. I think I'm handsome enough that as long as I'm covered up, it's all good.
This philosophy isn't shared by my spouse.
We've come to a form of stalemate in our relationship where she dresses me for important events and when I dress myself, I don't leave my room.
I'm happy to say, though, that what I lack in fashion sense, I make up with incredible communication skills. Two decades of being with the same woman have taught me this.
Last Saturday I was up early. As she slept, I quietly slipped on some shorts and a t-shirt and left the bedroom to get my day started. By the time she got up, I had written my own 'Honey Do' list and was slowly getting things accomplished.
My wife: "Honey, can you do me a favour?
Me (looking at my list): "Sure. What do you need?"
My wife: "Ben, your son, is taking a baby sitting course today and needs to be at the library at 9. Would you mind just dropping him off?"
Now the secret to communication is to clarify. I have learned this after twenty years of marriage.
Me: "So which one is Ben?"
My Wife: "The 12 year old. The one that looks like you."
Me: "Right. So all I have to do is drive this "Ben" to the library and come back."
My Wife: "Yes. Really easy and I would appreciate it because I slept in and I'm not dressed yet."
Me: "No problem."
Guys, if you haven't been married for long, pay attention. Your marriage radar should be beeping like R2D2 right now because this 'favour' sounded too easy.
Me (to further clarify): "There's nothing else you would like me to do? No 'Father-Son' talk you want me to have with him as we travel? I can just drive to the library, drop him off and return."
My Wife: "Weeelllll, if you could go into the library with him and make sure someone is there, I would appreciate it. I'd hate to think of Ben staying there all alone because we got the day wrong. He'd be so lonely..."
A mother's imagination is an incredible thing. It's rarely used as a force for good....
I folded my 'Honey Do' list into my pocket and grabbed my shoes. I had almost made it out the door before we suffered a communication malfunction.
My Wife: "Umm."
This is the universal signal for, "I need you to stop while I think of a way to address something that should be obvious to you."
My Wife (pointing at me): "You can't go out like THAT."
The thing is, I KNOW I'm not dressed for going out to dinner, but in my defense, it was Saturday morning...early. And I'm only going to be gone for two minutes!
Me: "But honey, all I have to do is 'drive Ben to the library and come back'. Who cares what I look like? No one is even going to see me."
My Wife: "Hon. You are wearing new, shiny silver sports shorts, deck shoes that have been through the war and your t-shirt has a hole right by your nipple. You should still be in your room."
Me (not remembering the futility of arguing): "But honey, I'm only driving to the library and coming right back!"
My Wife: "You are also going into the library to make sure someone is there when you drop Ben off. I don't want anyone to see you like that."
Me (again, seeking clarity because that's how I roll): "So you want me to take an extra ten minutes to get properly dressed so that I can take a two-minute drive to the library and possibly be seen by a librarian that I don't know and will never see again. All of which, by the way, is a favour to you."
My Wife: "Exactly. I'm glad we understand each other."
As I said: Two decades of marriage have given me nothing but incredible communication skills.