Man in Black

We are connoisseurs of Saturday, at least we used to be. Lately I have been so busy it has dulled my appreciation for the flavors of life. You can get so wrapped up in what must be done that you forget what yellow really looks like, what air feels like, and how life smells. Texture is suddenly defined by routine, colors constrained to pixels on desktop screens, acres of landscape are quarantined to 8x10’s, and the smells of life are piped in through vents. When life becomes overwhelming things like yellow, open air, and family are undervalued.

My wife determined on this Saturday we would taste appreciation again.

Wives add color to an otherwise color blind male existence. Women match curtains to floor tile, wallpaper to cabinets, and can somehow even find a box of Kleenex that perfectly matches every towel in the house. If you are not careful they will match your shirt to every other member of your family and to the friends that will be connoisseurs of Saturday along with you.

We were going to the pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch is a lazy drive into the country followed by a tractor haul into a field so you can engage in a frantic search for an overgrown, round, orange squash. Pumpkins are technically squashes; or is the plural form squish? The whole thing from the picnic to peripheral sources of fun such as face painting and the purchase of the pumpkin will cost you about 45 bucks. The colors, sounds, experiences and smells of farm life are obviously subject to inflation.

The pumpkin patch is full of pumpkins and people; on this day it seemed like about 6,000 of each. When you are more than slightly insecure and paranoid you take note of all 6,000 people. You want to do nothing to provoke their attention. But as I neared the pile of hay we would use as a group photo prop I took note of my baby daughter’s shirt. She, like her daddy had on black. I turned around to see my firstborn coming through the gate, also wearing black. Behind her my wife, in black. Beside her a good friend, dressed in black. Her husband, black. Their daughters, black. The only sane man of the bunch, their kindergarten son, in orange. No doubt this too the design of a woman who happened to be his mother. This woman would use her son to match the pumpkins and add contrast to the group photo. It is easy to see how this happens to you when you are in kindergarten, but I am not sure how this happened to me. The accompanying husband of the group had no idea how it happened to him. The 4.5 thousand other men at the pumpkin patch leered at me as if I had failed. I was no man, I was a blackened twinkie.

We looked like a Johnny Cash support group.
We looked like an evil NASCAR pit crew.
We looked like goth day at Olan Mills.
We looked like everyone got the memo.

Looking back I recall my wife telling me she was glad I picked the shirt I put on. Come to think of it, it was the only shirt laying on the bench just outside my closet. It was convenient; an obvious choice. It was planted. It was a snare. I was a mindless, defenseless sheep to the slaughter.

Why is it that in their thirties women want to emasculate men and make them match, but when men get older their wives will allow them to leave the house in shorts, dark socks, and white tennis shoes? I have no idea why a woman would ever walk out of the house with her man looking like that, but no matter what age, dark socks with shorts is a foul. Do women encourage this because they think its funny? Do women forever hold the power to sway men through flattery for the sake of feminine comedy? Do they toy with our color blindness? Is it a conspiracy? Is dark socks with shorts phase two? Do women match us up so much when we are young that when we are old we go into total chromatic rebellion - stripes with plaids, squares with circles, really bad shorts with even worse shirts? Why isn't the word "plaid" pronounced "played?" Why isn't it spelled p-l-a-d? Is this another feminine effort to further confuse men into ultimately comitting fashion suicide?

Men, we need to be more alert. Check your shirt - and your kid’s shirt, your friend’s shirt, the color of your wife’s purse, and the shade of her lipstick. Compare your wardrobe to your bathroom towels. The lady in your life may be smiling and tell you that you look good because you match everything!


Anonymous said…
Note to everyone- ignore the delusional husband exaggeration!!!

Brian's loving wife

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