Friday, March 07, 2008

Husbanding 101

Does it go without saying that men should have to go through a basic course before becoming husbands?

Well, if it doesn’t, I’m saying it.

Despite growing up with two sisters and having one of the world’s sweetest women as his mother, my husband has yet to learn some basics of Communicating with the Woman in Your Life.

Also known as The Top Ten Things You Should Never Say (Even If They Might Be True…Especially If They Might Be True).

This realization happened during a recent trip to the mall. I told Brett I NEEDED new clothes. Now, I tell him this often, but apparently there’s a tone I use when I really mean it.

So, off we went on a soon-to-be-fated drive to the mall.

I was happy, bubbling over with cheeriness, at the prospect of new clothes. I daresay shopping for clothes is one of my favorite things. I joyfully over-shared - naming the new items I planned to pick up – career pants, business tops, suit coat, casual tops, and a pair of jeans.

Then, the ball dropped.

My loving, body-image-accepting husband asked, “Why are you getting new jeans? Are the old ones too tight?”


Pointed silence.

“Hon? Hon? Is something wrong? Why are you crying? Don’t roll down the window, it’s 20 degrees out there! Did you just try to open the door? I haven’t parked yet! Hon? What’s the matter?”

Then, of course, the glass shattered.


My husband then succeeded in looking completely confused. “I, um, just meant sometimes my jeans shrink in the wash. You know, over time. I thought, maybe, um, yours did too.”



“Babe. I really think you’re blowing this out of proportion. I didn’t mean anything by it. I only asked because I thought your old jeans were fine, and maybe you don’t really need a new pair.”

“So, why’d you ask if they were tight?”

“I don’t know. I just wondered. Really. You’re beautiful.” (head miserably cradled in hands)

By the way, “You’re beautiful” is a lovely sentiment, but if you know it’s being used as bail money, it’s not so appealing.

I, of course, pulled the martyr card.

“I don’t want to go shopping anymore.”

“C’mon babe, we drove all the way out here. Let’s just go inside.”

“No. Everything will probably be too tight anyway.”

“Sweetheart, I really didn’t mean anything by it. Please go in the store with me. People are starting to look at us.”

“You really should have married someone else if you wanted an anorexic wife. Do you want me to be anorexic for you? Would that make you happy? Fine. I’ll just stop eating. Hope the life insurance money will keep you warm at night and pick up all your dirty laundry.”

“I don’t want you to be anorexic. I love you. You are a beautiful, real woman. “

“You’re not attracted to me.”

“YES, I AM.”

“Hmm…maybe I could just go inside and look around.”

“Okay, good! Afterwards, we can have lunch.”

“Oh, I’m not eating anything. My jeans will probably pop right off.”


To help him make up for stuffing those giant size-16 feet in his mouth, I allowed him to help me choose several new outfits. After much more pleading, I was also persuaded to go for lunch, where I allowed myself to be talked out of ordering “just a salad.”

The ride home was much more cordial, as I was high on new-clothes-euphoria, and Brett was thrilled not to be facing a night on the couch.

When I got home, I carefully cut the tags off my clothes. I put all the new business outfits in my closet, and then unfolded my brand new jeans. I popped open the button and slid them on, checking out my very real curves in the mirror.

You see, I love my new jeans.

Mainly because, unlike my old ones, they aren’t too tight.


Alice said...

Heh. One time Darren said to me, "Maybe we should go on a diet." We? WE?? WE??????!!!!!!!

Heidi said...

Ahhh, new clothes. I hate clothes shopping. I am constantly made aware of my size. When I am smaller, I will LOVE it.
It is a long ways to the mall for you. I am glad that you were able to make it worth while.
Where did you go for lunch?

Ann-Marie said...

Alice, you should not go on a diet - you look fantastic. And so does Darren. Cough. Cough.

Thank goodness for Lane Bryant! I love the clothes and the styles, so I enjoy clothes shopping a lot more than I used to.

I'm totally blanking on where we had lunch - I think Panera...

Alice said...

Thank you. It was a while ago, but I never let him forget it. When I was pregnant, he used to bump into me and say, "Move over, Bacon. There's something leaner."

Guys just don't have the same issues as we do. When their stomachs get bigger, they just buckle their belts lower. It's so wrong.

Ann-Marie said...

One of my uncles said "We need to diet" to one of my aunts once. My mom told me if it had been HER husband, she would have socked him in the jaw.

We may have been fat, but at least we were ALL fat...and happy.

We like to joke Gary says, "Are you eating again?' while my dad would have said, "Hey, can I have some?!"

I love that Brett (normally) knows to keep his trap shut about weight - too tight, my foot.

WendyJanelle said...

Hahaahaa!! Your poor husband! ;-)

I don't care for clothes-shopping unless I can find great deals. Because, let's face it, I'm a financial nerd and I HATE to spend lots of money. It totally stresses me out. I'd rather pay bills.

BUT I do enjoy new clothes! My sisters are fanatics about clothes, so I get lots of brand-name (think: Seven jeans) hand-me-downs. Lucky we're all about the same size.

Anonymous said...

My husband inadvertently does the same thing to me whenever he asks, "are you wearing THAT?" while conveniently forgetting that for every $100 he spends on clothes I spend a $.100 and that's how the bills get paid. Yeah, go shopping. Right. So now I just say, "Well you're not going out with me so no one will know to criticize you for my lack of fashion."

mom2mine said...

Your poor husband...

He has been married long enough to know that he should never comment on your jeans unless it includes the words loose or hot.

I hate shopping. It makesme remember how fat I am.

SturgillMom said...

I hate shopping! It is just too depressing to try on clothes. My friends laugh at me because I cut all of the sizes out of my clothes as soon as I buy them :) That way, I have no idea what size I am currently in!