I’m proud to say that I no longer own a suit, and I can’t remember the last time I wore a tie. Still, I usually make an effort to look presentable, something without holes, or food stains, and color coordination on even days.
The other day I grabbed a sweatshirt out of my closet. I thought it was our daughter’s commemorative college sweatshirt that reads: “Dad, UC Santa Cruz Banana Slug”. (UC Santa Cruz is not big on college sports - too slimy.)
After chatting with PJ in the kitchen (where my sweatshirt’s front was in full view), I dashed out for a few errands. At Trader Joes while checking out, the cashier commented that her sister had matriculated from UC Santa Cruz. (She didn’t say matriculated, but being the sister of a UCSC grad, I like to think that some of it rubbed off.) We exchanged a few pleasantries and I headed to the car, noting that this sweatshirt was often a conversation-starter.
Something made me look down. I had donned PJ’s sweatshirt that reads, “Mom, UC Santa Cruz Banana Slug”. The Trader Joes’ cashier deserves an award from the political correctness police. Fortunately, the fashion police were not patrolling.
This was not a Freudian slip waiting for a slip-up. Being a Domestic Engineer Guy is not another term for Mr. Mom. And no, I’m not sensitive about it! Besides, I’ve never worn a slip, Freudian or otherwise.
I had four options: return home and re-attire, take off the sweatshirt, accessorize with a purse and scarf, or turn it inside out. I chose the fourth option. Option one wastes gas, option two is not a pretty sight, and I don’t stock my car with female accessories.
I finished my errands, frequently assuming the pledge-of-allegiance position whenever someone was close enough to notice my attire aberration.
Returning home I confronted PJ over her wively duty failure. After so many years of marriage (guys never ask our wives how we look – we’re not metrosexuals), she rarely comments. Conversely, nary a day passes where she doesn’t ask, “How does this look on me?” – close cousins of another entrapping question, “Does this make my butt look too big?”
The more relevant question is, “What was her sweatshirt doing in my closet”? Fair question. In case you were wondering, I am not accustomed to choosing my clothes from her closet. Because I am Laundry Man, the fault is mine. Since our sweatshirts matched in every way but one word, I inadvertently hung her sweatshirt to dry on my laundry line section, which then ended up in my closet. I’m a guy who considers clothing options for about three seconds. Without access to a queer eye for the straight guy, this was a faux pas just waiting to happen.
Maybe I’ll dye her sweatshirt another color. I may not always be color-coordinated, but I’m not colorblind.