I can fake my way through an art museum crowd for days.
“Oh yes, I love the depth of this piece too, the way the artist used earth tones to suggest angst.”
And meeting new people is not a problem either. I could even go pro. Just ask John. He is Amy’s boyfriend, and even though I met him in the art museum lobby, by midnight we were like old fraternity brothers on the patio at Hunter-Gatherer, a trendy local restaurant where middle-aged coolio’s mingle with the real thing.
And evidently, I know how to keep two women happy. Alyson was tired after the museum benefit and wasn’t sure about extending the night further at a bar, but an hour later she was laughing and telling stories like, well, me! Amy pitched in too, fondly remembering something I said in a sermon…four years ago. So I was feeling pretty sure about myself last Friday night.
But that is not how tired date number four started. It’s beginning was not unique. Actually, it was mundane. Here goes, my opening line to my wife: “What should I wear?”
Aly and I were a little suspect about the night’s attire. We didn’t think Contemporary Artist of the Year would be formal. In my mind, the contemporary artist fashion motif is a mixture of bell bottom terry cloth, itchy Mexican wool and reappointed two-ply Kleenex, of which we aint got. But after we remembered this is Columbia, SC where the radical ordinary wins the fashion day, we went to the closet for our best tired date outfits.
Aly had an easy choice. She just happened to pop by Stein-Mart after work and buy a great dress and sweater because all women have the upper hand in date situations. If men had the upper hand, I would have come home from work and unloaded a new set of bicycle tools before I got ready. “Yeah honey, I knew we were going out, and I just wanted to have something nice to use when I repack the bearings in the bottom bracket tomorrow.”
But there was really more to my fashion question than color matching. When I asked Aly “what should I wear,” I wasn’t asking what would make me look good to the museum crowd, or feel better about myself. Don’t really care. Much. What I do care about, and I think this is a safe generalization to make for most married or kept men, is how YOU think I look dear.
I was watching that show where the woman who looks like a rabbi and the guy who wears everything two sizes too small crack jokes about the innocent contestants in the dressing room. They go on and on about fashion this and fashion that and how clothes make the person…only seen it once or seven times. But none of that really matters to me. One clothing choice versus another doesn’t makes that big of a difference to my appearance. There’s only so much that can be done with rangy and receding.
So as not to confuse the issue next month, since fashion isn’t really the point, when I ask Aly “what should I wear,” what I am really saying is, “I trust you.”
So thanks for that. And you were right. My “More Cowbell” t-shirt would not have been good.