It’s time for me to buy some clothes. For 95% of women reading this blog, that sentence probably sounds like a cause for wild celebration, for me, not so much. I like the clothes I have. I’ve become accustomed to them, I like the way they feel and fit, and I especially like the fact that I’ve already paid for them. But every couple of years, it begins to dawn on me that maybe that shirt I love so much with the frayed cuffs is starting to look a little ratty. Maybe those dress socks with the small holes on the heel need to be replaced. Maybe it’s time to make rags out of that really comfortable turtleneck that Pam despises.
So, I’ll head out to Men’s Warehouse or Khols or someplace like that and wander around the store for awhile feeling vain. Then I’ll see a couple of nice casual shirts, flip over the price tag and see $78.99 and remember how much I hate shopping for clothes. The tag will say, “Made in China, Thailand, Mexico, India”, anywhere but here. Then the nagging question will enter my mind, I wonder what 12 year old girl working 12 hours a day for 5 bucks a week sewed this baby together? But I will not be overcome with guilt or indecision because I am on a mission, a fashion renewal mission, and I will not be deterred.
When my wife goes clothes shopping, more often than not it ends in bouts of tears and self-loathing. She can’t find the right color. When she does, she can’t find a size that fits her. When she finally finds the right color and size, some piece of the thing won’t “lay right” and looks stupid. Twelve hours, eleven stores and four miles of walking later she comes home with one cami and an empty giant sized milk shake cup from Chick-fil-a. But what Pam hates even more than one of her clothes-shopping ordeals, is the results of one of mine.
Once I overcome the guilt of reaping the benefits of cheap Asian child labor, I get down to business. I find me the gayest looking sales guy at Men’s Warehouse and we become best buds. Before I know it he’s laid out a week’s worth of clothes on a display table. He explains how each of the shirts is perfect for my “skin tone”. He picks out perfect ties to match the dress shirts that he assures me are the very latest thing for the conservative businessman. I try everything on and everything fits because “Gustav” has measured my every body part with his handy tape measure. This procedure takes a bit too long and he seems to be having way too much fun, but he’s the pro, and it must be done. I look in the three way mirror, hoping nobody I know walks in and I must admit that Gustav is right. I really do look “fabulous”. Before I realize what’s happening, everything is piled up at the cash register. Gustav is thrilled, and I just spent $500. The entire experience takes 45 minutes.
I come home, show Pam all of the new threads and she says that I look great. Then she looks me straight in the eye and says, “I hate you.”