Thursday, April 5, 2007

Check Mate


I believe everyone needs a 'check' person in their lives. Be it roommate, boyfriend/girlfriend, wife/husband, talking dog, whatever. Everyone needs someone who will give them a once over before they head out into public and say 'Yeah, you know what? That striped shirt with the plaid pants just isn't doing it. Why don't you change into jeans?'

Or 'I know your hair is driving you crazy, but if you shave it you'll look like a lesbian.'

I'm that person for wifey (often to a fault) and she's that person to me. Or at least that was my belief until recently when she came home with some new sweaters for me. Forget that I don't really wear sweaters because I've been scarred for life by watching 'The Cosby Show' or that I just don't feel comfortable in itchy wool. Forget that she's been buying me sweaters for years and I've worn maybe one the entire time we've been married. The problem I have is that one of them looks to be an exact replica of Freddy Krueger's sweater. I'm not even kidding. Red and black horizontal stripes with some grey edging. I know I will be completely self conscious wearing it. And you can be sure my friends will notice the same thing and never let me live it down. My nickname could become Freddy. They may even start singing that Freddy song every time they see me.

To be fair, they all aren't bad looking. One is a dark green and feels ok. I will probably wear that one once or twice before it 'hides' in my closet for the next 3 years. But two of them were cheapos (2 for $20) she picked up at one of her white trash sales events. Probably Christmas Tree Shop or Kohl's. Whatever, I'm not picky. As long as it's comfortable and doesn't hurt the eyes.

But, now I'm questioning my own built in Check Person. What happens when the person who is supposed to make sure you don't look foolish leaving the house, buys you something that you KNOW will make you look foolish when you leave the house? My world is spinning into chaos!! Look, I even used two exclamation points on that sentence.

Granted I'm not the epitome of cutting edge fashion. I have my work wardrobe rotation of business casual outfits. On the weekends I'm a jeans and sneakers guy (during the week if I can get away with it, too!). Or shorts and barefeet if it's summer.

My problem is I've relied on wifey to tell me when things aren't exactly pleasant to look at (clothes, I'm talking about clothes! My looks aren't anything that can be helped). If something doesn't match. If I'm under dressed for an occasion (being over dressed has never been an issue). If I shouldn't be wearing sneakers out. Basically, telling me when being myself isn't appropriate.

But now I've had two instances when I should have trusted my own judgement over hers. First was when we had plans to go out one night. I was going to do the old jeans, sneakers, nice shirt routine. She convinced me to go with slacks, shoes, instead. The shoes (which I hadn't worn in awhile) were uncomfortable and sqeaked loudly when we walked (and wound up in the trash barrel upon arriving home). Then our friends show up and say 'Why are you so dressed up?'. Both of them were dressed in jeans and t-shirts.

Now the Freddy sweater.

Needless to say I'm in a quandry. Do I start ignoring her 'check' advice? Do I just go with what I want regardless of what she says? Do I assume she just had a couple of bad days and give her another chance? Is she losing her 'checking' ability? Is she deliberately trying to make me look like a fool?

That last option is probably closest to the mark, but the joke is on her if that is the case. For I need no help looking like a fool.

Today's distraction: 6 fashion tips for men. I have real problem with the last one which encourages you to buy eyeglasses even if you don't need them. Strictly as a fashion statement. 'Do your best to find a pair of glasses that not only compliment the shape of your face, but also express your personality'.

Ok, how about no glasses. That's suits my personality because I don't like things that serve absolutely no purpose and make me look like an idiot. That work for you, Mr. Fashion Reporter? Putz!

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