Monday, June 19, 2006

Playing Dress Up

I was one of those girly-girls growing up who loved playing dress-up and loved pretty doll clothes and such. I wouldn't push it too far and say I have great fashion sense, but I do get some pleasure and satisfaction from an ensemble that "works". I never imagined that it was all practice for when I grew up, that I would have the ultimate dressing responsibility. No not the baby, Mr. Renn. And I daresay I am not the only wife out there who would admit to struggling when trying to keep her DH appropriately dressed at all times.

Mr. Renn, whom I love with all my heart, is very utilitarian when it comes to clothes. He uses them. In fact, he is downright hard on them. He goes through jeans, khakis, and tennis shoes at an alarming rate. He wears them right out. Every 4-6 months I have to take inventory to see if he even owns any pants that are not full of holes. He claims that it's because he has fewer clothes than me, and wears the same things over and over. But truthfully I've checked, and he has more clothes than me... it's just that all of his clothes are worn out. After a certain amount of holiness in a pair of pants... and he'll stop wearing them but he won't throw them out until we reach that point every 4-6 months where he finally gets some new pants and all his existing pants rotate down the totem-pole of wear-ability and the pants at the bottom of the totem-pole get tossed out. I'd say 3/4 of the clothes he owns have at least 1 grease stain (or something comparable).

I must give him some leeway, he does work at a hardware store.... but it still seems a bit excessive to me.

The difficulty in all this (for me) doesn't lie in how frequently I have to buy clothes for Mr. Renn. It lies in the fact that Mr. Renn manages to make buying new clothes an absolute drudgery. If I'm really lucky I can trick Mr. Renn into entering a store and trying on maybe 2 or 3 things.... and I can do that about once every 8 months. After trying on those 2 or 3 things, Mr. Renn reaches his shopping limit and becomes inexplicably ornery - and I kid you not... I'd rather try to drag Mr. Renn to a ballroom dance competition (he would fight me tooth and nail) than try to get him to stay in a store when he turns ornery.

So the general procedure has become that I buy him some pants and bring them home. He tries them on and hates them. I take them back to the store and try to find something else that is missing the flaws he pointed out in my first purchase and bring them home. He tries them on and still doesn't like them. After a few rounds of this, he gives in and keeps something. I don't think that's what anybody has in mind when they say they like shopping.

Mr. Renn has a few hangups about clothing as well. He refuses to wear sandals of any kind. He also refuses to wear socks that don't at least come within 3 or 4 inches of his knees. I think he's got a thing about his ankles and feet. But you can probably see how this is a problem in summer/short weather. (No Mr. Renn, the tops of your socks and the bottom of your shorts are not supposed to overlap).

Such silliness. The thing is, and I don't think this is just me, I feel like I'm supposed to be dressing him better. Never you mind that he's an adult and dresses himself. When my DH is looking shabby, I feel like it's a direct reflection of my own inability to make him dress better. When I see a particularly well dressed couple, I intuitively give the credit to the wife. "She dresses her DH well, I wish I knew how to do that...."

Now, obviously Mr. Renn does not look like the hopeless mess I have just made him out to be. Most of the time he dresses himself just fine (his socks match and everything). And when he makes an effort to look nice, he is nothing short of dashing. These are minor concerns and issues of mine that I'm fairly certain I am not alone in experiencing. I'll bet that 9 wives out of 10 would share my mini-gripe that my husband is just not into clothes... at all. (Not that we'd want them to be really into clothes.... but we'd settle for a happy medium).

I'm going to stop typing now before I get myself into trouble.

3 comments:

Shelley said...

Oh how funny! I thought Trevor would be relatively easy to dress too, because he said he wasn't "into" clothes -- but he is so picky! I'd pick out a great shirt or pair of pants, and he (for no reason) will not like them. But he won't pick anything out for himself. It's so odd. It's like men are interested to a certain extent that they have opinions, but they don't want to appear TOO interested. I laughed pretty hard about the nerdy socks bit.

chan said...

David still wears clothes he wore in highschool! Your whole blog sounded like you were explaining my husband! He hates shopping and if he needs new clothes, then I usually go buy them myself because it is a pain dragging him everywhere because he hates it so much. The thing with the holes in the pants....David gets a ton of holes, and STILL wears the pants! I don't know how one person can get so many holes in his clothes! Oh well. I love him anyway!

Tracy M said...

You are SO not alone in your boat! I do the circus of bringing things home, trying them one, then taking them back TOO! ugh.

He never likes what I pick out, but no way will he go shopping.

And I so do feel like when he looks like a ragmuffin, it reflects on my wife-liness. Why is this?

BTW, got a small, unexploding box together for you tonight...

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