For the most part, my wife and I quite compatible.
We share the same political views and have the same attitude toward raising kids. We rarely argue over anything significant and we love movies, riding bikes, reading … you get the picture.
Two peas in a pod.
We agree on so many things that we’ve lived together in near perfect harmony for the past 17 years.
Okay, I’m lying. It’s not really been as smooth as all that. We’ve had our differences, especially when it comes to fashion.
For instance, fifteen years ago while on a road trip to Pittsburgh, I found the most amazing pair of red, white and blue madras plaid shorts . I discovered them hanging on a rack in what my wife told me was the “mature men’s department.”
I loved them.
My wife, on the other hand, was horrified. And when I stepped up to the cash register to buy them (and the batteries that came separately), she distanced herself from me in a clear attempt to say “I’m not really with that man.”
What she didn’t realize was that these would become my favorite shorts of all-time. They gained this status because they were the kind of shorts that get you noticed. I know this because, 15 years ago, I was always getting comments every time I wore them, which made her protests all the more puzzling.
When her obvious disgust and silent contempt didn’t dissuade me from wearing them, she tried to make sarcastic jokes.
“Really? You are wearing them again?” she would ask giving me her best “you can’t be serious” look.
Or she’d say something like, “Looks like you need to put them back on their charger. The batteries are dying.”
This went on for two summers. And then the shorts simply disappeared.
At first, I thought I’d misplaced them. For several years after their loss, I even spent the beginning of each summer fruitlessly looking for them. And, when I’d ask my wife, there was always innocent denial.
“I haven’t seen them for a long time, honey. Did you check the pile in the back of the closet? That’s where you throw everything else.”
Eventually, I began to fear they were moldering away in a landfill somewhere. And then I simply gave up on them.
But I shouldn’t have.
After at least a dozen years of wondering just what happened to my beloved shorts, they made their reappearance during last minute preparations for this year’s annual neighborhood yard sale.
My wife claims she was looking for stuff to sell and “found” them at the bottom of the footlocker in the darkest corner of our basement.
That’s what she “claims.” But I find it suspicious that two house moves later, they magically re-appeared.
Personally, I think she was feeling guilty for hiding them and had a moment of weakness. Besides, if she really thought she could sell them, I think she would have. However, she apparently decided that nobody would ever buy them, and brought them upstairs and into the light of day once more.
“I found these in the basement,” she said tossing them to me, with a forced smile on her face. “I figured you’d want them. Can you believe they’re actually in style now?”
She acted like she was just as surprised to find them as I was to have them back. It must have taken a lot out of her.
I was ecstatic. I wanted to put them on immediately but they smelled a little moldy so I threw them in the washing machine and prayed they weren’t so dry-rotted that they fell apart. They weren’t. They held together. And within a couple hours after their initial reappearance, I was sporting them, again.
The first person I came across was my soon-to-be nine-year-old daughter. I spread my arms wide and said, “What do you think? Do you like them? These are my favorite shorts of all-time!”
She gave me kind of a sick look that said, “Really?” before turning on her heel and acting like she didn’t know me.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. She’s just like her mother