Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Next time we'll be packing earlier
The most comical part of our trip to visit family happened before we even left the house. I had packed the afternoon before we left, agonizing over such decisions as to whether I should wear the blue dress or the red dress. (I went with the red.) Husband didn’t get home from work until 7PM, and then he didn’t start packing until closer to 8PM. I was doing a few last-minute tasks around the house, when I heard this question from the other room: “Hey, what do you think I should wear to the anniversary party?” Hmm…good question. I knew that I was wearing a dress, but I wasn’t sure what the men would be wearing. So I called my Dad. “Oh, I’m definitely wearing a nice suit. You know, it’s a big celebration and a family event, so definitely a suit.” Of course. A suit. So I passed my Dad’s advice to Husband, and he looked in the closet for his hang-up bag that held his suit. It wasn’t there. We searched in every closet, confident that it would turn up. But it was nowhere to be found. Come to think of it, neither one of us remembers seeing it since we moved into this new house. By now, it’s 9PM, exactly 9 hours before our plane departs, and Husband has nothing to wear for the big celebration. Husband then started looking in completely irrational spots – under the bed, under the couch – with the frantic desperation that could only come from the anxiety of seeing your relatively new in-laws and wanting to make a good impression. Finally, I told Husband, probably in the same gentle tone a doctor delivers bad news to his patient, “I’m sorry…it’s gone.” How we lost a suit, I’ll never know. I figure it must be somewhere between our last duty station and this duty station. But we still had to figure something out. I told Husband that he had two choices at this point, either wear his military dress uniform or call his buddy and ask to borrow his suit. He groaned at hearing both of those options, but decided to call his friend. He held the phone in his hand and physically grimaced as if he just ate a dozen lemons. Then he sighed and dialed the number. I don’t think I fully grasp the extent of humiliation that must have been involved for him to make that call. (Husband made it clear that men do not “share pants.”) But still, he raced over to his friend’s place and returned home with the suit. He tried it on. Though I really wanted to pretend it looked great, it did not. His friend, though he seems roughly the same size as Husband, is actually a good bit larger. In short, Husband looked like the “after” of a weight loss commercial, wearing his oversized “before” pants and a suit jacket that also looked three sizes too big. He struggled with the belt and tried folding parts of the pants, but it just wasn’t going to work. Unless he wanted to pretend he was Jared from Subway-diet fame. I tried so hard not to laugh, but I burst out laughing. And Husband laughed, too. Finally, we found an ensemble that worked. Husband wore a dark pair of pants (we couldn’t decide if they were “faded black” or navy), a white shirt, and his friend’s tie. We made our plane and arrived at my grandparents’ home. We talked to my mom about the attire for the event. “Why would Dad tell him to wear a suit? Regular slacks and a shirt work just fine.” Regardless, I think there’s a valuable lesson here. We probably shouldn’t pack again at the last minute. Or, maybe the lesson is that my Dad shouldn’t be the first person we talk to when we need fashion advice.