‘I have nothing to wear!’
No, that was not the Nag, but her very own L&M wailing in front of his wardrobe.
I am chopping onions but the tears are not caused by them. I dread these times in the mornings when he is getting ready to go out. Like the true better half, I rush to his aid. There he is, towel wrapped round his midriff, rifling through his wardrobe. I peer in. I see black and white – black trousers and white shirts, dozens of them.
‘What are those? You have so many trousers and shirts, all washed and pressed…’ before I complete the sentence he began wailing again.
‘I can’t find my black trousers!’
‘Which one?’ I could see two rows of clothes in the wardrobe – black trousers and white shirts. And honestly I can’t find any difference between one black trouser and another.
I know the answer. He wants the one that I had washed that very morning.
‘Why can’t you wear another one? Don’t tell me they are not good enough.’
He roughly pulls out one; ‘This one is loose;’ yanks another: ‘and this one is too tight;’ ‘and this looks old!’ Why didn’t you ask me before washing that one?’
I was losing my temper. Something had started burning in the kitchen. ‘For your information, you had put it in the wash,’ I pointed out through gritted teeth.
The problem with the L&M is that no matter how many trousers he has, he wears only ONE pair. He keeps buying them periodically but consigns them to the far recesses of the wardrobe till he comes across the one that is perfect! I would say that one in four make the grade. And then that poor pair is worn to tatters literally. The one in the wash has a tear near the ankle that he insisted on getting darned because it was such a good pair!
So what happens to the ones he doesn’t wear, you ask? Every few months, they are pulled out and distributed to the gleeful watchman, kachrawala and sundry other workers and labourer, who are happily seen sporting brand new premium brands of clothes!
You won’t believe when I say that I wake up each morning dreading to hear the deadly words: ‘I need to buy some clothes.’ It wouldn’t be so bad if he went by himself, but he wouldn’t go without me in tow.
Shopping with the L&M can be nerve-wracking and you will know why presently. For one, I can’t make out one black from another. I mean there is just black, right? But for him there is a black, black and a black and they are all different if you please. No, there is no subtle difference in shade, one is not deeper or lighter than the other but they are still different in his eyes. Maybe women’s eyes can only discern colours and not black and white. Somebody should take up research in this subject.
All you men, who look for sympathy because you have to wait for ages as your wife/GF tries on umpteen dresses, let me tell you it is nothing compared to my ordeal. At least you can look at colourful clothes and admire her in different dresses. Look at me! All I get to see are black trousers and more black trousers.
He would make the salesman take out ALL of the said trousers in his size and insist on trying them all.
He: how is this one?
Me: (trying to stifle a yawn) Hmmm, looks ok.
This reply would instantly make him doubtful. He would turn this way and that in front of the mirror and shake his head, snatching another pair and disappearing into the trial room. I would sigh.
Half a dozen trials later I have finally hit upon the solution and am ready for the next one.
‘Look at this one!’
‘Well…..turn around! Hmm…it looks a little tight here, don’t you think?’ I point to a spot, trying to look dead serious, brows knitted and all.
He looks suspiciously at me but I am all earnestness. He pirouettes on his toes like a ballerina and disappears into the trial room. I do a silent jig and grin to myself as I pick my handbag from the floor and collect my other things. Time to go. I am hungry!
‘Come on!’ The L&M comes out holding the trousers he had just tried on.
‘Aren’t you trying another one? That one looked tight…’
‘No. This is perfect. I am taking it,’ he looks at me defiantly daring me to contradict him.
Me contradict him? Are you kidding?
Thank God, he doesn’t shop for shirts today. Otherwise I would have to endure the same thing with white shirts. I mean plain white shirts – not striped, not checked or any other pattern. And you men crib about sitting outside trial rooms getting bored? Hah!
But, armed with my new weapon to make him select his clothes fast, I am bold enough to ask, ‘Why don’t you buy some shirts too?’
I read somewhere that women are impulsive shoppers and men are the prudent ones. The study has not included the L&M or it would have skewed the findings. When we go to the departmental stores to buy grocery, I wear invisible blinkers that prevent me from even glancing at the shelves stocking stuff I don’t need. But the man who misses a jar full of laddoos sitting right in front of him, can spot a bargain several aisles away, never mind if we need it or will use it ever.
I can show you shelves full of stuff in the house that is begging to be used. This is what he does: I would quickly finish my shopping and push the cart to the check out counter but the L&M would have vanished. He would emerge in a while bearing some trophy or the other. Sometimes, he would wait for me to be looking the other way before he hurriedly shoved some useless purchase under the grocery pile in the cart. Things he has bought till date include: tiny Rexene pillows that one uses in car seats (buy one get one free); a kilo of honey (100 gm free); four litres of juice (buy 3 get one free); a fly swatter (liked the look of it!); an acupressure foot massager (the fourth one in the house, none of them being used); a frightfully expensive bath towel (to spread on the mat while doing his yoga) – you get the idea, don’t you?
And then finally just before the clerk rings up the bill, he would come running with a pack of popcorn or munchies – ‘to snack on the way back.’
I never had trouble with the brats because back then departmental stores were in their infancy and even otherwise, I would have been able to exercise some control over them. But what do I do with the L&M?
Guys do you have any suggestions? If you do, please hurry up and post them to me!