Life in black & white – L&M style

‘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 hurry up and post them to me!

49 comments

  1. Loved it :-)))))))))))))))))))

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  2. I must be turning slow and lazy (and I am only in the middle of my life!) for how could I miss such an amazing piece! My sides are still cracking for laughing :)! You’ve given me an insight into what must be going on in my wife’s mind when I behave in eerily similar manner. But tell you what, Zephyr, its all in the mind! Some garments simply sit easily on our egos where others fail. Unfortunately, the truth cannot be discovered unless they forge an entry in the wardrobe.

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  3. One of my brothers is a fuss pot, and all of us at home have other urgent, important, life saving work to do when he wants to shop. Once, I actually ran away to Pune for a weekend to avoid going shopping with him. 😀

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    1. Don’t tell me! Leaving town to avoid the agony of shopping with your brother! And they say women are fussy shoppers 🙂

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  4. This is my first visit here.Luv ur blogging and posts.I saw such things taking place in movies (like ‘Father of the Bride’) alone.Have Fun!.

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    1. Welcome here Christy and thanks for your feedback. It is far from fun sometimes, but looking at life with humour helps, doesn’t it? 🙂

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  5. Elder Brat · · Reply

    Oh God! I am becoming like that! Black trousers & White shirts. It’s an effort to wear trousers of other colours!! The wife already has horror stories to share I think 🙂

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    1. I am sure she has. 🙂 From the comments of other women, I think it is universal. Do you also shop for useless things? I must talk to Vidya. 😀

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  6. Delhizen · · Reply

    This is hilarious!! Chithi I can so relate to L&M.. buying the same sort of jeans just that I prefer black over blue. I just can’t resist from picking up the combo offer stuff or things you get at a bargain price…
    I don’t even buy stuff for our house but will pick up combo soaps, and even harpic with odonil pack.

    I have to meet him!!!

    and do you know there is a concept of comfort clothing… the old, thousand time washes pair of trousers and jeans is so much more comfy and soft !!

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    1. what do you do with harpic with odonil? 😀 I guess it is comfort clothing. But in formal wear too? 😛

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  7. My wife complains that I am hoarding all the old clothes that don’t fit anymore. She doesn’t believe that one day I will go to gym:)

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    1. And of course you will. By the time she is my age, she would have understood that, don’t worry. Maybe you could read what the L&M does about exercising and how i cope in : https://cybernag.in/2010/08/fat-to-fit-and-vice-versa/ 😀

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  8. Hahah! Remember the time when bought a set of new combs? And he was so proud he got them for a bargain of 10 bucks? We did use those btw!
    But as he has grown old, he has learnt to add to his black trousers – Now he has black stripes, and other patterns in black.

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    1. Do I remember! We couldn’t use them all. I had to throw away a couple since even the maid didn’t find any use for those 😀 the stripes are practically incvisible. anyway, stripes or not, black they are. 😛

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  9. Hah 😀
    Very funny:)
    I can relate to this in many ways as my elder brother is almost the same!!!
    Very nicely written, enjoyed reading it!
    Have a fabulous week ahead Zephyr:)

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    1. Thanks Arti. I think those who conduct studies don’t take a representative sample, do they? I think I will start my own study 🙂

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  10. That was fun though i know am laughing at your expense literally:-) However this is the situation i least identify with as my husband is exactly the opposite – if not for me he would have not shopped at all and waited for the shirt or pant to fall off for him to realize he needs a new pair.

    So sorry cant advice!!!:-)

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    1. They do go to the extremes don’t they? 😀 I try to be indulgent except when I am really driven up the wall 😛

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  11. Ha ha! Very entertaining to read your experiences in going shopping with your L&M!

    I wish I could offer some solutions, but I have no experience of this! My husband is just the opposite- he is very reluctant to come shopping and even when he does come, he is out of the store in five minutes flat! 😀

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    1. There was a time when he was not so choosy, but as he grows older, his preferences are becoming more and more picky. Believe me, it is not at all funny when you sit there waiting for yet another trouser show outside the trial room!

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  12. Wow, this is quite funny :). I frankly have no suggestions to offer. I haven’t encountered this with my husband. Though, I have seen that defiant look flash when I say something is really bad and he says I will take it :). Also, this spotting a bargain thing is what my husband does too. My antidote is I say, you got it, you figure out a way to use it, don’t bother me. That has curbed it to some extent, not totally, because he is still a sucker for good bargains!

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    1. Yeah, the defiant look! The first time I saw it, I was so thrilled to have discovered the right words to stop his trial room hopping. But tell me are your husband’s bargain buys as terrible as the L&M’s? A fly swatter, for heaven’s sake! 😀

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  13. I would so love to meet L&M,we could be partners in crime when it comes to shopping in super markets.I find it hard to resist “things-on-offer”.
    And I know some one else who searches for that oh-so-perfect pair of trousers;my dad.But his choices come in technicolor.Now he has stopped hopping around dressing rooms.He found himself a tailor who makes alterations for him.So time to go “tailor-hunting”.

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    1. Perish the thought, unless you offer to take ALL the junk you both together might end up buying in bargains! Wow, technicolour clothes? Sounds interesting. Tailor hopping is worse. My brother used to do it when he was younger till he decided he would stitch his own clothes, but that’s another story 🙂

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  14. My son keeps on buying new dresses but wears the older one only!

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    1. See, someone should do a proper study of the shopping patterns of men and women. The one I referred to seems to all wrong 🙂

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  15. Ha ha…good one !
    As always love your L&M posts !!

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    1. Thank you Chitra 🙂

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  16. Thank God I dont have to go shopping with hubby! these guys do have a fascination for B&W! can so relate to the state of the ONE pant or shirt he wants to wear! but he thankfully shops alone… he never comes along with me, and thankfully doesnt ask me to come along when he wants something! else would go nuts!

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    1. The L&M never enjoys anything alone. He needs company, preferably me 🙂 and clothes shopping is no fun if I am not there to see him in all his black and white finery, is it? Going nuts is some stage I have long passed 😀

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  17. Men, clothes, fashion and shopping somehow never go together…

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    1. What? But my L&M loves shopping, for his clothes and useless things, of course 😀

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  18. Organize a buy and get one free drive…The fly swatter with trouser number 1…Foot massager with pair number 2….

    And soon you will have a fan club dedicated to you.

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  19. muhahaha.. i cant stand shopping. hence i outsource it.. now i wear stuff gifted to me coz i wont go shopping even if my life depends on it… 😀

    😀 amma, plz to be gifting a white shirt for me 😛

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    1. How many of you will get into it? 😀 😀

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  20. You two are the most adorable pair in town. And does L&M behave like a child just for your benefit, so that his dear M can dedicate another post to him?

    L&M tum sangharsh karo hum tumhare saath hai!!!

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    1. What is this? I ask for help and the L&M gets support! This is not fair 😛 Do you at least have any suggestions for all the useless bargain stuff sitting in the house?

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  21. I hear you…i so hear you!!!

    I mean all the shirts look the same, all the pants look the same, hell even the shoes look the same.

    Phew shopping for men is soo boring!

    And impulse – shopping well the Tall one came back the other day with these weird covers for all the food dabbas…apparently the current covers dont do a good job!

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    1. I must say that the L&M has quite some company and of younger men too! He would be thrilled and give me the ‘now-you-don’t-bug-me’ look. covers for food dabbas? That sounds weirder than the stuff L&M brings 😀

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  22. hahaha… let him be! Who knows he might get suspicious and not indulge anymore wondering something is wrong. 🙂

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    1. Fat chance of that happening. he has developed several layers of skin what with my constant digs at the habit. btw., he wore a brown (a rarity) trouser from some past shopping adventure. i saw him hitching it up several times as he left. Guess he has read the post 😀

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  23. and does your L&M meet my RD to strategize….oh I can so understand that black trousers thing…RD wants to wear just that jeans..despite having like a 100 pairs…it gets on to my nerves..we are leaving for Baroda today night and he washes it today morning, switches on the fan the whole day to dry it..takes it to the iron man, gets it iron and then wears it only to crumple it during the overnight journey..whats the point, I ask you..whats the point!

    and that ek pe ek free! lets not even get into that..my BP rises like crazy!!

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    1. Hmmm, that doesn’t sound plausible, but it means that this is a man thing and someone should study this habit, isn’t it? Does the favourite pair of jeans also have darned holes and mended stitches? And don’t tell me RD is a sucker for bargains too! 😀

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  24. Haha..this reminds me of my husband in some ways..he drives me nuts when we go shopping for him as he will try the same thing in at least half a dozen shops and come back right to the first one and finally buy the stuff…by that time I am tired and irritable and we end up arguing…

    I am the wrong person to give you any advice 😛

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    1. And they call women indecisive. Bah! I have many more years of experience and so have developed tolerance and stoic acceptance 😀 But even I can’t avoid the irritability and anger sometimes, not that it makes any difference to him of course 😛

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  25. have fun!! 🙂

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    1. And I thought you were my friend 😛

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