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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Black Tuesday: Journey to the Dark Side of Retail

Ladies, I have gone over to the other side. After deliberating about it for a long time (Is it the right thing to do? What would it mean for our relationship? Would he start calling me mother?), and after my father-in-law pulled me aside when my sister-in-law was in labor to tell me that he was appalled by my husband's wardrobe, I decided it was time for me to step over to the dark side.

I have started buying my husband's clothes.

And guess what? It's actually kind of fun. First of all, men's clothes are pretty simple; you've got pants, shirts, and jackets--that's it. Second, the men's department is practically deserted. Third, the sales guys tend to be gay and they actually enjoy discussing the merits of french vs. traditional cuffs. And fourth, I like clothes. I should have done this years ago.

The problem is that whenever I think about buying clothes for my husband, the image of my old, portly boss comes to mind. This guy had been married since he was eighteen, and his wife bought all of his clothes. One day he asked her what size underwear he wore; he had seen some for sale at Costco (where else?) and thought he might get them. She told him, "You don't want to know." And she wouldn't tell him!

I don't want to end up being a control freak about Mike's wardrobe and I'm certainly not going to shield him from the horrible truth about his girth (if it comes to that), but I finalized my decision to buy him some new clothes after I put together my outfit for the Google holiday party. Mind you, I don't get out much to formal or even semi-formal affairs, so I've been thinking about this holiday party for--oh--a year or so. But because of NaNoWriMo, I didn't have time to shop for a dress until yesterday. This was a little nerve-wracking since the party is in three days, but I braved the mall (with kids in tow!) and walked away with this beautiful number:

It looks this good on me except it goes down to my ankles because I don't have six-foot long legs.

After I got the dress, I had to get a velvet stole to wear around my shoulders and the appropriate jewelry. I've been thinking about make-up (yes), stockings (no), and hair-do (hot rollered with either one rhinestone bobby pin or a thin headband) for days. Tomorrow I'm getting a mani/pedi and I'm contemplating a spray tan although I'm worried I'll end up like Ross in that Friends episode when he accidentally gets over-sprayed. Wish me luck.

Anyway, I've had our babysitter reserved for a month, but I only started thinking about what Mike was going to wear yesterday. Which is when I realized that his one suit WAS ALL WRONG. And so was his shirt. And don't even get me started on his collection of stained ties leftover from the nineties. Everything was wrong and had to change. Now.

That's when I got his sizes; I now have them on a little piece of paper in my wallet. I took the kids back to the mall, and bought him what I consider to be basics for any man's wardrobe: black wool pants, dark grey wool pants, two white dress shirts, two red patterned ties. I also got him an off-white dress shirt with french cuffs to go with the brown suit he already owns.

So at the party, I will be wearing the fabu dress pictured above and he will be wearing black pants, a white dress shirt with a subtle diagonal stitching, and a crimson tie with a swirly pattern. Unfortunately, he's going to be freezing because we don't have time to get him fitted for a matching jacket. Hey, being fashionable comes at a price.

Good lord, what have I become.

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