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Stroppy Teen, Snazzy Dressing & Plain White Shoes (Or How To Piss Your Partner Off In 5, 4, 3….)

I missed a day, I know… it couldn’t be helped. Shit got to me and Bear and I almost had a row. And the stress made me feel like crap. Sometimes his teenage rebellion bullshit can be wearing. We’re going to my sister’s wedding next month and Bear doesn’t want to wear a suit. He’s never worn a suit in his life and he’s decided they’re uncomfortable and the more he thinks about having to wear a suit the more sulky he gets. I asked what he wanted to wear and he tells me that’s beside the point. He has to dress formally, but he doesn’t wanna. And he doesn’t wanna go shopping and have to pay a fortune for clothes he doesn’t wanna wear. Yes, he actually said wanna… like a stroppy 15 year old… at 52.! “I don’t wanna”… Give me strength.!!

I really don’t see the issue. It’s a wedding. He hasn’t been to one since he was 23… and he didn’t wear a suit to it because it was a Dutch wedding and they don’t do formal. Us English do, and my sister does and Bear’s not wearing jeans and a fucking band t-shirt to it and I don’t give a shit how sulky he gets. A line has been drawn and he’s damn well going to toe it.! So after telling him to wear whatever the fuck he wants or stay the fuck at home and going upstairs to make our bed and bursting into tears, he comes up after me and says he didn’t mean he didn’t want to look nice for the wedding, just that he’s not looking forward to having to dress up in clothes that are just not him. How the fuck does he know they’re not ‘him’ when he’s never worn anything like it before.

Just because he’s spent the past 50+ years dossing around in jeans and a t-shirt doesn’t mean that’s his one and only style of dressing. I pointed out that he had shirts, and smart jeans and he liked wearing those, to which he said he did, after wearing such ‘formal’ wear to a dinner out with colleagues a few years ago, and leaving their jaws hanging when they saw how well he brushes up when he makes the effort. It boosted his ego and he happily wore smart jeans and a shirt to Christmas meals with his family. So why the issue now. Eventually, he decided he wanted to go to Maastricht to look in the ‘posh’ shops, because he didn’t think he’d find anything in his size here in town. So we drove to Maastricht, parked up and took the park and ride into the centre.

The very first men’s outfitters we tried, the clerk took one look at Bear and recommended another outfitters, he wasn’t even going to try and persuade us that he had anything that would fit him. So we went off down the High street to the most expensive place in town, who had nothing we could afford… and only two jackets that fit Bear but were really not him. Plain dark colours are not him at all and that’s pretty much all any of the suit stores had, so we stopped at a bar and had a beer and a burger, and got to thinking about what else we could do in town now we were here… and decided on the bookstore that we both love… it used to be a church, and the old building has been renovated and made safe with no alterations to it’s structure or any of the old flagstone floor.

It’s a gloriously beautiful Gothic building and it now houses a three storey bookstore, at which we found Bear a Marvel Encyclopedia and me a complete collection of Alice In Wonderland, with colour illustrations from the original artist, John Tenniel. I had the story in a huge book when I was very young, along with Through The Looking Glass, but the illustrations were in black and white. It’s lovely to have them in colour. Wandering back through town, looking up at the old Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings that line the High street, a mannequin in a white floral shirt and tan waistcoat caught my eye and I stopped to see what else was in the store, to spot a red, rose print shirt further inside, so we went in. What a great store.!!

So many colourful print shirts, just the sort of thing Bear would look amazing in… and he did.! The red, rose print looked great on him, red is so his colour. And the same print in black looked really good, as did a mid-blue with a small gold floral print on the sides. I was so into finding shirts for Bear to try and discovered an alcove filled with suits, so picked out a red and mid-grey patterned suit that would go with the black rose print. Bear decided to see it as a costume for a costume party, rather than a more formal clothing, and eventually found some enthusiasm in the admiring looks and encouragement the Italian shop manageress was giving him. He does like to be the centre of attention when the attention’s good and she was earning her money like a Boss.

She came up with shirts in his size, decided which jackets would fit him perfectly and stroked his ego like a pro… in an hour she had him in a jacket and trousers, two different styles of shirt and his whole demeanour was much improved from the ‘nothing’s gonna fit and it’ll all be too expensive anyway’ sulky attitude to a much sunnier disposition that saw him checking out other suit colours and shirts and smiling a lot and being very agreeable. That lady’s getting a five star review. After we were both happy with the suit, I managed to persuade him into buying decent leather shoes, explaining that his brown floral patterned cowboy boots really wouldn’t go and once we got home, tired, aching but a little more jovial, he tried the whole outfit on.

He looked just as I knew he would… jaw-droppingly gorgeous and the whole lot came to less than he would have paid for just a jacket in the ‘posh’ outfitters. So he was happy about that, and so was his mother when I sent her the photos of him dressed up, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She’d never seen him in a suit and said she was really impressed and that he looked sharp. Which is an old fashioned English expression for those of you not sure what the hell that means. We bought a present from the wedding gift list on my sister’s wedding website and ordered a dress that I found online, because the gorgeous floral jumpsuit I found before wasn’t in my size, and they might not have my size in before the wedding, so I went to my plan B… which just might get me a new tattoo.! 😀

Printed with tattoo designs

Then we looked at shoes for me, because I only have boots… and the lace ruffled boots I found before were no longer viable, seeing as I’ll be wearing a dress and not trousers. Bear loved the wingtip/brogue heels I found before, but hated the white strappy Flapper heels I liked, which caused some upset, mainly because he doesn’t think before he opens his mouth and he came out with “I expected better from you.” The Fuck.!! Seeing the closed, pinched and very pissed off look on my face, realisation dawned and he quickly explained that he hadn’t meant it how it sounded, what he meant was that he saw nothing special in plain white shoes, you could get plain white shoes anywhere, why did I like those particular shoes.?

What’s wrong with these.?

Mainly because I used to have a pair in my late 20’s and loved them and these looked very similar. Apparently that’s not a good enough reason. Plain white shoes are not me… so back to looking for something ‘special’. *sigh*

claytoonz

Nationally Syndicated Editorial Cartoonist

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