Friday, October 10, 2008

Mr Sam and the Fiasco of the Slacks




In news that has nothing to do with the slacks, I can hear a big flock of geese out my window, honking, announcing their flight South. And yesterday, the Sam and I went to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plains. Pretty pretty. Some pictures. The first one represents our best attempts to take a picture of ourselves. Notice all the trees we managed to include ...

Now, the fiasco: This morning Sam tried to wear a pair of black pants to work. He prefers jeans, but a while back I bought him a nice shiny new pair from Kohl's and I've been whining a little that he hadn't worn them much, especially since they've caused a fair bit of hassle. (No, they aren't actually shiny.)

What happened was, I bought the pants. And they were on clearance, so I got the NICER pair, because my bargain hunting sometimes frightens Sam. I brought them home and presented them triumphantly, like a caveman presenting his woolly mammoth kill.

Now. When I get new clothes, even when I'm the one who bought them and tried them on in the store, I try them on again with the clothes I have at home, check out my butt in the mirror, make sure everything's a-okay. If the clothes suddenly seem less then perfect, if my butt feels unflattered, no problem. I simply return the clothes. Returning clothes is almost more fun than buying them in the first place, when you're a deja. I get to take them back and get DIFFERENT clothes, with money that feels free because I spent it yesterday. This is how I shop: returning about 50-75% of what I get on the first run. It pleases me.

I'm learning this is not Sam's way, and perhaps it's not the way of the husband, in general. His pretty black slacks sat on top of his dresser for days until I straightened the room and hung them up in the closet. Then one morning, he put them on, conducted his odd maneuver of holding up his pants while holding down his underwear and tucking in his shirt, and went to find his shoes. To my dismay, his pretty black pants were too short. He thought nothing of it, changed slacks, and put those ones back on top of the dresser. Aside from the fact I did a bad job at buying the man clothes, I didn't mind the thought of returning them. Except for one glitch: he'd tossed the tags.

Another element of me as shopper: I'm fastidious about tags. I don't take them off until it's actually time to leave the house and I'm really REALLY sure I want the item. Sam cuts them all off and chucks them before he's even tried the clothes on. This is very strange business.

I looked for the tags, hunted in every wastebasket, examined every counter top. No sign of them. I was devastated. Here was forty bucks, essentially, just sitting on the dresser, nonredeemable. I'm embarrassed to say how much it distressed me. I mean, I think I lost sleep over those pants. Sam, on the other hand, remained unfazed. He said he'd give me the forty bucks if it would make me feel better. But now that we're married, that doesn't help much.

So I decided to try to take them back to Kohl's anyway, throw myself on their mercy, plead clueless husband. And for the record, they were very kind. They would have let me make the return, but they said they actually didn't carry those pants, didn't have that brand in their store at all, as far as they knew. I was huffy; I was rude; I insisted that they did. They told me I was welcome to search the store. If I found the same pants, I could return mine.

Oh I searched and searched. Never has a woman been so determined. But I finally had to admit they appeared to be right: if they had ever carried that brand, they did not now. So much for clearance shopping.

I remained defeated in this slacks fiasco until later that week, when I was straightening up the bedroom again, and I decided to re-hang the poor pants, in hopes that maybe someday I'd be smart enough to let out the hem, or that maybe Sam would shrink or something. And I noticed: those were not the size numbers I had so carefully selected. We'd had a big conversation about how men sizes work, how to pick the right one, etc before I went shopping, and these, these were not those numbers. I went to the closet, flipped through a few hangers, and found the BEAUTIFUL shiny slacks I bought in the FIRST place. The TRUE pants, with their slick black tags still perfectly afixed, and their righteous size numbers clearly proclaimed. What a moment of bliss that was.

By the by, they fit beautifully.

But what I don't understand: how could someone, anyone, put on an OLD pair of pants, and think they had the new one? Are new clothes not one of the purest joys, and can't one tell when fresh fabric enfolds the skin? How could one not notice the taglessness? Sigh. The husband is a strange creature.

7 comments:

Kira said...

Lee thinks it is humiliating to return ANYTHING, me I took back mango salsa yesterday to Costco because, "I thought it didn't taste right". Lee cannot imagine doing that and makes me go alone. I have been in retail a LONG time. I know THEY prefer you are happy. You will never understand them, don't try. As for clothes I used to try but the only time he didn't complain and would actually wear them is when I bought the Wranglers at Wal-mart....yes I know.... I have given up.

Amara said...

How funny. Jeff is the same way. He bought a CHAINSAW (MAN I use a lot of capitals typing online), which was like 120.00, tried it, and it fell apart in 30 seconds. But he wouldn't return it. I said I'D return it and take the money and did. Same thing with a case of beans I'd bought for food storage that was the wrong kind. He didn't want me to return them. It was a CASE. I went back and they switched for the right kind in 2 seconds. It's hard to teach shopping experience. It has to be ...experienced I guess.

eden said...

that's hilarious dej. thanks for sharing and i'm glad the pants are perfect!

Jamie said...

Haha. Imagine if you had found the same brand of pants at Kohl's, and managed to return OLD pants for new pants. Now that would be a great bargain.

Wise Family said...

Men are not genetically predisposed to shopping. At least that's been my experience. Case in point, when I go grocery shopping for instance, it's automatic that I scan the competition, narrow it down based on price (how much per oz.?) and the look of quality, then pick one of the top three items, look at its ingredients (okay, no msg, corn syrup, organic? ect.), then if passes that test, I look at the other two, and then pick a winner. I do this for every item. My husband's method is simple: He wants strawberry jam? He picks the first one he sees and chucks it in the cart and he's on his merry way. Details really aren't that big a deal in a guys head, I suppose. Funny story though, you should compile all of these happenings into a memoir. I'd buy it.

Bryson & Tara said...

I love this story! Just wait...you'll discover just how different these husbands are from us...

Meeshab said...

Nate does this too. Rips all of the tags off first thing, then tells me he hates them all. Aggghhhhh