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Jewish World Review
Sept. 25, 2009
/ 7 Tishrei 5770
Men happily threaded to old clothes
A United Kingdom poll found that women spend one year of their lives deciding what clothes to wear, 15 minutes a week chatting with friends on the phone about clothes and 16 minutes a week talking to their male partners about clothes.
A woman may spend 16 minutes a week talking to her man about clothes, but I guarantee you it's not about her clothes, it's about his.
I can also tell you that these are short conversations that never end well.
I know a woman who threw out a pair of her husband's sweat pants that he had hung onto from college 20 years ago. That woman's one small purge was followed by a 2-minute conversation and nine weeks of marriage counseling.
Women may have more clothes than men, but men have greater attachments to their clothes.
What male hasn't argued that his old underwear is "perfectly fine"? Every man has a favorite sweater that no longer holds its shape, a lucky shirt that looks like it fell on hard times, and, at the back of the closet, the best jacket ever made.
I've quit arguing with the husband about his socks with bare heels and holes in the toes. When I suggest ditching the socks, you'd think I was asking him to get rid of the family dog.
The husband also believes you haven't really gotten your money's worth out of your shoes until there is at least one hole in the sole and the front end begins to flap.
He is not alone. The last time I saw my brother he introduced me to Shoe Goo. It's a tube of gunk that will help hold your shoes together. I am certain it was invented by a man.
Once a year I initiate a conversation with the husband concerning his grungy worn-out T-shirts. I'm nearly always beaten by the 2-minute mark.
"Don't tell me you want to get rid of those!" he says, as though there is no end to the ways I squander money. "I'll use them when I mow!"
The last time he wore one of those old T-shirts to mow, he made $12 from passing motorists and a woman in a mini-van tossed him a bag from Burger King.
If the man ever wore all the old clothes he claims he's saving for work clothes at one time, he couldn't do anything outside until the temperature was below zero. He'd also have on so many layers he wouldn't be able to bend at the waist.
The husband has a maroon corduroy shirt hanging in our closet with a rip down the back. The corduroy is worn to the point of thread bare. I am not to touch it as it is his favorite "raking leaves" shirt.
There is an identical corduroy shirt, albeit in green, hanging in the hall closet that is also so worn that both elbows have disintegrated. It, too, is his favorite "raking leaves" shirt.
I've considered asking him to get rid of one of the shirts, but it would be easier if we simply moved to a climate where fall comes twice a year.
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© 2009, Lori Borgman
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