Slipping Into Something Comfortable

By Jeffery Cohen

Ahhhhh. I can’t help but smile when I slip on a T-shirt that’s been washed more than a hundred times. It’s faded, the collar is fraying, and it is stretched out just enough. To me it is the picture of comfort. To my wife, it’s a shredded rag that should have been tossed long ago.

I have always been willing to concede that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. We are different. There is no doubt about that. Our logic, our emotions, our approach to life can be at opposite ends of the spectrum. And when it comes to clothes, the difference couldn’t be clearer.

When I need a new suit, I go to the store, head straight for the men’s department, pick out a suit I like, and I try it on. If it fits, I buy it. I’m done. In less than thirty minutes I’m back in the car headed for home with my new suit.

When my wife needs a new dress we head for the women’s department. On the way to that department, my wife stops in the kid’s department just to see if there is anything new my grand kids might like. Then we swing by the housewares, appliances, cosmetics, perfumes, and she even throws in a loop around the power tools shop for my benefit, even though I have zero interest in ever building anything. It could take hours before we actually get to the dress department that we originally started out for. Then my wife proceeds to look at every… and I do mean EVERY dress on EVERY rack. I watch her with curiosity as she eyes each garment. When she gets to the party dresses that are mini length, sequin-covered with a neck line that plunges to somewhere around the navel, dresses that are obviously designed for a twenty-year-old, I lean in and ask her if she’s actually considering buying one of them. She shrugs and says, “Just looking.” That was the same thing she said when she eyeballed the chainsaws in the heavy equipment department we passed through an hour ago.

After examining every garment in the place, she decides to try on “a couple,” which actually turns out to be a couple of dozen. Unlike me, who will try something on and ask her how it looks before making a final decision, she has no interest whatsoever in my fashion opinion. She will try dress after dress, waltz in front of the mirror, shake her head with disapproval, then disappear back into the dressing room. After exhausting the store’s supply of merchandise and a good portion of my patience, she informs me that there is nothing here for her. I always hope that means that we are done, but I know in my heart of hearts, it’s just the beginning. There are still a slew of stores she wants to get to. We traipse around from one store to the next until she finally notices my impatience, rolls her eyes and says, “Alright, I can see this isn’t your cup of tea. Let’s go home. I’ll have to come back by myself when I can shop!” I wonder what we’ve been doing for the past six hours.

My wife actually believes that the reason that I avoid buying new clothes is because I don’t like to shop. I will be the first to admit that shopping is at the very end of my list of things I enjoy doing–somewhere around cleaning out the gutters and attending funerals. What my wife doesn’t realize is, I simply like the clothes I already own. They are old friends that I can trust to make me feel good. I have t-shirts that are so faded that the words on their front that once screamed out “Make Love Not War,” now just whisper a gentle reminder to be peaceful. I own a couple of pairs of denim shorts that have been repaired so many times they look more like a patch work quilt, but I wouldn’t trade them for ten new pairs.

My wife accuses me of wearing underwear until they fall off, so every Christmas she gifts me a stack of brand new underwear and a couple of packages of socks. As soon as the tree comes down, I take her gift and carefully store it in a box that is hidden way back in a dark corner of the attic, knowing I can tap into it whenever my comfortable things wear out. She happened to come across that box last week. She stared at me and shook her head. “There’s enough here to last you for the next three years,” she huffed.

I just smiled at my Venusian wife and thought to myself. Three years? There’s enough here to last me for the next thirty years. Thirty more than comfortable years. Ahhhhh.

About this writer

  • Jeffery Cohen

    Jeffery Cohen

    Freelance writer and newspaper columnist, Jeffery Cohen, has written for Sasee, Lifetime and Read, Learn, Write. He’s won awards in Women-On-Writing Contest, Vocabula’s Well Written Contest, National League of American Pen Women’s’ Keats Competition, Southern California Genealogy Competition, and Writer’s Weekly writing contest.

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One Response to “Slipping Into Something Comfortable”

  1. Linda O'Connell says:

    Your stories make me laugh out loud. I realize your wife and I would enjoy shopping together. Only difference, I usually return to the first store to purchase the first dress I liked.

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