Mr. Ashbury has a “lucky vacation travel shirt”. I kid you not, he does, and it is beyond a doubt the ugliest thing I have ever seen.
I’ve very nearly thrown that shirt out several times, as he never saw fit to explain to me, before this most recent vacation, that this particular garment held significance for him.
It’s a collared, polo shirt. That’s about the only good thing I can say about the thing. It is red, with red “squares” interspersed with red and black squares, the latter which are tiny red squares with black stripes inside them. The whole thing is sort of like something you might see if someone zapped a checkerboard with a “shrink-me” ray gun.
If you look at it too closely while he is wearing it and moving, you’ll get dizzy.
I was trying to recall just how old this short sleeved, polyester-blend shirt is. If I am not mistaken, he wore it on the first ever trip we took—the first time we boarded a plane when we finally took our honeymoon after 17 years of marriage, back in 1989.
Yes, that shirt is old enough to get drunk in a bar, and vote.
My beloved has informed me that he intends to wear this shirt when we fly to California on the 22nd of this month, and again when we fly to Dallas in August. I have tried to reason with him that these ‘trips’ are not vacations, and therefore, they do not require the presence of this talisman.
The man looked at me as if I wasn’t quite “all there”. And then he asked me, in a most serious tone, if I really wanted to “tempt fate”.
Since we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary on Saturday, I suppose it’s rather late for me to lament his general lack of fashion sense. This is no slur against him, as he would be the first to agree that when it comes to taste in clothing, he doesn’t have any.
I think my first clue to this unfortunate reality was when, in our first year of marriage, he bought me a black and pumpkin-orange night gown. His desire to please me and to gift me with “sexy and fetching apparel” knew no bounds in those early years. I was always very appreciative of his efforts, of course—after all it really is the thought that counts. Please don’t ask me to list some of the other items he bought for me. I seem to have a black hole in my memory about these things.
They say the sub-conscious works to conceal traumas from the conscious mind as a means of “protecting” the psyche. I believe them.
These days, of course, Mr. Ashbury either takes our daughter shopping with him, or he does the modern thing and gives me a gift card.
I return the favor by not giving him gift cards, but instead going to the mall and purchasing him the clothing he needs. While the fact that he always likes what I pick out for him doesn’t really mean much—he really doesn’t have enough clothing sense to know if the clothes I buy him are right for him or not—on those occasions when we go out, his family always compliments him on his apparel.
Now, I know that the astute among you will be left wondering, well, Morgan, where then did that ugly-ass red shirt come from in the first place?
Friends, I tell you honestly, I have no clue. I really don’t recall how that shirt came to be in my beloved’s possession, let alone how it became such an integral part of his wardrobe.
I can only surmise it was a gift from one of my in-laws.