Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sartorial Deficiencies (Or, Living With a Hobo)

Last night, Lars and I went before our town's Transportation Management Committee and pleaded for a guardrail to be erected  along our property line. We live on the corner of two rather busy streets, and our house is set into a sort of bowl, below street level. Over the past six years, three cars have hurled themselves down our declivity at night, and two of them have smashed into our house.


So, I prepared a presentation, including narratives from police reports and a cool map of the property complete with colored lines representing the trajectories of the three cars (courtesy of Lars). I put on a semi-respectable outfit (read: black jeans, shell, jacket, none of which were rumpled) and a little makeup. I made sure my fingernails were clean.

I may not achieve the perfection of Saskia (not even close) but I am not a TOTAL slob. Only a little slobby.

Well, we're sitting there listening to an ENDLESS presentation by some crunchy bike folks who want biking lanes on the roads, and listening to the HIGHLY ANNOYING guy to Lars's right go on ad nauseum about how his wife will NOT TOLERATE white lines on "her" street (I know, you couldn't make this stuff up) and then it's our turn.

Lars had asked to play a role in this affair so I allowed him to hand out his little maps. and that's when I saw the hole in the arm of his green and blue striped rugby shirt. Right near the elbow. A large, round hole.

My heart sank. I looked a little closer and noticed that the whole shirt looked kind of dingy. Like it maybe hadn't been washed since four of five wearings ago. And then I tried to remember him leaving the house this week in another shirt and I couldn't. HE HAD BEEN WEARING THIS DINGY, HOLEY SHIRT TO WORK FOR AT LEAST A WEEK.

I thought I was going to die.

"You have a HOLE in your shirt!" I hissed.

"Yeah?" he said, grinning.

"You look like a hobo!"

"Hee hee," he replied.

As if that embarrassment wasn't enough, I noticed he had two sets of reading glasses in use (or disuse). One perched on the top of his head, the other hanging from the neck of his shirt.

"Do you REALLY need two pairs of glasses?" I snapped.

He looked at me with raised eyebrows.

"These are two different strengths," he said, sounding hurt.

I am married to the world's dorkiest hobo. I miss the days when he only wore black turtlenecks and was this blond, European hottie in black turtleneck and blue jeans. It was a lot of black but you can't see dirt on it, at any rate.

Fortunately the Traffic Committee did not hold Lars's sartorial deficiencies against us. We got the guardrail we asked for.

But here's the scariest thing of all. This morning when I noticed Lars was wearing the green and blue rugby shirt again, and that his pants looked a bit ripe as well, I sternly sent him upstairs to change.

And Benjy, who was sitting at the table eating his waffles, said, "I'm on your side, Dad! Who CARES about that stuff, anyway?

Oh joy, now there are two of them.

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