Tuesday, May 24, 2016

is that what you're wearing?

Back in March 2010, I first wrote a blog post about family language rituals. Since then, I have often thought about writing more on that topic. Less often (like: twice or three times), I have even done so. Today, more than six years later, I want to write about something that Steve and I ask each other almost every day:
 "Is THAT what you're wearing?" 
Depending on our schedules, we sometimes ask it several times a day. Most people would be insulted by that question, but we are always amused by it. Yes, we're easily amused, and that may be one of the reasons we're still married after 53 years.

In a sense, "Is THAT what you're wearing?" can only be answered in the affirmative: "Yes, this clothing is what I HAVE ON at this moment!" By contrast, it's said that "Are you asleep?" can only be answered in the negative. Generally, though, our answers are not a simple negative or positive.

Steve will ask me, "Is THAT what you're wearing?" to call attention to the fact that I'm not ready to go somewhere. He's likely to BE ready, and I'm likely to be wearing my nightgown or gardening attire caked with mud. In this case, my answer would be "No!" or "Just hang on a few minutes."

I tend to ask Steve, "Is THAT what you're wearing?" to call attention to a color-coordination* problem or other wardrobe malfunction,** usually when he's getting ready for a rehearsal or performance. In this case, I make sure he's presentable before he leaves.

When my father, Erven, would leave to go grocery shopping, my mother, Charlotte, would often say, "Don't pinch the tomatoes!" Married couples need ways of gently checking up on each other. It helps make our worlds go 'round.
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* Color coordination seems to be more difficult for men than for women. Geneticists see this as a chromosome issue, but Steve's brother Phil attributes it to the fact that little boys are typically given the eight-color box of crayons, while little girls tend to be given a higher multiple of the basic eight. Today's mega-box holds ninety-six colors.

** This famous euphemism was coined by Justin Timberlake to describe a semi-decent exposure he inflicted on Janet Jackson during a half-time show at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. Steve's wardrobe malfunctions tend to involve misalignment of buttons with buttonholes or uneven tucking in of shirt tails.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely affirmation of the simple joys that grow out of lengthy teaming.

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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License