Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ugly Shoes

When Hubster and I first started dating, I loved everything about him. His humor, his honesty, his work ethic, the way he treated his mother.

Okay, I loved nearly everything about him.

He did own a gray and blue plaid shirt and a hideous pair of black loafers. Both of which he wore a little too regularly. Sometimes together.

I'm sure someone out there is going to shout, or at least think to themselves: Shallow! How could any one let clothes even be an issue?

I didn't. Obviously, they weren't that big of an issue, because I've been happily married to the man for 8 years.

But, seriously, if you could have seen these shoes and shirt, you would understand.

During the first year of our marriage, the black, now holey loafers, and plaid, now stained, shirt, somehow "disappeared." There is still no telling, even to this day, exactly what happened to them.

That shirt was not the only shirt to get lost, misplaced, or removed from the closet. Sometimes, Hubster knew. Sometimes he didn't. I justified the removal of holey T-shirts, lumpy sweaters, and strange patterned button up shirts with the fact that I replaced them with new, nice shirts. Gap, Eddie Bauer, and Express. Clothes any guy should love.

It took me two years to realize exactly what was going on. I was madly in love with Hubster. While not perfect, he was an amazing husband, and then father. He never complained. He never yelled, he worked hard, and whenever someone needed help, he never said no. Even with all that, I was falling into the trap that so many women do.

The hope we can change our husband.

Women who marry abusive men, who think if only they love the man enough, he will learn to be kind and gentle. Women who marry party boys, positive they can "domesticate" them. Women who marry workaholics, convinced that this is only a phase, that that someday, when they are successful, there will be time for children.

It also happens in the littler things. A woman wants her husband to be a reader of classic novels, or a travel enthusiast, or cooking show watcher. Women, who marry men with ugly clothes and think they can turn them into J. Crew models.

It took me a while to realize that I was trying to change Hubster into someone he wasn't. He was always going to be more comfortable in a pair of jeans and a old T-shirt than he ever was in a pair of khakis and a button up shirt with the sleeves rolled part way up. Fashion was never, ever going to be a big deal to him. I could have kept pushing. I could end up like the woman I knew who bought all her husband's clothes and laid them out for him each morning, because it was that important to her.

Or I could realize that I loved the person Hubster already was.

And that included his overly casual fashion (seriously...I've had to tell him that jeans were not appropriate for a wedding.) He continues to be one of the best people I know.

Even if he is still missing one pair of loafers.


  1. I married a collector. I didn't realize how much of one until we were married, and saw how much stuff "we" managed to accrue over a short period of time...

    I have a friend who would just throw away her husband's things (all the time, and lots of stuff, not just an occasional shirt or pair of loafers), and she would encourage me to do the same, but I could never do that to my hubby. I married him for who he was, not his stuff, or lack thereof. We've learned to work out a system so his stuff doesn't make me crazy, and I don't drive him nuts by asking him to get rid of stuff, and it works for us.

    I have enough to do without trying to change my husband, the one I promised to love unconditionally. I am fortunate, though, in that I married a really good man to begin with--just a collector, not any sort of abuser or other scary crazy--as it sounds like you did, as well. I really just thank my lucky stars for that, especially on days when the collections are flaring up again.

  2. That is one of the amazing things I love… that you have the personal insight to realize the truly wonderful reasons for appreciating the good,the beautiful and the worthwhile; to shift when you see you are drifting always moving toward being the best you can be.

  3. I agree that wives shouldn't go into it thinking they can or should change their husbands.

    However, if you really, REALLY hate the gray cammo shorts, mentioning the loathing might mean you have to see them less frequently.

    Just sayin'.

  4. My boyfriend dated a woman before me who went through and tossed a lot of the clothes she deemed "unfashionable." I just couldn't fathom it but his clothes aren't in the condition you're talking about. In that situation, I might have done something similar. But you're right...we can't change them. We have to give them the freedom to screw up and look silly and that sort of thing...that's what love is all about!

  5. I know that feeling. Ed collects video games, that he doesn't play, just looks at. I collect clothes. And as much as I love fashion I'll never force Ed to wear button up shirts and khakis. He would look just so uncomfortable, and weird. The only thing I hate that he wears is his sneakers. but he has one pair and no other shoes. I don't expect to change him. Hell I wanted him to cut his hair. and he trimmed it eventually when he was ready. So I know you can love them. But you can't change them.