On a recent morning, my husband, Grit, was getting dressed to play golf. I happened to be in the bathroom powdering my nose and noticed a scene that rarely happens: He changed his shorts several times.
He ended up with a pair that didn't match well with the shirt he had originally put on.
Curious, I mentioned his sartorial slip and he admitted that both his favorite pairs of shorts had holes in them where it mattered. (On the leg it doesn't matter, on the rear end or other parts it does.)
While I, whether needing it or not, continue to buy a shirt here, a skirt there because they please my fancy or are a great buy, he rarely updates his wardrobe. He likes his old things, and if it weren't for Father's Day and the kindness of children, he would never get anything new.
Even when he gets new things he feels a need to wear the old ones until they are like the shorts mentioned above.
Talking with my friends, I find he isn't much different than most men. If they have a good pair of jeans, some T-shirts and a suit or two, life is happy.
Comedian Steven Wright summed up the way men and women look at life from different angles with the quip, "She said, 'You're wearing two different-colored socks.' I said, 'I know, but to me they're the same because I go by thickness.'"
Actually, I sometimes envy how simple getting dressed is for a man or how they put down a solid "No!" to some of the things women do thinking to look attractive.
Take for example foot binding in China. I just finished reading Lisa See's excellent historical novel "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" in which she describes the brutal practice. Besides the pain endured the rest of their lives, she wrote that 1 out of 10 girls died from foot binding. Barbaric!
We modern women have our own problems. I suffer from foot problems caused by high heels, pointed-toe shoes and ballet flats with no support. As I watch the women waddle-walk in the current heels that can soar to 6 inches, it's nice to realize I escaped that one by being too old to be tempted.
Through the ages, women corseted themselves, sweltered in heavy dresses and had stuff put in their lips until they end up with a "trout pout."
There are guys who have the ridiculous ear gauges and those who tattoo their bodies, but they still usually wear pretty basic clothes. On "American Idol," Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler tried to one-up each other during the 2011-12 season, but they are in "the business."
These aren't the only ways men and women differ on fashion and its fallout. Women like to shop while men will go to buy the first item that tends to do the job and that is to have something basic in the closet to wear.Comment on this story
The book "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus," which came out in the 1990s, was the highest-ranked work of nonfiction in the era, heading the best-seller list for 121 weeks. We were fortunate enough to see the one-man Broadway show and laughed and clapped the entire time.
Some may feel ideas like these too stereotypical, but I think they make us let go of trying to change each other.
It helps us love each other just the way we are.
Well, that's as long as Grit changes his shirt when I tell him to.