Finally she came out and confessed, "My husband is a nerd.."
Me: "And that's a problem? I think it's great. I have a nerd too, you know. In fact, I love nerds. I personally, celebrate nerds. "
Me: "you don't sound convinced. Now C'mon! You know they are so great at fixing stuff around the house..
Me: "And they never flirt with anyone. So you don't have to worry about that..."
Me: " And they're frugal, they're never overweight, and have I mentioned fix things?"
Me: " And, most importantly, they're so good at........(wink)
Her: "you know it, girl"
Me: "So, like.. what's the problem?"
Her: "it's his clothes!!" And she goes on to describe an outfit on which I can't remember the details of, but the final line was... "and he wore white knees socks with loafers!" groan..
Me: "O.K. that is quite the getup. Did you ask him where his beanie was?"
Her: "The kids and I just looked at him with our mouths hanging open.."
Me: (in the problem-solving mode now..) "O.K. the real issue is not how crazy the combination of colors, textures, eras or styles he comes up with is, but is he a good boy about changing or does he dig his heels in and insist on his fashion rights!?
Her: "Oh no, he's so good changing. He never gets upset about it. "
Me: "Well then, he sounds like a perfect man. "
Her:" Well, come to think of it, why doesn't Will wear crazy outfits?"
Me: "Well the answer is kind of complicated.." and I go on to tell her that to this day, my husbands parents have no idea what egg he hatched out of. His parents did not celebrate nerdom, and all outward evidences of it were cleverly bred out of him. His dad, for example, has indoctrinated him on proper clothing choices, and as far as I know, he has never veered from his dad's advice. For the first 8 years of our marriage, I was afraid to buy Will any clothes for fear that I would mess up a good thing. Every year for holidays and birthdays, they would send clothes. Neither of us went into a retail store to buy him clothing until the year 1999, the exact year we left the military. Up until then, he wore uniforms to work, T-shirts on Saturdays, and something from his overstocked pile of business shirts and blazers on Sunday.
If Will were somehow raised by the humpty dumpty midwesterners of the intellectual redneck variety instead of the upwardly mobile fashion-conscious east coasters, he probably would have found great comfort in wearing the standard flannel shirt (tucked in, no less) with jeans and hiking boots (with the bright red laces, mind you). And let's not forget a wide belt with some sort of obnoxiously huge buckle. As it was, he was only allowed to dream about such freedom. The fashionistas of the family are taking a bow at this very moment for their high success rate, and they should be.
That is not to say that he hasn't tried to get away with kneehigh sweat socks and loafers occasionally, but it's not a normal crisis around here.
So, after all that, I told my friend,
"Don't you think that if you had to do it all over again.. No, wait. I mean even if hubby died and somehow every available guy in the entire world wanted you, that you would go ahead and pick another one just like him? In fact, wouldn't you just go ahead and pick him all over again?"
Me too. In fact, I've already decided that approximately three days after I publish the obituary, I'm running an ad:
DESPERATE WIDOW SEEKS MATE
APPLY FOR JOB ONLY IF YOU:
a) HAVE A DEGREE IN EE
b) THINK KNEE-HIGH SWEATSOCKS WORN WITH LOAFERS IS A FASHION STATEMENT
c) THINK A SLIDE-RULE IS A WORK OF ART
.. that's all for tonight.
Gotta go love my nerd.